Sams Teach Yourself Perl in 21 Days (2nd Edition)
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Spotlight Customer ReviewsAverage Customer Rating: 3.99
Customer Rating: 3
Summary: Workable, but challenging
Comment: A key thing to keep in mind in a lot of these "teach yourself" book reviews is what the background is of that reviewer. For anyone WITH a formal or extensive software background, the book will flow easily. For those WITHOUT a structured software background, don't expect to be a programming whiz after this (or to get a lot of the nuances of the language). The book covers PERL, but not how to write good pgms. The book gets into terms and constructs, even early on, that would baffle a newbee. It also greatly disappointed me that the author DOESNT COMMENT THE CODE AS THEY RECOMMEND! Yes, it is explained in the text, but if the code was commented in the examples themselves, it would be a much better book. Web references are helpful (ie code examples are on-line). I would say it is best used by someone already with a software background looking to cross over to PERL. (BTW: workable in doses of 1hr per day/chapter, more if you really want to grasp examples and play with code on-line.)
Customer Rating: 4
Summary: good beginner's book, too many typos
Comment: I knew nothing about Perl and bought this book because other Amazon reviewers said it was good for newbies, and I found that to be true as well. In contrast, Randal Schwartz's "Learning Perl" book, which I flipped through in the bookstore, is just too hard for a complete newbie. However, the book falls a little short when addressing Perl's more advanced functions and features. The "Going Deeper" section found in each chapter is easily the most annoying aspect of the book. In each "Going Deeper" section, the author touches on some interesting and advanced features of Perl without going into any depth or providing code examples. Get this book to learn Perl but get something more advanced so that you can actually use Perl for something useful.
Also, there were way too many typos in this book. It's difficult to get rid of typos, but a programming book must be free of typos in its code examples otherwise the reader does not know whether his programs are crashing because of his own mistakes or the book's typos. Some reviewers state that some typos are inevitable in any book with lots of code examples. I disagree. Anyone providing code examples should test and debug it before publishing it. I wouldn't want my name on a book which had buggy code because of typos, so I don't see why any professional author would do the same.
I went to the book's website to list some of the typos but aside from the home page, the rest of the website has not been constructed. Hopefully, the author will get around to finishing the website so that readers can post where typos can be found and the author can provide errata pages as well as correcting mistakes for the second edition.
Customer Rating: 3
Summary: It just didn't work for me
Comment: This book is not helpful for the newbies. Not only do some of the scripts not work, but the way Perl is explained in this book, it just doesn't make enough sense. I learned more from online tutorials that were perhaps 3 pages long than I learned in 15 pages of one chapter of this book. I usually pick things up quite easily, so it must be the book that is confusing.
At least two of the script examples given in Chapters 1-8 had typos in them, and not enough explanation for someone that doesn't know much to figure out what. I am unfortunately going to have to give up on this book to learn Perl and turn to the internet... too bad I spent $35 for the book. I don't recommend this book to anyone except perhaps someone that already knows Perl.