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Sams Teach Yourself Perl in 24 Hours (2nd Edition)

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List Price: $29.99
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Spotlight Customer Reviews

Average Customer Rating: 4.1

Customer Rating: 5
Summary: Argh! No typos whatsoever! The book rocks.
Comment: Well, at least the version I bought in march 2000, version 5 I think, doesn't have those. the book is error ad typo free, and all the programs run perfectly. Now to the meat: When I began reading the book I knew perl does stuff on the web. That's all, really. Readin onl 8 hours of it, I've already developed various cool programs, reached the third level in - a site for perl freaks, and saw I can really help people! The learning curve is amazing. Although It's not really 1 hour for each class, at least for me, It's 1:30 or so. I'd really, really suggest this... You can viably *SEE* your progress... It's amazing how after a week of reading the book you feel you know everything about the language: recursion, arrays, and everything there is in any other language, MASTERED by you. Spend a week more (to get to hour 14) and you... I cant describe it. The first time I feel so comfy with a programming language. MUST BUY.

Customer Rating: 5
Summary: excellent discussion of CGI do's and don'ts
Comment: This book is good for two kinds of people -- people who need an introductory text to Perl (especially if they don't have a strong programming background already); and people who are doing CGI programming. (Of course, you could happen to be both kind of person at once -- a not-advanced programmer picking up Perl to do some CGI programming.) No other Perl book I've seen so far manages to serve both audiences so well.

The part of the book (the first 3/5ths or so) that's intro to general Perl is good, clear, and free of any typos I've noticed. The current printing I saw tended to scrimp on whitespace (so you see "$x=$y*stuff($z)" instead of somehting more like "$x = $y * stuff($z)"), but I don't think it's /too/ much of a problem; and I've emailed the author and he says he'll see about getting that changed in later printings.

The section on CGI is the real windfall here. I'm sure that the author could have just banged out a chapter or two of "Hello World" CGIs plus a form2mail and a guestbook, and called that it; and the book would probably have sold just as well from casual buyers.

Instead, he ended up writing the absolute best and most careful discussion of CGI I've seen to date. Most importantly, if you're a new-to-CGI programmer and you read this book, I think it'll steer you clear of the nastier pitfalls better than any other book I've seen. That includes things that work but that open security holes, as well as things that just don't work.

And, incidentally, the book doesn't cost much, so I can recommend that even an advanced CGI programmer (even one not coding in Perl!) go and plunk down the ~$20, just because the long (about 2/5ths of the book, it seems) and deliberate section on CGI is bound to discuss /something/ you didn't know. I, for example, particularly benefited from the comprehensive and patient discussion of the benefits and limitations of the various ways to pass session-state around between CGI program instances.

Customer Rating: 4
Summary: Effective book, but be selective
Comment: Sam's Teach Yourself Pearl in 24 hours covers Perl basics and CGI basics for the web. It discusses about SSI (server side includes) on the surface. Even even better still, it comes with a CDROM with the Perl interpreter which you can install on your PC/Mac. So you can immediately get up and running with writing Perl programs and trying the exercises.

I got the book on Sunday evening. By Monday night, I had completed a Customer Review system for my webpage. It is similar to this page that you are currently reading. By Thursday night, I had completed a real time inventory check status. It's the one that says whether the item is in stock.

I must say that this book has made me a very productive programmer. I had learnt and implemented so many stuffs in just 4 days compared to the weeks and months of web surfing and trying to figure out what people were saying on forums. Now I already know how to implement wishlists, gift certificates, logins, forums, etc.

Before you get the assumption that it's so easy, let me explain my background. I'm a programmer by profession and a damm good one. With over 10 years programming experience, I have twice won awards for programming genius. My contribution was so good, it got translated to Spanish and published by several other magazines. I'm trying to impress upon you that I am reading this book from a very skilled programmer point of view. But I have no knowledge of Perl whatsoever.

When I picked up this book, I expected Perl to be cakewalk, but I was a bit disappointed by the way the information was presented. It is sometimes too technical for a first timer and the author fails to clearly explain what a function does. It is sometimes lacking in illustrations and also contains a lot of questions designed to trick the student. Until now, despite reading certain chapters over and over, I still cannot understand what the author is teaching.

If you understand programming fundamentals, then this could be a good book for you. It covers a wide range of topics. And you still can get by even if certain explanations are less clear.

But if you a a newbie programmer, then I don't recommend this book because without some programming background, you may not understand at all what the book is saying. Imagine scalars, arrays, lists, hashes. There's no clear explanation what they are, but dives straight into how to declare and use them with complex examples. If you don't know what is an array or loop, then this book is not for you. If a seasoned programmer like me have trouble understanding certain parts, then a lot of other people will also not understand it.

It's a good book, provided you can understand it. I wish the examples were simpler and better illustrated.