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Perl 5 by Example

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Spotlight Customer Reviews

Average Customer Rating: 4

Customer Rating: 5
Summary: Excellent book for a beginner
Comment: Very good book for someone starting from Scratch. Have given it to a couple of my employees and within a week they were productive and had already done a few programs.

As a new Perl user myself, don't know how good it is for advanced users, but for beginners it is very good.

The topics on hand are clearly explained and the examples for each topic are usefull and easy to use.

Customer Rating: 5
Summary: The Best Perl Book I've studied
Comment: Perl 5 by example is the best Perl book I've studied. I use the Perl 5 book along with the 'CGI For Windows' book to teach an internet/multimedia class, at an University level. 'Perl 5 by example' has an excellent teaching format: Definition, explaination, and hundreds of sample code fragments, to illustrate the point. 'Perl 5 by example' combines beginning concepts, intermediate, and advance perl programming practices. One of the most valueable sections in 'Perl 5 by example' is the creating reports section. The second most valueable section is the regular expression explaination. I keep the 'Perl 5 by example' book close as a valueable language reference. Database is also a key interest for me. Combining perl with sybase and using the reporting capability helps students start learning how to create enterprise wide solutions. Write to me for details on some of the perl projects that were created using the book. Upon studing this book and reader should have the knowledge to write numerous cgi scripts, create perl modules, and understand at an intermediate level the perl language.

Customer Rating: 2
Summary: I bet this review gets buried
Comment: I agree with fellow reviewer, James Tolley from NYC, I honestly don't understand how this book got such high ratings. I read with amazement other reviews by people who claim to be programmers, they must be pals of the author. I will itemize in detail where I find problems with this book:

This book is riddled with typos and errors. Not a good thing when you are trying to learn something new. The book leads you astray. To the authors credit, he has published his book on a web site and it seems to be much better than the printed book. But then, why would you BUY the book? The good news is that the book provides nice wide margins so you can note the typos and make corrections.

Examples of perl scripts (hence, Perl 5 by EXAMPLE) are all through the book and at first glance it looks like a great way to learn. Problem is, I've just found 2 examples (one right after the other) that don't even work as examples for what was taught. In chapter 5 we are learning about the "my" and "local" functions. I took the examples provided (from the Web site, mind you) and ran them with the "my" and with the "local" operators in them and they ran great. But then I removed them and the script produced the same result. So what was the point?

This book offers review questions at the end of each chapter. The answers to the review questions are provided at the end of the book in Appendix A. That's good. However, in my opinion, the review questions aren't nearly as important as the review exercises that follow the questions at the end of every chapter. The exercises are where you are asked to write perl programs to reinforce what you learned in the chapter you just read. There are no answers to these all important exercises. Not in the book, not on the CD-ROM not on the author's web site. When I wrote to the author he offered to review my work as time permits. Nice offer, but not what I had in mind.

I have several books on perl and the O'Reilly books (i.e. Learning Perl) are far better. Learning Perl has exercises at the end of each chapter and the answers are provided in the back.

This book will only serve to confuse beginners with misinformation and force them to extra unnecessary effort in order to combat the lax attitude in which this book was produced. A proofreader that knows how to write perl might have helped on this account.

The concept for the book and the approach are terrific ideas. But do you want to have to read the book and then check the Web site and run every script to make sure you weren't given misinformation? This is a book that depends on you to allow for a "fudge factor." Expect more for your hard earned money.