Microwave Biscuit

Book Reviews

Posted in Linux, ubuntu by microwavebiscuit on February 22, 2007

As you may be able to tell I like Perl. You may also notice that I’m not terribly good at it but I manage to get done what I usually need to. In learning Perl I got 3 different books. They are:

  • Beginning Perl by Simon Cozens
  • Programming Perl by Larry Wall, Tom Christiansen and Jon Orwant (The Camel book)
  • Perl Cookbook by Tom Christiansen and Nathan Torkington

The listing is pretty much my order of preference on the books. Here’s a brief overview of each:

Beginning Perl – This is the book for me that I use most often. I have no idea where I got the recommendation for it or even when I bought it. It’s just on my bookshelf. I have a tendency to just pick out the most important things about a programming language and try and hack into the rest. With Perl, I decided to take a different approach. I went through this book starting on page 1 and wrote the “hello world” examples. In fact, I wrote 99% of the examples in the book just to do it. This book is not for advanced users really, nor is it as comprehensive as the “camel” book but for me it was a nice mix of basic and intermediate stuff.

Programming Perl – As indicated this is the “Camel” book and the book that most people recommend to anyone trying to learn Perl. This is the book that I turn to second if I’m trying to do something and I can’t figure it out from Beginning Perl. It is a much more comprehensive book and covers just about everything there is to know. Generally I use this book by the index, meaning, I turn to the Index to find out where something is documented as opposed to running through the book front to back.

Perl Cookbook – As you wold expect with that title, it’s basically a book of Perl recipes. It’s not as instructional as the previous two and it certainly expects you to have a good working knowledge. Like Programming Perl, I use this by the Index looking for topics of interest or when I need a solution.

I’m sure many people could get by with just Programming Perl but for me it was a bit easier to test the waters with Beginning Perl.

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