James Lee is a hacker and open-source advocate based in Illinois. He holds a master's degree from Northwestern University, and he can often be seen rooting for the Wildcats during football season. As founder of Onsight, Lee has worked as a programmer, trainer, manager, writer, and open-source advocate. Lee coauthored Hacking Linux Exposed, Second Edition, as well as Open Source Web Development with LAMP. He enjoys hacking Perl and has written many articles on Perl for Linux Journal. Lee also enjoys developing software for the Web, reading, traveling and, most of all, playing with his kids, who are too young to know why dad's favorite animals are penguins and camels.
Beginning Perlby James Lee
Immensely popular Perl combines the best features of C, key UNIX utilities, and powerful regular expressions. Perl is commonly used for web programming, as well as email and Usenet news filtering. Fast becoming the system administrator’s scripting language of choice, Perl is also useful for file and directory manipulation, database access, and a broad range of daily system operator chores.
This second edition emphasizes the cross-platform nature of Perl. Throughout the book, author James Lee promotes Perl as a legible, sensible programming language and dispels the myth that Perl is confusing and obscure. Perfect for the beginning Perl user looking to gain a quick and masterful grasp on the language, this concise and focused book begins with the basics and moves on to more advanced features of Perl, including references, modules, and object-oriented programming.
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- 3rd ed. 2010
- Sales rank:
- Product dimensions:
- 7.40(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.10(d)
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Beginning Perl, Review by C.J. ScheppersFebruary 21st, 2013 Beginning Perl, 3rd edition by James Lee, an Apress publication Beginning Perl, Review by C.J. Scheppers January 30, 2013 This reviewer has some prior Perl experience, having read otherPerl textbooks and written Perl scripts for about seven years.Just as Larry Wall’s Perl prides itself on the ability toaccomplish a task in many ways, textbooks on Perl can start inmany places, explore any number of paths through the materialand reach a useful, if not complete, grasp of the subject. Beginning Perl is offered as an introduction to Perl and anadvanced Perl reference; it delivers on both. Mr. Lee’sIntroduction gets the new Perl programmer off to a great start,from understanding where Perl resides amongst other programminglanguages to being able to hold your own at cocktail parties,complete with some Perl jokes. In the first dozen pages, this reviewer learned as many newprogramming techniques or better ways of understanding hispreviously written code. A more experienced programmer willappreciate the Perl syntax presented in this book by the way Mr.Lee formats his statements into more logically readable forms.The reader will be frequently enlightened to see why statementsare written the way they are. Syntax will come more naturally tothe beginner and experienced alike. The beginner might not get off to as rapid of a startwith this book because of the greater amount of backgroundinformation presented but momentum builds throughout the book.Exercises demonstrate the material initially and soon thereafteruseful scripts follow. Compared to another favorite Perl book,Mr. Lee’s 428 pages cover the same amount of subjects at the samerate but his selection and style of explanation renders the subjectmatter readable and easily grasped by all. The useful index is 20 pages long and the first page and a halfof it is devoted to Perl symbols. Beginning Perl can be doubly recommended for beginners and thosewith some Perl experience.
Beginning Perl really is an excellent resource for anyone looking to learn the language ¿ novice to expert. Even if you have absolutely no programming experience, the book starts out from the beginning by covering not only things you will need to know to learn Perl, but also good general programming practices. If you are an expert programmer, the book is written in a way that makes it easy to scan through and pick up on some things that you may not know or refresh your memory on some things that may not be completely clear. The index in the back is also great for use as a reference. Nothing can compare to the usefulness of a good Internet search engine (see Google) for use as a reference, but the book does quite a good job. It is nice to have something tangible in front of you to walk you through some tutorials and build up your knowledge of the language in a methodical way.
Personally, the book has helped me to become comfortable using Perl to do "everyday tasks" (everyday in the context of an obsessive computer user), perform my necessary job functions (manipulating massive text files), and become a better programmer. I used to know next to nothing about Perl, although I did have a solid background in other languages. With this book, and some help from the Internet, I was able to become a sufficient Perl programmer within a week.
Perl is a great language that every person in the computing field should know. There's literally hundreds of great tutorials and books on the subject that will suffice, but I would stress the value of having a well-written book sitting in front of you while you learn. I would certainly recommend this book to anyone looking to learn Perl.
Beginning Perl, 2nd edition, by James Lee, et al., is a splendid introduction to the Perl programming language, version 5.8.3. The flow of the book is logical, straightforward, and highly readable. Text is heavily sprinkled with program examples that the reader can easily try out along the way, as well as exercises at the end of most chapters, with solutions in the appendix. Chapters are short, clear, and engaging. After a brief discussion of the history of Perl and a listing of numerous helpful online resources, the book quickly moves on to the logistics of running a Perl program, followed by descriptions of basic program elements and control flow. Then it's ahead to more sophisticated data elements - lists, arrays, and hashes - and finally functions and subroutines. After a solid and seemingly effortless explanation of these 'basics,' the book moves to one of the most powerful features in Perl - regular expressions - and how these can be used to access files and data. From there, the discussion expands to string processing and references. The book concludes with discussions of more 'advanced' Perl features, including object-orientation, modules, and use with webservers and databases. Regardless of topic, the writing style stays crisp, clear, and example-filled, making this book a highly effective and enjoyable way to get a jump-start into Perl programming for the novice or a quick refresher for the expert wanting a Perl 5 update.
For server side scripting, Perl is now one of the favourite languages. Lee shows how you can quickly and easily grasp the basic syntax and begin programming usefully in it. He stresses in his presentation that no prior knowledge of Perl is needed. Strictly, not even of another programming language. If this describes you, his book should be quite understandable, given just a modicum of maths background. But having said that, if you've written in any other programming language, then you'll breeze through a lot of the texr. It's just a question of picking up Perl's syntax. Where things might get slightly hairy are when references are discussed. Like in C or C++, some beginners find this awkward. It's been mentioned by others that in general, in computing, one of the dividing lines in understanding is the topic of references (and pointers). It doesn't seem to be a strong function of how well an author explains it, but more of the student's intrinsic aptitude for the field. Hopefully, you will find Lee's explanations lucid.