On Teaching Perl



  •  I read a thing. It's pretty good.

    Cliffnotes:

    None of this is Perl's fault or Java's fault. It's like being a child:
    When you're at the very beginning of your life, and you've seen very
    little of the world of software engineering, the few things that you
    have seen fill your whole mind up and heavily colour all of your future
    experiences.

    At the end of the day the emphasis has to be on getting things done.
    Perl is a programming language in which people get things done. It's
    lucky that Perl reaches spots that Java doesn't, though, because I think
    I'd have a much harder time if most of the audience had a background
    in, for example, Python.



  • Amen.

    Perl is intended to "Make Easy Things Easy and Hard Things Possible" and part of its appeal is getting you to your objective in shorter and easier steps. I remember being staggered when I saw loops and $_ then realised... there actually isn't a need to explicitly declare a counter - it's acheiving the same thing, just written differently.

    I have this book and learned a great deal from it, not just about Perl but about other languages. It really is an entertaining read and caused me to rethink the way in which I approach problem-solving and algorithm design. It's also the book that told me "if you're writing perl, WRITE PERL - don't write SQL. Leave that to a stored procedure or framework somewhere."

    I'll also agree about "horses for courses". I've written some quick and dirty scripts - converting manual PHP functions into automated perl routines - to assist with server automation. Perl ain't Java, Javascript, PHP, C++... there's plenty it can't do, or plenty it can do but in a more convoluted manner. There are plenty of reasons for not using it - but that shouldn't stop it from never being used. I keep falling back into it to do some large-scale text processing from time to time.



  • And if program philosophy isn't your thing, he also wrote about how to destroy the earth.



  • @Cassidy said:

    this book
    Why not go for an oyster on the book cover? Too obvious?

    Or were they saving it for the book on some shell?



  • @Zecc said:

    @Cassidy said:

    this book
    Why not go for an oyster on the book cover? Too obvious?

    Or were they saving it for the book on some shell?

    Hey I'm going to tell you all about Visual Basic
    BLAAH WALRUS



  • @Zecc said:

    Why not go for an oyster on the book cover? Too obvious?

    Or were they saving it for the book on some shell?

    I was skimming through this article on the history of O'Reilly covers and I ended up getting an answer to this:[quote user="O'Reilly site"]Our covers are all designed by Edie Freedman. She is open to
    suggestions, but has the final say on all cover designs.

    [...]

    Edie is more inclined to
    respond to "right brain" reasons than to obvious mental
    associations. For example, several people on the net suggested
    the obvious clam for the Perl handbook, but Edie responded
    instead to Larry Wall's obscure argument for the camel: ugly
    but serviceable, able to go long distances without a lot of
    nourishment.
    [/quote]

     



  • @Zecc said:

    That's not a camel is it?
    Today I learned: 'Learning Perl' is the "Llama book", 'Programming Perl' is the "Camel Book". Fascinating. Or not.


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