When it comes to working a little "behind the scenes" magic for a Web site or putting together a UNIX script which interrogate databases and produce reports based on the information they contain, there are few better languages to do the job than Perl.
Learning Perl draws on the expertise of two of the major supporters of this highly flexible language, Randal Schwatrz and Tom Christiansen, to produce an introductory manual which manages to be concise yet informative throughout.
Weighing in at a mere (for a computer manual) 271 pages it achieves admirably what it sets out to do--teach Perl basics and no more. From the introduction to the different variable types through hash arrays, file access, process management and coding for the World Wide Web, it's a well-paced easy-to-understand book which assumes a rudimentary knowledge of programming but no more.
With its multitude of clear examples which help to hammer home the many points made and set exercises at the end of each chapter, it builds knowledge rather than drowning the reader with information as many other books seem to do.
This is the first in a series of books on the subject from O'Reilly Publishing, the others being Programming Perl, Advanced Perl Programming and the Perl Cookbook and it truly is a great introduction to a language which is enthusiastically supported by developers and Web coders worldwide. Well worth a read.
In this update of a bestseller, two leading Perl trainers teach you to use the most universal scripting language in the age of the World Wide Web. With a foreword by Larry Wall, the creator of Perl, this smooth, carefully paced book is the "official" guide for both formal (classroom) and informal learning. It is now current for Perl version 5.004. Learning Perl is a hands-on tutorial designed to get you writing useful Perl scripts as quickly as possible. Exercises (with complete solutions) accompany each chapter. A lengthy, new chapter in this edition introduces you to CGI programming, while touching also on the use of library modules, references, and Perl's object-oriented constructs. Perl is a language for easily manipulating text, files, and processes. It comes standard on most UNIX platforms and is available free of charge on all other important operating systems. Perl technical support is informally available -- often within minutes -- from a pool of experts who monitor a USENET newsgroup (comp.lang.perl.misc) with tens of thousands of readers.
Contents include: A quick tutorial stroll through Perl basics Systematic, topic-by-topic coverage of Perl's broad capabilities Lots of brief code examples Programming exercises for each topic, with fully worked-out answers How to execute system commands from your Perl program How to manage DBM databases using Perl An introduction to CGI programming for the Web