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From Rolf Banting <>
Subject Re: To learn perl... [was: decline and fall of modperl?]
Date Thu, 26 Mar 2009 11:51:39 GMT
On Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 11:35 AM, Simon Forster <>wrote:

> On 25 Mar 2009, at 18:23, David Ihnen wrote:
>  They've also told me that they know that perl is harder to learn than PHP.
>>> What can I tell them? That it is not true?
>> Yes, but you may or may not be right.  We all agree that coming into perl
>> is confusing - too much old data about how to do things is out there in the
>> world.  That makes it harder to learn - not because the language is harder
>> to learn - but because its not clear what the proper way to learn it is.
> And what is the proper way? I've futzed about in a number or languages -
> including perl - but only at a very basic level with perl. I've got some web
> stuff to do and thought that having a go with perl may be a pleasant
> diversion. At the moment it looks like I'll be using Catalyst and Mason to
> help with the job - but what are the pratfalls to avoid - or the good
> practice to follow (use strict and warnings :-)
> As an outsider, perl is its own worst enemy. Its proud boast is that
> there's more than one way of doing things (so show me a language where
> that's not true) while not really showing a good way. I accept that a chunk
> of this is style / taste / choice but a few pointers along the lines of
> "that way the road is quite straight and smooth" would help quite a lot.
> I guess I'm asking for a magic formula which doesn't exist and that I
> should just bloody well get on and do it but I'll ask anyway.
> Simon

"The Perl Cookbook" will likely as not point you at the smoother parts of
the road.
"Perl Best Practices" by Damian Conway goes into the "right" way to do
perl-ish things in great depth.
PerlCritic is a perl module inspired by the book that will check your code
against a configured policy set.
A great place to start is the Camel book ("Programming Perl" - Wall et al)
which has sections on style, newbie pitfalls etc

Try "Perl Hacks" for a more sideways glance.

It is a rich, flexible, language that has been around a good while. In a
good few years at this game I have not come across another that gets you
from here to there in so few steps.

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