I’m getting back into Perl again, for a web site rewrite at work using Apache’s mod-perl. Many folks have learned Perl from the O’Reilly book, Learning Perl by Schwartz and Phoenix. About all I remember from it was that it had a great sense of humor. Now that I’m ramping up on Perl again, I’ve been rereading the book and enjoying the humor. A language like Perl takes a good sense of humor to learn.Once you get over the Camel’s hump, Perl can be a very fast and expressive scripting language. It shines when allowed to parse text files and manipulate regular expressions on them. It falters when poor programming habits are allowed to take over and can easily be very tough to read by anyone including the author.
If you are looking for a good scripting language to use, Perl can certainly fit the bill. The fact that it’s so ubiquitous makes it more valuable to know than easier languages like Python. I love to write Python but I have never found the opportunity to use it at work in the same manner as Perl. Everyone, it seems, knows Perl and that alone can make it valuable to know.
If you are learning Perl, there is no finer book than the one with the Lama on the cover. Get it and follow along with tong firmly planted in cheek.
So bare with me as I walk with the Lama and and let it chomp grass at my feet. ;)