[thelist] What's the best way to learn ...

Sam sam at sam-i-am.com
Tue Feb 12 14:17:07 CST 2002

> Call me crazy, but the option to View Source still exists.

I think you are crazy. Perl's TMTOTDY (there's more than one way to do
it) mantra makes picking apart source code really difficult for a
beginner. I had (and still have) tremendous difficulty connecting the
dots between a basic understanding of perl syntax, and "real" perl. Perl
idioms like the use of $_ really raise the bar for entry, as readability
presumes familiarity with these idioms.
And an basic grasp of OO perl syntax, which is necessary to make use of
most of the modules, doesn't fall out of a basic grasp of the language,
nor is it covered in any of the intro tutorials I came across.

What I did find useful was:
Nik Silver's tutorial: http://www.comp.leeds.ac.uk/Perl/start.html
Robert's tutorial: http://www.netcat.co.uk/rob/perl/win32perltut.html

those 2 really get you started with the fundamentals: variables, arrays,
hashes, loops, subs, etc.
And at _that_ point you might be able to make use of Randal Schwartz's
columns and source code at webtechniques:

or any number of other perl script archives and tutorials.
(I like randal schwartz's approach as he always take the most direct
route, leveraging existing code before writing his own (and good luck
with those bits :)

As a programming newbie this was a long road for me - I picked it up and
put it down over a few years, and maybe another language would have been
easier. But it is truly the duct tape of the web, and I now find it
indispensable. Good luck,


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