Learning Perl is one of the rare books in computing that nearly everyone agrees is great. It takes you through the process of learning the Perl programming language with example code and exercises.
Any time that someone says that they plan to learn Perl, it’s pretty much just assumed that this book will be their first choice as a resource and that reputation is well deserved. It starts out by giving you a sense of where Perl fits into the realm of computer languages and how it came about and then moves on to the actual meat of teaching you the various commands and structures within the language.
One of the things that makes this unique as a book on learning a programming language is that it can really take you a long way past the beginner stage. While the core of the text sticks to explaining the basics and avoids getting tangled up in details that won’t matter to a beginner, the book also contains extensive footnotes to provide more in-depth information.
The writing is very clear, and benefits from the extensive experience that the authors have in teaching people to use Perl. It also includes some humorous comments that I really enjoyed, though I’ll admit to having a weakness for geek humor in general.
I received access to an electronic copy of this book at no charge from O’Reilly Media Inc. for the purpose of writing this review. More information, such as the option of a preview and the errata for the book is available at the Learning Perl catalog page at O’Reilly’s website.