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Postings from October 2003
From: Iain Truskett
October 5, 2003 02:36
Message ID: email@example.com
* John Von Essen <firstname.lastname@example.org>:
> I agree that learn.perl.org needs some work. It appears to
> be mainly a portal for buying Perl books from Amazon - of
> which some sort of commissions are made. Not to mention
> that almost every book listed is from O'Reilly.
> Does O'Reilly own Perl? Why is it that every perl site so
> blatantly promotes O'Reilly books? I actually think the
> O'Reilly books are BAD for beginners.
The main reason O'Reilly books are promoted is that there
are so many of them and so many of them are great books.
They have around 47, depending on how you count. While
books.perl.org does not have all books from any publisher
entered, it's _mostly_ accurate and the next nearest
publisher _is_ a long way down in numbers. Looking at the
next few, you've got:
* Prentice Hall -- do they have any decent perl books?
I'm told one of them is good but, when flipping through
it, I saw many inaccuracies.
* Wiley -- at least 4 notable books:
* Lincoln's CGI.pm book, which is presumably very out
of date now.
* "Perl Database Programming"
* "Perl: The Programmer's Companion", which by all
reports is good, but I'm yet to see a copy so I can't
offer my own view.
* "Programming the Network with Perl" (not Lincoln's,
it's the other)
* Addison-Wesley have decent books. And some crap ones. Of
the ones listed on books.perl.org, exactly half are
decent, and I'm told they have another decent one in the
* Osborne/McGraw-Hill -- best left unmentioned.
Now, compare with O'Reilly who have a remarkable hit rate
and cater for numerous facets of Perl use.
Back to learn.perl.org:
13 O'Reilly listed (more than any other publisher has
Overlaps --- very little. Only in the "Beginners" section,
and each entry there still has something unique to bring to
Crap books: of the ones I've read, which is most of them,
none. My only complaint with many of them is that they don't
cater to modern Perls.
> The fact is I can go to mysql.org or php.net and
> effectively learn those tools online to a fair degree of
Please, produce a list of good, contemporary, online
tutorials. I took a look at Shlomi's somewhat hideously
designed site and the list there. There's not one tutorial
there that I could happily endorse.
Check that the tutorial uses good, modern style. 3-arg open
(or at least whitespace between action and filename). Should
be advocating 'use strict' and 'use warnings' (which will
show it's at least 5.6 or later). Should introduce perldoc
very early on. Lexical filehandles. No ampersands when
calling functions in the ordinary case. /x both mentioned
and advocated for regex. POD. Other stuff. And most
importantly, security, including common sense and tainting.
Probably a bit much to expect, but they're usually good