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Re: [Long] A candidate for perlretut.pod

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Mark Kvale
April 7, 2000 11:58
Re: [Long] A candidate for perlretut.pod
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On Fri, 7 Apr 2000, Mark-Jason Dominus wrote:

> I think it's much too long.  In fact, it's longer than `perlre'.  My
> experience with people seeking tutorials is that they are looking for
> a quick start; if they see a fifteen-thousand-word monster they are
> going to throw up their hands in despair.  perlreftut is only 1/6 as
> long, and many people still consider it too long.
> I'd suggest that you write a 2000-word brief introduction that
> discusses the very basics, and has a reference to your longer guide at
> the end.

You raise a good point.  Different people have different goals when they
consult the man pages.  Some look at the 70,000 lines of core pod
documentation and balk at wading through all that.  I look at it and
think "This is great stuff - give me more!".  

Length doesn't imply quality, but perltoot, weighing in at about 10,000
words, is one of the best tutorials I have ever read. At least part of the
reason for perltoot's success is the wealth of examples and concrete
explanations within, and these devices use up words. 

This doesn't help the folks who want a quick start, however. I partially
addressed the length problem by breaking the tutorial into basic and
advanced sections, but the basic section is probably still too much for
this purpose. I'll look into distilling the basic section into a quick
start guide.


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