Thirteen years ago, I was working as a contract employee in a large financial house. We worked on the Windows platform, and my boss needed me to catalog the internal URLs visited by our company’s substantial web application. Active State Perl was around then, so I installed that, and started learning Perl. Of the language’s great feature, I found hashes and the regular expressions easy to use. To store and then report on each visited URL, I designed a hash, so that each key was a URL, and its value was an integer that kept the number of visits to that URL.
Over the past ten years, I have used Perl on and off but never long enough to learn it well. As a result of our re-writing our water billing programs, that has all changed.
I have free PDF version of Higher Order Perl, but also needed an introductory book that could also be used as a dictionary. That book is Beginning Perl by Curtis “Ovid” Poe.
I have not gotten through the book yet, but I should have started reading it before asking questions on stackoverflow.com . The book covers a lot of things I found initially puzzling. I can also use the book as a dictionary, as opposed to a tutorial, and trying out something and looking up its details is how I learn best.
The book is well, written. It is paced well, points out pitfalls, and has plenty of examples. I like Poe’s writing style. He clearly knows a lot, but does not hit the reader over the head with this fact.