Teach Yourself Perl



SAMS Teach Yourself Perl in 24 Hours, Third Edition will guide you through Perl in a series of step-by-step lessons that provides clear instruction and explanation every step of the way. You’ll learn about Perl as a computer programming language with a variety of applications from the simple to the complex. Some sample applications of Perl include extracting information from text files, converting text files, creating databases, creating web programs, and a host of others. You’ll move from basic to increasingly complex tasks in Perl as you go through the Teach Yourself Perl lesson plan.

Teach Yourself Perl will provide you with an excellent working introduction and overview of Perl, plus additional resources to continue your learning. By reading this book, you will learn the basics of Perl programming in twenty-four one-hour lessons. In addition to learning the basics, Teach Yourself Perl will provide you with a preview of advanced topics in Perl programming and various applications of Perl. This easy-to-read and informative book is divided into three sections, including Perl fundamentals, advanced features, and applying Perl. Each hour of instruction is followed by a frequently-asked-questions and workshop section to reinforce your knowledge and answer any questions that may come up during the course of your lessons.


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Lesson Previews

Part I: Perl Fundamentals

In Part I, you’ll learn the basics of getting started with Perl, from program installation to creating your own functions.

Hour 1 covers installation and basics of using the program.

Hour 2 will guide you through literal numbers and strings, scalar variables, and operators. Like any language, you must first learn the building blocks of language before you are able to use it. In the same way you had to learn the alphabet in order to write in English, you’ll need to learn the Perl alphabet in order to teach yourself Perl. In the same hour, you will learn the Perl “alphabet” and basic Perl operators.

Hour 3 builds upon what you learned in the previous hour, providing you with detailed instruction in controlling the operations and commands that you began learning in Hour 2. For example, you will learn to use the "if" and "logical" functions to determine whether certain portions of the program run depending on certain variables. You’ll use "while", "until" and "for" operations to loop as many times as necessary based on the variables you set. A simple example of an "if" command is the instruction to print "happy birthday" only if today is a particular date. The "while" command functions similarly, executing code only while certain values remain true.

In Hours 4, 5, and 6, you will learn about lists and arrays, the building blocks of Perl. You’ll learn about opening and closing files and defensive programming. You’ll move on to study construction of regular expressions and pattern matching and substitution. You’ll teach yourself Perl through practice exercises that reinforce the skills you’ve learned.

In Hour 7, you’ll learn about hashes – the third basic data type in Perl – (the first two are scalars and arrays). Hashes are useful for record storage retrieval, and your Hour 7 exercise will guide you through using hashes to create a sample client database.

Moving on to Hour 8, you’ll learn how to define and call your own functions. A function is simple a set of code statements that work together to do work and return a value. A simple explanation of a function is "input in, result out." After concluding Hour 8, you will have learned the basics of Perl programming. In Part II, you’ll teach yourself Perl advanced features.

Part II: Advanced Features

You’ll begin Part II with a thorough understanding of the basics of Perl programming, reinforced by the exercises, workshops, and FAQ included with each section.

You’ll have a solid background for moving into advanced functions and operators in Hour 9, and in Hours 10 and 11, you’ll teach yourself Perl advanced functions in files and directories, and system interaction. Sample exercises include formatting a report and renaming multiple files at once. You’ll also learn about Perl’s portability – its ability to function seamlessly under architecture supported by Perl, including VMS, Unix, Mac, and MS-DOS.

In Hour 12, you’ll move on to command line tools, including debugging, followed by references and structures in Hour 13.

Hours 14 and 15 introduce you to modules and permanence – the ability to retain data once the program ends. Finally, you’ll learn the history of Perl, next steps, and resources for building upon the basics that you’ve learned so far in Teach Yourself Perl.

Part III: Applying Perl

In Hours 17 through 19, you’ll learn about writing modules, object primers, and data processing. Exercises in these sections include processing file information requests and classing file information. You’ll deal with data tables and XML data.

In Hour 20, you’ll learn about Perl as a glue language and create your own desktop weather application.

Hours 21 through 23 will introduce you to CGI – Common Gateway Interface. You’ll learn all about how the web works, and how to write programs for the web. You’ll learn how HTML forms like order forms, email forms, shopping carts, and guest books work. You’ll understand how HTML and CGI forms interact, and know how to make your CGI programs more secure and make data less vulnerable to tainting.

In the final lesson, Hour 24, you’ll learn about manipulating HTTP and cookies – bits of information passing between the web browser and the CGI program. Cookies help retrieve and store data, like browsing history and passwords.

Teach Yourself Perl provides the best comprehensive overview of Perl, and gives you powerful tools and resources to practice and further your knowledge. Take advantage of this powerful tool to teach yourself Perl in a simple, structured, hourly lesson format.

You can see excerpts from this book accessing the page: Teach Yourself Perl where you can see free preview of the "Teach Yourself Perl" or subscribe to it in order to have access at the whole thing. Check it out and see if this useful book is the one for you.


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