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Re: Perl Book

If you're going to buy one book, make it the Camel book (programming PERL).  It
has a great overview of everything that is PERL and has a function reference
that is crazy handy.  It's not a breezy Sunday read but who actually sits down
and reads those books anyhow.  The Camel Book is a great reference.

Damian Conway is seriously esoteric and things by the Object-Oriented PERL
people will take you down a path that is definitely overkill for system
administrators.  If you just want to use it to script stuff and parse text
(PERL's original intention), stick to the simple books like the Camel, maybe
the LLama, and PERL for System Administrators.  That's more than enough to get
someone started hammering out scripts to do things on their systems.  You can
still use CPAN modules and other people's code without jumping into the guts
and bolts of OOP right away.

Once you have a handy PERL book, find some scripts online that do something
similar to what you want to do and start hacking them away.  It's the quickest
way to learn a language and you can go back and read the books later for the
fundamentals (it will make more sense that way if you're not a programmer now
since concepts like scope and references don't make sense to people unless
they've encoutered the problems that make them necessary in the first place).

Many sysadmins use shell scripts to do stuff.  If you understand PERL and have a
few example shell scripts handy, you can learn shell scripting fairly easily. 
PERL is more handy in more areas of life than shell scripting from my
experience.  People may cite the overhead of loading PERL but it's really
neglible if you're doing it every ten minutes from a cron and a little more
overhead is easily worth it for all of the cool things you can do from PERL
without having to pipe stuff through sed,awk,grep,sort,uniq,cut,etc.

Just my .02USD but I am a sincere PERL bigot.

Quoting Ray Holtz <rayholtz@hotmail.com>:

> Ok I know i just need to ask one man this question, but I thought I'd throw
> it out to everyone.
> What is a good book to learn Perl from?  I want to learn it for system
> administration scripting, like vbscript (yes shudder if you want to) is for
> windows.  I am a still a beginner for programming.  Any suggestions?
> Thanks,
> Ray
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Ken Hagan
Technology Consultant
Alacrity-IT, Inc

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