Media praise for Learning Perl

Have a blog? Join our Reader Review Program

"Using it {Learning Perl} as your beginner's cookbook, you'll soon be concocting Perl scripts that save you time and drudgery." --Stephan Somogyi, Mac World, July 2001

"With its multitude of clear examples which help to hammer home the many points made and set exercises at the end of each chapter, it builds knowledge rather than drowning the reader with information as many other books seem to doeit truly is a great introduction to a language which is enthusiastically supported by developers and Webcoders worldwide. Well worth a read."

"instructive, while being easy to read, and packed with a lot of good examples."

"Learning Perl is the best of that genre (in-depth explorations of the Perl language)" --David Wall,

Learning Perl 2nd edition Top Computer Books for 2000

"a must-have for anyone interested in learning Perl" --SLUG Reviews April 2000

"It does more than merely introduce the reader to the language. It also does an excellent job of conveying the philosophy of Perl. Let me expand on that, while reading this book the reader really gets a good sense of how to do things the Perl Way and in my case believe that way is better, easier and cooler than just about any other programming language out there.. an excellent introduction to Perl and since it has left me wanting for more I'll continue to learn more about this wonderful language. More than anything else this book has given me a solid enough foundation in Perl for me to experiment on my own by writing programs that are at least personally useful, and be able to easily understand the more complicated subjects discussed in the Perl Cookbook and others." -- Josh Borroughs, Alaska Perl Mongers, Feb 2000

"I have read (or started to read) EZone's Perl book, Selena Sol's Perl Book, among others. All were dry, cumbersome, and lack continuity when compared to your *awesome* Introduction to Perl book. I am having the toughest time putting it down. It reads like a Clancy novel where everything comes together as you read more. I do not normally send fan letters, but *WOW* you guys rock." --Peter Tyrrell, Sr Tech Architect, DataStone Systems (

"This is a straightforward, no-nonsense book, ideal for the Perl scriptor or for simply getting more from a system without the complexity or cost of heavyweight development...Learning Perlis definitely worth a closer look." --Andrew Morris, Computing May 21, 1998

"If you are a Web site guru or a resident hacker but haven't played with Perl, Learning Perl, 2nd edition is for you...If you are curious about Perl, check out Learning Perl. It is a terrific introduction to the language that will serve as a good reference book once you have read it through." --Brad Morrey, Infoworld, August 3, 1998

"If you are at all interested in creating your own scripts for a more dynamic and interactive website, pick up Learning Perl, 2nd edition. You won't be sorry." --Doug Reed, CompuNotes

"If you're looking for an introduction to Perl, look no further. To continue in the long line of great computer books, O'Reilly brings the enormously popular book, Learning Perl if you'll be programming Perl, you need this book!." --Eric Sun, dotcomma, June 2000

(Quotes for first edition)

"All-in-all, Learning Perl is a fine introductory text that can dramatically ease moving into the world of Perl. It fills a niche previously filled only by tutorials taught by a small number of Perl experts. The first 34 pages comprise an appetizer. A script is evolved, growing in sophistication...[exposing] Perl's power in a way that could easily motivate a skeptic to continue reading the subsequent material in an effort to master its content.... The UNIX community too often lacks the kind of tutorial that this book offers." --Rob Kolstad, ;login:, January/February 1994

"Intended as 'a gentle introduction to Perl' -- the Practical Extraction and Report Language of the Unix world, a powerful set of tools to manipulate text. If you're going to spend much time on a Unix operating system, chances are you will want to learn how to use Perl." --Book Review, ISOC News , November 1993

"Inevitably this book will be compared to the other Nutshell text -
Programming Perl. For those looking for a gentler introduction to Perl, Learning Perl would be a good choice, perhaps with a copy of the Perl manpage for completeness.
Learning Perl does not teach all there is to know about Perl (and this was not an aim of the author) but the material covered is presented well. Many useful examples illustrate the text and in particular the chapter on regular expressions is excellent. Particularly heartening to see are the many exercises complete with solutions and even additional comments. Also useful are the examples available by anonymous ftp. The book is written in a quirky style (matched with a Foreword by Larry Wall) which will not suit everyone. However this does not detract from the content and this book can be recommended as a basic introduction. Those who are already experts in similar languages or tools may wish to chose Programming Perl for its more advanced treatment." --Harvey Richardson, Thinking Machines Corporation, October 1994

"You have your Web site up. Congratulations! Now you want to add a user feedback page or a guest book, or maybe you want to require users to register before they can download your software. Enter Perl. If you are a Web site guru or a resident hacker but haven't played with Perl Learning Perl, 2nd Edition is for you.

In this updated version of the book, authors Randal L. Schwartz and Tom Christiansen familiarize you with the language while keeping you interested with examples and background material. Learning Perl is written in a casual, first-person style that allows the authors to add their insights where appropriate and makes the book a more interesting read than your typical programming, reference, or how-to manual.

Using information in this book, I was able to set up a simple CGI script that prompted users to input data into a form and then immediately returned the results. I also wrote several Perl scripts to take care of housekeeping tasks on my Unix workstation, such as checking the contects of several Web server log files, looking for hits on particular pages, and storing that hit information in a separate text file.

Overall, I was very impressed with the book's coverage. There were complete chapters on many basic concepts such as scalar data; array and list data; file handles and operations; multiprocessing; and CGI programming. Each chapter has exercises at the end; sample solutions are in an appendix in case you get stumped or lazy.

In several places the authors suggest reviewing the Perl documentation or the more advanced O'Reilly book Programming Perl, by Larry Wall, Schwartz, and Christiansen, for more information on a particular topic. They also provide several applications for the language, but there is no question that using Perl for CGI programming is one of the language's main functions.

If you are curious about Perl, check out Learning Perl. It is a terrific introduction to the language that will serve as a good reference book once you have read it through. --Brad Morrey, "InfoWorld Electric", August 1, 1998