Pre-order Learning Perl, 7th Edition

[Now that the book has been published you don’t need to pre-order it. Just order-order it.]

Learning Perl, 7th Edition is now available for pre-order. thinks they’ll have it by the end of September. Now that you can buy the book, I’ll start posting about what’s different in the new edition. We cover up to Perl v5.24, and I think we snuck in one note about v5.26.

Advice to a new Perl user

A Learning Perl reader asked me for some advice in private email. After I typed it out I felt like posting it for everyone. He graciously let me use his questions and my answers.

1. I wish to use Perl on Windows, is it a good combination (from a career perspective)?

Although Windows can be a pain, and not just because of Perl, there are plenty of people who need to get things done on Windows. With the Win32:: modules, you can hook into the same APIs. I think you can even use Perl from Powershell.

2. Would the knowledge I’ll gain after self-training for Perl be useful for a long time?

You always have to keep learning. Perl is just a language and you can get almost anything done with it, but the more valuable thing is knowledge about the problem you’re trying to solve.

“Useful” is a harder thing to judge because it mostly depends on what you are doing. Perl can do quite a bit, but I find that “useful” is related to what non-Perl libraries I can access through Perl.

I don’t think you can go wrong at least learning Perl and practicing it for a couple of years. Some of the experience you gain there you can transfer to another language. It’s same the other way around, too, since the more experience you have as a programmer the easier new languages should be for you.

3. How does one figure out a niche for himself in this hugely spread-out world of Perl?

I find something that’s not getting done and take ownership of it. Something out there is being neglected. Just keep plugging away at something boring and unexciting. Running a local user group is good for that.

50% off Learning Perl Video Series during OSCON

During OSCON, you can get Randal’s Schwartz’s Learning Perl Video Series for $74.99 (50% off). This is the same class that Stonehenge presents to its corporate clients, based on Learning Perl (or, more correctly, the book is based on the class).

You can also get the Programming Perl ebook for $19.99 (50% the list price) when you buy it through the open source geeks promotion or by using offer code CFOSCON.

Student Workbook for Learning Perl, 2nd Edition

The Student Workbook for Learning Perl, 2nd Edition is now available for $3.99 for the DRM-free digital version, in either mobi, ePub, or PDF formats.

I wrote the first edition in 2005 as a collection of extra exercises and detailed solutions for each of the chapters in Learning Perl, then the third edition. Since 2005, we’ve released three more editions of Learning Perl. While the exercises and answers I wrote in 2005 are still good, there is new content and new features that need new exercises, including:

  • Smart matching and given-when
  • Interacting with CPAN
  • Perl 5.10+ new features

So far, this is going to be a digital-only offering, although if you’d really like a paper version, let O’Reilly know what you’d like to buy. As with any business, O’Reilly would like to offer the book in any way that will be profitable.