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  1. #1
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    Perl good to learn?

    I just ordered a book to learn some Perl, and I'm starting to learn the basics.

    Is it good to learn as much of it as possible? Or should I be looking more into like C/C#/C++ or something else?

    Don't say PHP, as that will be learned by me more and more. I might wait for PHP6.
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  2. #2
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    Depends on what you want to use the language for, nobody can really tell you unless you specify what you seek to accomplish.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Annex View Post
    Depends on what you want to use the language for, nobody can really tell you unless you specify what you seek to accomplish.
    Is it worth just knowing? Is it good for general tasks? Or is there a better language to learn to do general things here and there?
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  4. #4
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    it cant hurt

    but for real : yea, why not -- programmers are in high demand, and if you can program Perl you should be in good shape

    Best wishes

  5. #5
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    Perl is great as a unix shell programming language. But it's days as a web based language are pretty much over.

    So if I had to choose what language to learn between say Perl and C I'd choose C. Well probably c++ or if I was looking for something a little easier probably Java. That's from my experience I know C, C++ and Java and I feel Java is a much more logical start compared to C if you're doing algorithms and such and learning really about programming in general.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by TonyB View Post
    Perl is great as a unix shell programming language. But it's days as a web based language are pretty much over.
    According to whom?

  7. #7
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    I wouldn't suggest picking up Perl as your first programming language. You'll develop so many bad habits.

    Stick with PHP. PHP basically is taking what's cool with Perl and adding what's good with C.

    But if you already know PHP, Perl isn't that hard to pick up.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
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    Im learning Perl right now and found a book by Elizabeth Castro "Perl and CGI For The World Wide Web". Its probably the easiest read ive ever had on a programming language. If your interested in getting started with Perl its an excellent book.. Its broken down well in small paragraphs and color coded too
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  9. #9
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    Even if you don't use it to build web apps, I've found perl pretty handy for "utility" stuff like generating reports from mysql, doing all sorts of database maintenance, automating repetitive stuff on large numbers of static files, backup scripts, etc. So I think it's worth knowing as another tool in your toolbox.

  10. #10
    Perl is dead. PHP is Perl but better, really. If you want to learn something great for deploying web applications, take a look at Ruby (On Rails) and see if it's your kind of thing.

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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by dexxtreme View Post
    According to whom?
    Well I'm not sure which statement you're responding to sooo


    Well it's quite clear very few Perl applications are being built that are web based. Some of the most popular software when Perl was going strong are now PHP based even.

    Perl however on the unix scripting side of things is still very strong. You'd be surprised how many system administrators know perl and only perl. As a result all their scripts are built in guess what perl.
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  12. #12
    Perl is definitely worth learning. It's not the "in" language right now and I have doubts of it being so again unless Perl 6 is ever finished and ends up amazing. In terms of jobs you're not likely to have people knocking down your door to write Perl for them until you've got several years of professional experience (and even it's as likely that you won't). On the unix/linux side, though, it's rare you'll come across a development or system administration job where Perl isn't handy to know.

    It's relatively quick and easy to write a small script to do about anything you need. It also can hold its own rather well for full blown application development (depending on the type of app you need, of course). I currently write Perl full time for a fairly large web and wap based commercial content management/content delivery system. The CMS that slashdot uses is also written in Perl.

  13. #13
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    I hate to say this, but I would stay away from Perl and go more with Ruby or Python.

    Perl is great, and I used it for a number of years, but Perl 6 has been in development for over 7 years. Not a very good sign.

    Python is great that it has libraries for almost anything you can think of, and the way the interpreter requires code to be written means you have to start with good code formatting skills off the hop.

    Ruby is also becoming more popular, and with the new Ruby 1.9 release, will be a lot faster as well. Ruby has borrowed a lot of great ideas from other languages, making it very easy to learn and start making applications quickly. The number of Ruby Gems is growing daily, and it's definitely a fun language to code in.

    If you are looking at this from a career standpoint, learning Java or C# would probably increase your employment opportunity chances.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    Is it worth just knowing? Is it good for general tasks? Or is there a better language to learn to do general things here and there?
    as asked by OP:
    Is it worth just knowing?
    - Definitely yes, perhaps even worth mastering

    Is it good for general tasks?
    - Perl5 excels in many departments, text processing, web applications, server daemons; from quick utility scripts to full pledge OO application ...
    - Perl5 of course is not a silver bullet esp you're talking about very specialized systems like life-support systems, embedded systems, windows GUI apps, etc..
    - or perhaps you need to define general?

    Bottomline:
    Perl is worth learning, and is worth to be another tool in your toolbox.

  15. #15
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    *******************
    Last edited by cygnusd; 12-18-2007 at 03:21 AM. Reason: *** sorry, erased, double post

  16. #16
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    Perl is my programming language of choice when it comes to web and systems related tasks and contrary to popular belief there are many successful perl shops. I know, I currently work for a Perl/C shop as an Engineer.

    My employers products are completely web based and we push about 600mbps up in http requests during peak. While I'm not naming my employer I can almost guarantee everyone here at WHT has interacted with our product at least once maybe even on accident! Don't worry, I'm talking about text ads, mostly google channel ads!

    We use Perl because it's mature, stable, fast, cpan, can have a lower memory footprint, usually produces less code, etc... then a lot of other popular languages being used on the web today.

    Once of the topic posters mentions that Perl is great for systems administration tasks which is entirely true, another reason we choose perl, our systems guys like it a lot too.

    Other large companies using Perl for front end web applications are amazon, ticketmaster, imdb, hitachi, pricegrabber, etoys, etc...

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by hycloud View Post
    I wouldn't suggest picking up Perl as your first programming language. You'll develop so many bad habits.
    As compared with the bad habits that php programmers pick up? Like not understanding memory management?

    Stick with PHP. PHP basically is taking what's cool with Perl and adding what's good with C.

    But if you already know PHP, Perl isn't that hard to pick up.
    PHP has the good parts of perl like .... and ...? Oh and the good parts of C like pointers? nope.. hrm.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by TonyB View Post
    Well I'm not sure which statement you're responding to sooo


    Well it's quite clear very few Perl applications are being built that are web based. Some of the most popular software when Perl was going strong are now PHP based even.

    Perl however on the unix scripting side of things is still very strong. You'd be surprised how many system administrators know perl and only perl. As a result all their scripts are built in guess what perl.
    You'd really be surprised at the high number of websites developed in mod_perl.. Probably more surprised at how many large, high-end mod_perl sites there are. I'm not advocating perl, I think it's a rotten language.. But it's a rotten, extremely fast, extremely powerful language.

  19. #19
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    According to some people in this thread, Perl must really be dead since all of the popular message boards, CMS programs, blog software, gallery software, and a few large portal sites are written in PHP. There is still a lot of Perl software in production, and new custom-built software is developed constantly. Just because the public doesn't always see new Perl scripts released weekly doesn't mean it isn't being used.

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