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Perl For Dummies, 4th Edition

Paul Hoffman

ISBN: 978-1-118-08518-9 May 2011 408 Pages


In the days before personal computers, BASIC was the easy programming language to learn, and serious programmers learned FORTRAN or COBOL to do “real work.” Today, many people have discovered that Perl is both a great beginning programming language and one that enables them to write powerful programs with little effort.

If you’re interested in discovering how to program (or how others program), Perl For Dummies, 4th Edition, is for you. If you already know something about programming (but not about Perl), this book is also for you. If you’re already an expert programmer, you’re still welcome to read this book; you can just skip the basic stuff (you never know what kind of new tips and tricks you’ll pick up).

This reference guide shows you how to use Perl under many different operating systems, such as UNIX, many flavors of Windows (Windows 95/98, Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows Me, and Windows XP), and Macintosh OS 9 and OS X; in fact, Perl runs on many more operating systems than these.

Here's a sampling of what Perl For Dummies, 4th Edition, has to offer:

  • Installing Perl on various platforms
  • Nailing down the basics of building Perl programs
  • Working with text and numbers
  • Constructing lists and working with them
  • Creating conditionals and loops
  • Delving into more advanced features such as operators and functions
  • Reading and writing files and directories
  • Using subroutines for modularity
  • Demystifying Web server programs
  • Creating your own Internet clients

The Perl programming language enables you to write fully working computer programs with just a few steps. It’s particularly good at common programming tasks, such as reading and writing text files, but it also excels at reducing the work that programmers have to do. Perl For Dummies, 4th Edition, shows you how to do all of that and how to modify programs to your heart’s content. After all, one of the common phrases in the world of Perl programmers is, “There's more than one way to do it.”


Part I: Getting Started with Perl.

Chapter 1: Perl’s Place in the Programming World.

Chapter 2: Running Perl on Your Computer.

Chapter 3: Diving into the Guts of Perl.

Chapter 4: A Perl Program Tour, Times Two.

Part II: The Basic Perl Programming Ingredients.

Chapter 5: Terrific Text.

Chapter 6: Nifty Numbers.

Chapter 7: Learning to Love Lists and Hashes.

Chapter 8: Creating Cool Conditionals and Lovely Loops.

Chapter 9: Doing Advanced Stuff with Operators and Functions.

Part III: The Nuts and Bolts of Perl.

Chapter 10: The Files Go In, The Files Go Out.

Chapter 11: Beyond File and Directory Basics.

Chapter 12: Stringing Along: Pattern Matching and Regular Expressions.

Chapter 13: Looking Like a Pro: Subroutines, Imported Code, and Graceful Exits.

Part IV: Advanced Perl Demystified.

Chapter 14: Perl and CGI: Web Server Programs Demystified.

Chapter 15: Perl Gets Cozy with the Web, E-Mail, and the Rest of the Internet.

Chapter 16: Using Perl as a Gateway to XML and Web Services.

Chapter 17: Dancing with Databases.

Chapter 18: Controlling Your Computer from Perl.

Chapter 19: Object-Oriented Perl.

Part V: The Part of Tens.

Chapter 20: Ten Guidelines for Programming with Style.

Chapter 21: Ten Really Short, Really Useful Perl Programs.

Part VI: Appendix.

Appendix: The Great Perl Reference.


Sample programs featured in Perl For Dummies, 4th Edition