[Melbourne-pm] perl is a terrible language to learn

Jacinta Richardson jarich at perltraining.com.au
Wed Sep 17 18:42:45 PDT 2008

G'day John,

Perl isn't always a terrible language to learn.  If you're already familiar with
programming principles, or if you're learning in a structured manner with
someone who can give you feedback and help each step of the way; it's an easy,
fun and beautiful language to learn.  At Perl Training Australia we get people
with a wide range of programming skills on our courses, and most of them really
enjoy the experience and pick up Perl pretty quickly.

On the other hand, if you're learning:
	* how to program in general
	* how to set up your system (Apache etc)
	* CGI programming requirements (not required for Perl at first)

AND Perl, on your own without an expert to hand, on a poorly documented system
(xampp) I can imagine that you might feel turned off.  This isn't really Perl's

I'm glad to hear that you're enjoying learning Java.  I imagine it was easier to
install than Apache, xammp and Perl together.  I imagine that you have a better
beginner's guide too.  Java's a fine language to learn on your own as a first
time language, although I strongly recommend you find a good Java user group
(even if it's not local) because I'm sure that you'll still hit problems and
snags that don't make sense.  In addition to a user group you may also find some
benefit in joining Java Junkies: http://www.javajunkies.org/

Once you've learned how to program in general, and you are more comfortable with
your system, I recommend having another look at Python and Perl.  All three
languages solve an almost equivalent problem space, they just have different
approaches.  I'm not saying that Perl should be your one true love when it comes
to programming.  But to be a better programmer, it's a good idea to have at
least some skill in multiple languages, just so you understand how those tools work.

If you expect to find Perl to still be hard to learn, Perl Training Australia
offers a 5% discount to Melbourne Perl Mongers who come on our courses.  ;)
Even if not, I highly recommend downloading our course notes and working through
them (http://perltraining.com.au/notes.html).  None of our exercises require
knowing anything about Apache, xampp or CGI programming.

All the best,


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