"Learning the fundamentals of a programming language is one thing: learning how to design and write effective programs in that language is something else entirely." What Scott Meyers wrote in the Introduction to Effective C++ is just as true for Perl.
Perl is a very high level languagea VHLL for the acronym-aware. It incorporates high-level functionality like regular expressions, networking, and process management into a context-sensitive grammar that is more "human," in a way, than that of other programming languages. Perl is a better text processing language than any other widely used computer language, or perhaps any other computer language, period. Perl is an incredibly effective scripting tool for Unix administrators, and it is the first choice of most Unix CGI scripters worldwide. Perl also supports object-oriented programming, modular software, cross-platform development, embedding, and extensibility.
There is a lot to learn about Perl.
Once you have worked your way through an introductory book or class on Perl, you have learned to write what Larry Wall, Perl's creator, fondly refers to as " baby talk." Perl baby talk is plain, direct, and verbose. It's not badyou are allowed and encouraged to write Perl in whatever style works for you.
You may reach a point at which you want to move beyond plain, direct, and verbose Perl toward something more succinct and individualistic. This book is written for people who are setting off down that path . Effective Perl Programming endeavors to teach you what you need to know to become a fluent and expressive Perl programmer. This book will provide you several different kinds of advice to help you on your way.
This is intended to be a thought-provoking book. There are subtleties to many of the examples. Anything really tricky will be explained, but a lot of other things that are simple but not always obvious will be left to stand on their own. Don't be alarmed if you find yourself puzzling something out for a while. Perl is an idiosyncratic language and in many ways is very different from other programming languages. Remember that fluency and style only come through practice and reflection, and that while learning is hard work, it is also enjoyable and rewarding .