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Should I Learn Perl?

Is it worth it?



5:12 pm on Oct 16, 2001 (gmt 0)

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Hi everyone,

Rcjordan suggested that I learn Perl and get into databases, what are the advantages and benefits from this? Are there any disadvantages?

Positive and negative comments please.

5:47 pm on Oct 16, 2001 (gmt 0)

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Of all the languages you could sit down and learn I would pick 2 - php and perl with perl being the first choice.

perl is exteremly flexible and powerful. For example: this entire forum is written in perl.You can also build shopping carts and all manner of other applications.

Go for it.


12:31 pm on Oct 17, 2001 (gmt 0)

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Thanks Oilman,

Am I right in thinking that PHP is virtually the same as Perl? What's the difference?

12:53 pm on Oct 17, 2001 (gmt 0)

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My advice would be to go for PHP if you're not already a programmer and Perl if you are. If you are going for web applications that is.

Perl and PHP have (very) similar syntax - but the're not the same thing.

The main differences are:

Perl is a more general language - you can do pretty much anything in perl. Write device drivers*, windowing environments, routines to automate almost anything, using TK complex applications can be built. It is currently interpreted (meaning it is turned into machine code line by line on the fly) but thats set to change with Java style byte code (semi-compiled) capabilities in Verson 6 ... soon.

PHP is designed to be used in web environments - though again more can be done with it. For someone coming from HTML to web applications it will be a lot easier. Code is embedded in HTML basically .. so its much closer to basic web development than Perl.

In summary - Perl you make a little program that generates html, PHP you make html that has a little program in it ;)

Well lots to digest there :) Either way these languages are a fantastic choice and both have a massive future.

* disclaimer just because you can doesn't mean you should, C would be a better choice for these :)

1:33 pm on Oct 17, 2001 (gmt 0)

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Personally I'd recommend learning Java (not javascript, that's different), as for the disadvantage of learning any langauge, it can take quite a bit of time. The main reason I'd recommend java over perl or php is once you learn the langauge you can use it for more than just dynamic web-sites and such (applets or applications and such are possible). I'm pretty confident someone will lob rotten tomatoes or at least an old shoe at this post though.


2:18 pm on Oct 17, 2001 (gmt 0)

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Ok then,

Thats one person says Perl, another says PHP and another says Java! I was pretty impressed with the fact that this forum is made with Perl and so I think I'll learn that.

Has anyone any suggestions on books I could get to learn Perl? (Bearing in mind I'm a 15 year old student.)


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