Perl Programming for the Absolute Beginner

ISBN-10: 1598632221

ISBN-13: 9781598632224

Edition: 2006

List price: $29.99
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The Perl programming language is flexible, open source, free, and widely available. "Perl Programming for the Absolute Beginner" is perfect for readers who want to learn programming using a simple language or for current programmers looking to pick up Perl. Using a unique, games-based instructional approach, the book teaches readers the basics of Perl programming, demonstrating the validating the techniques taught through the development of simple computer games. The book shows readers how to execute Perl scripts on Windows, Linux, and Macintosh and covers the latest version of the language, 5.8. All source code used in the book is available on the accompanying CD-Rom.
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Book details

List price: $29.99
Copyright year: 2006
Publisher: Course Technology
Publication date: 6/30/2006
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 400
Size: 7.50" wide x 9.25" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.980
Language: English

Jerry Lee Ford, Jr. is an author, educator, and an IT professional with over 19 years of experience in information technology, including roles as an automation analyst, technical manager, technical support analyst, automation engineer, and security analyst. He has a Masters in Business Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. Jerry is also the author or co-author of 28 other books including Microsoft Visual Basic 2005 Express Edition Programming for the Absolute Beginner, Microsoft WSH and VBScript programming for the Absolute Beginner, and Microsoft Windows Shell Script Programming for the Absolute Beginner. He has over five years of experience as an adjunct instructor teaching networking courses in Information Technology. He lives in Hanover, Virginia with his wife, Mary, and their children Alexander, William, and Molly.

Introducing Perl
Perl Basics
Project Preview: The Perl Humor Script
Perl Scripting Overview
A Little Perl History
Where's Perl 6?
What Can Perl Scripts Do?
The Programming Language, the Interpreter, and Scripts
Working from the Command Prompt
Accessing the Command Prompt on Windows XP
Accessing the Command Prompt on Mac OS X
Accessing the Command Prompt in Unix and Linux
Not Everything Smells Like Roses
Determining if Perl Is Installed on Your Computer
Where to Find Perl
Where to Find Perl's Documentation
Man Pages
ActiveState Documentation
Writing Your First Perl Scripts
Creating Perl One-liners
Writing Your First Perl Script File
How Perl Executes Your Script
Back to the Perl Humor Script
Designing the Game
The Final Result
Working with Strings, Numbers, and Operators
Project Preview: The Story of William the Great
Perl's Free-Wheeling Approach to Code Structure
Perl's Flexible View of Data
Working with Strings
Working with Numbers
Converting Scalar Data
Storing Data in Scalar Variables
Variable Scope
Assigning Data to Scalar Variables
Variable Interpolation
Understandings How to Work with Perl Operators
String Operators
Arithmetic Operators
Increment and Decrement Operators
Assignment Operators
Relational Operators
Logical Operators
Input and Output
Working with Standard Input
Working with Standard Output
Back to the Story of William the Great
Designing the Game
The Final Result
Mastering Key Perl Programming Constructs
Controlling Program Flow
Project Preview: The Perl Fortune Teller Game
Code Blocks
Applying Conditional Logic
Perl's View of What's True and False
Variations of the if Statement
The unless Statement
Creating More Sophisticated Conditional Logic
Working with the ?...: Conditional Operator
Creating Custom Conditional Structures
Setting Up Loops
Adding Continue Blocks to Your Loops
Loop Controls
The last Statement
The next Statement
The redo Statement
Adding Labels to Your Code Blocks and Loops
Back to the Perl Fortune Teller Game
Designing the Game
The Final Result
Working with Collections of Data
Project Preview: The Star Wars Quiz
Working with Collections of Related Data
Assigning Data to a List
Working with Arrays
Declaring an Array
Populating and Modifying Arrays with Data
Retrieving Data from an Array
Sorting Array Elements
Deleting Array Elements
Using Arrays to Populate Variables and Other Arrays
Ensuring That Array Elements Exist
Dealing with Undefined Array Elements
Creating Hashes
Adding and Deleting Hash Elements
Processing Hash Contents
Sorting Hash Values
Converting Between Arrays and Hashes
Understanding Context within Perl
Scalar Context
Numeric Context
Boolean Context
Scalar Versus List Context
Context and Lists, Arrays, and Hashes
Back to the Star Wars Quiz
Designing the Game
The Final Result
Improving Script Organization and Structure
Project Preview: The Pick a Number Game
Enhancing Script Organization
Organizing Perl Scripts Using Subroutines
Defining Subroutines
Executing Subroutines
A Template for Organizing Your Scripts and Subroutines
The Fortune Teller Game Revisited
Passing Arguments to Subroutines
Passing Data to Subroutines for Processing
Accessing Subroutine Arguments
Reassigning Subroutine Arguments
Passing Lists, Arrays, and Hashes as Arguments
Getting Data Back from Subroutines
Controlling Variable Scope
Creating Private Variables
Getting Strict with Private Variables
Creating Local Variables
Back to the Pick a Number Game
Designing the Game
The Final Result
Scope and Modules
Project Preview: The Rock, Paper, Scissors Game
Exercising Additional Control over Variable Scope
Working with Perl Modules
The Perl Library
Accessing Module Documentation
Importing Modules into Perl Scripts
Building Custom Modules
Defining a New Perl Module
Saving Your Custom Modules
Importing and Using Custom Perl Modules
Using Other People's Perl Modules
Back to the Rock, Paper, Scissors Game
Building the Clear_the_screen Module
Designing the Game
The Final Result
Advanced Topics
Regular Expressions
Project Preview: The Lottery Picker Game
Introducing Regular Expressions
Matching Simple Patterns
Creating Simple Patterns
Shorter Pattern Footprints
Working with Metacharacters
Matching Patterns at the Beginning of a String
Matching Patterns at the End of a String
Matching One or Fewer Times
Matching Any Single Character
Matching Zero or More Instances
Matching One or More Instances
Matching a Range of Instances
Matching Alternative Patterns
Matching Any of a Collection of Characters
Other Regular Expression Tips and Tricks
Using Patterns to Replace Data
Performing Character Translation
Handling Differences in Case
Matching Data Stored in Lists
Back to the Lottery Picker Game
Designing the Game
The Final Result
Project Preview: The Tic Tac Toe Game
Understanding Perl Script Errors
Syntax Errors
Runtime Errors
Logical Errors
Examining Perl Error Messages
Tracing Logical Flow with the Print Function
Using the Perl Debugger to Track Down Pesky Bugs
Starting the Debugger
Executing Additional Code Statements
Resuming or Restarting Execution
Tracing Logic Flow
Quitting the Debugger
Locating Your Position within the Script
Displaying and Modifying Variable Values
Displaying Help Information
Executing any Perl Statement
Setting and Working with Breakpoints
Using the Perl Debugger as an Interactive Test Environment
Using a Graphical Perl IDE/Debugger
Tips for Writing Cleaner Code
Document What Your Script Is Doing
Enable Warnings
Add Use Strict
Keep Things Simple
Break Things Down into Subroutines
Back to the Tic Tac Toe Game
Designing the Game
The Final Result
Perl Scripting Examples
CGI Scripting
Creating a Basic CGI File
Executing Perl CGI Scripts
Working with the Module
Creating Reports and Documents
Opening Files for Reading
Reacting to Failures when Opening Files
Reading File Contents
Opening Files for Writing
Writing File Output
Closing Files when Done
Managing Files and Directories
Managing Files
Managing Directories
PerlScript and the WSH
What's on the Companion Website?
The Book's Source Code
Advanced Text Editors
JGsoft EditPad Lite
JGsoft EditPad Pro
Perl Editors
Perl Code Editor
Perl Builder 2.0
DzSoft Perl Editor
What Next?
Recommended Reading
Locating Perl Resources Online
The Perl Directory at
The Comprehensive Perl Archive Network
The Perl Foundation
Perl Mailing Lists
Yahoo! Groups: perl.beginners
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