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Perl Refreshments 

The following pages comprise a set of 'notes' that I hope will be useful to programmers wanting to learn how to use Perl. They are basically things I've wanted to reinforce for myself.

The depth and scope of these pages is minimal - there are many excellent resources if you want to get further and deeper. But my hope is to give you enough to pique your interest, and show you why Perl is still popular.

I've been programming Perl for a couple of decades, but do not consider myself anywhere near an expert. Yes, I've produced several web sites for clients that require programming done on a server. I've used MySQL and Perl to make some pretty complex and lengthy programs. Written Perl, that writes JavaScript, that writes HTML. But I don't code every day, and always needed some refreshing during a project. So essentially these pages are - refreshments.

If you already have some programming experience, all the better. Most of this will make some sense for you - just a matter of learning 'the Perl way'. In Perl there is a common saying: 'TIMTOWTDI' (Tim Toady) - 'There is more than one way to do it.'

If you are completely new to programming, this may be a bit of a stretch for you. This is not a beginning programming resource. You should already know how to print 'Hello world.' to your screen. However, you should at least go over a few pages to see if it appeals to. You may be back.

The longer I use Perl, the more I like it. When PHP first became popular I thought I had to get on top of that. But after a short time, I realized that everything I wanted to do in PHP I could do (usually better) in Perl. So for me, Perl offers a huge, endless toolbox that can do or fix anything I've ever had to do. But it may not be for you.

I program on an iMac so Perl is already installed (as well as python, Apache web server, awk) plus the whole Unix toolbox of goodies. A shell window is always open and I spend half my time in it.

Most flavours of Linux also have Perl installed by default. You will have to find your own Perl package if you run a Windows machine - I would recommend ActiveState.

For these refreshments you don't need a web server - all these scripts will be run in your terminal / shell window.

There are dozens of web sites that offer Perl tutorials (I know because I use some of them), but I still wanted something written the way I think. If you think similar to me (poor you), you might find these pages helpful.

MouthBreather

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Arrays

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Hashes

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References

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Strings

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Loops

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Sorting

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Searching

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Directories and Files

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Trick or Treat

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