Programming Books

23 Excellent Free Books to Learn Perl

11. The Perl Reference Guide by Johan Vromans

The Perl Reference GuideThe Perl Reference Guide is a concise book that examines Perl syntax, variables, literals, operators and precedence, statements, subroutines, packages and modules.

Later chapters cover object oriented programming, functions (arithmetic, conversion, string, array and hash, search and replace), input/output, and more.

The author does not specify a specific license, but the book can be reproduced, printed and distributed freely for non-profit purposes.

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12. Learning Perl the Hard Way by Allen B. Downey

Learning Perl the Hard WayLearning Perl the Hard Way is a book for people who already know how to program in another language, but have not previously developed in Perl. It tries to get through the basics as quickly as possible, and how to do fun things. It emphasizes good programming style in Perl.

Learning Perl the Hard Way has chapters on:

  • Arrays and Scalars – describes the statements and operators needed to read command-line arguments, define and invoke subroutines, parse parameters, and read the contents of files.
  • Regular Expressions – covers pattern matching, anchors, quantifiers, alternation, capture sequences, minimal matching, extended patterns, operators, and subroutine semantics.
  • Hashes – with sections on stack operators, queue operators, hashes, frequency table, sort operator, checking whether an element is a member of a set, references to subroutines, hashes as parameters, markov generator, and generating random text.
  • Objects – goes through packages, the bless operator, methods, constructors, printing objects, and heaps.
  • Modules – examines variable-length codes, the frequency table, creating a new module, assembling the Huffman tree, inheritance, and more.
  • Callbacks and pipes.

Learning Perl the Hard Way is a free book available under the GNU Free Documentation License.

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13. Embedding Perl in HTML with Mason by Dave Rolsky, Ken Williams

Embedding Perl in HTML with MasonThe Embedding Perl in HTML with Mason book documents the HTML::Mason framework in detail, including chapters on component syntax, Mason object APIs, a sample site walkthrough, recipes, and details on Mason’s advanced features and how to use them.

The book shows individuals how to create large, complex, dynamically driven web sites that look good and are a snap to maintain. You’ll learn how to visualize multiple Mason-based solutions to any given problem and select among them. The book covers the latest line of Mason development 1.1x, which has many new features, including line number reporting based on source files, sub-requests, and easier use as a CGI.

This book is published under the Open Publication License.

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14. CGI Programming on the World Wide Web by Shishir Gundavaram

CGI Programming on the World Wide WebThis book introduces the reader to a variety of applications that serve as models for CGI scripts. Complete applications in the book include an animated clock, a search tool, a survey, a quiz program, a game, a gateway to Usenet News, and an appointment calendar based on a clickable imagemap.

It includes forms, server side includes, hypermedia documents, multiple form interaction as well as advanced and creative CGI applications. It also teaches the reader how to debug and test CGI programs.

This book is out of print, but it has been made available online through the O’Reilly Open Books Project, with “open” copyright. There is a 2nd edition in paperback available to buy.

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15. Web Client Programming with Perl by Clinton Wong

Web Client Programming with PerlWeb Client Programming with Perl shows you how to extend scripting skills to the Web. This book teaches you the basics of how browsers communicate with servers and how to write your own customized Web clients to automate common tasks. It is intended for those who are motivated to develop software that offers a more flexible and dynamic response than a standard Web browser.

A web client is an application that communicates with a web server, using Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP).

This books helps developers learn how to:

  • Automate repetitive queries on the Web.
  • Detect broken hyperlinks on your site.
  • Write simple “robots” that traverse hyperlinks across a site, and across the Web in general.

Most of the examples in this book use Perl. The book does not teach Perl, but the techniques used in the book should be easily followed by anyone with some programming background and can be adapted to whatever language you choose.

The book is licensed under a Creative Commons license.

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Next page: Page 4 – Perl 6 at a Glance and more books

Pages in this article:
Page 1 – Modern Perl and more books
Page 2 – Impatient Perl and more books
Page 3 – The Perl Reference Guide and more books
Page 4 – Perl 6 at a Glance and more books
Page 5 – Perl 5 Internals and more books


All books in this series:

Free Programming Books
AdaALGOL-like programming language, extended from Pascal and other languages
AgdaDependently typed functional language based on intuitionistic Type Theory
ArduinoInexpensive, flexible, open source microcontroller platform
AssemblyAs close to writing machine code without writing in pure hexadecimal
AwkVersatile language designed for pattern scanning and processing language
BashShell and command language; popular both as a shell and a scripting language
BASICBeginner’s All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code
CGeneral-purpose, procedural, portable, high-level language
C++General-purpose, portable, free-form, multi-paradigm language
C#Combines the power and flexibility of C++ with the simplicity of Visual Basic
ClojureDialect of the Lisp programming language
ClojureScriptCompiler for Clojure that targets JavaScript
COBOLCommon Business-Oriented Language
CoffeeScriptTranscompiles into JavaScript inspired by Ruby, Python and Haskell
CoqDependently typed language similar to Agda, Idris, F* and others
CrystalGeneral-purpose, concurrent, multi-paradigm, object-oriented language
CSSCSS (Cascading Style Sheets) specifies a web page’s appearance
DGeneral-purpose systems programming language with a C-like syntax
DartClient-optimized language for fast apps on multiple platforms
DylanMulti-paradigm language supporting functional and object-oriented coding
ECMAScriptBest known as the language embedded in web browsers
EiffelObject-oriented language designed by Bertrand Meyer
ElixirRelatively new functional language running on the Erlang virtual machine
ErlangGeneral-purpose, concurrent, declarative, functional language
F#Uses functional, imperative, and object-oriented programming methods
FactorDynamic stack-based programming language
ForthImperative stack-based programming language
FortranThe first high-level language, using the first compiler
GoCompiled, statically typed programming language
GroovyPowerful, optionally typed and dynamic language
HaskellStandardized, general-purpose, polymorphically, statically typed language
HTMLHyperText Markup Language
IconWide variety of features for processing and presenting symbolic data
JArray programming language based primarily on APL
JavaGeneral-purpose, concurrent, class-based, object-oriented, high-level language
JavaScriptInterpreted, prototype-based, scripting language
JuliaHigh-level, high-performance language for technical computing
KotlinMore modern version of Java
LabVIEWDesigned to enable domain experts to build power systems quickly
LaTeXProfessional document preparation system and document markup language
LispUnique features - excellent to study programming constructs
LogoDialect of Lisp that features interactivity, modularity, extensibility
LuaDesigned as an embeddable scripting language
MarkdownPlain text formatting syntax designed to be easy-to-read and easy-to-write
Objective-CObject-oriented language that adds Smalltalk-style messaging to C
OCamlThe main implementation of the Caml language
PascalImperative and procedural language designed in the late 1960s
PerlHigh-level, general-purpose, interpreted, scripting, dynamic language
PHPPHP has been at the helm of the web for many years
PostScriptInterpreted, stack-based and Turing complete language
PrologA general purpose, declarative, logic programming language
PureScriptSmall strongly, statically typed language compiling to JavaScript
PythonGeneral-purpose, structured, powerful language
QMLHierarchical declarative language for user interface layout - JSON-like syntax
RDe facto standard among statisticians and data analysts
RacketGeneral-purpose, object-oriented, multi-paradigm, functional language
RakuMember of the Perl family of programming languages
RubyGeneral purpose, scripting, structured, flexible, fully object-oriented language
RustIdeal for systems, embedded, and other performance critical code
ScalaModern, object-functional, multi-paradigm, Java-based language
SchemeA general-purpose, functional language descended from Lisp and Algol
ScratchVisual programming language designed for 8-16 year-old children
SQLAccess and manipulate data held in a relational database management system
Standard MLGeneral-purpose functional language characterized as "Lisp with types"
SwiftPowerful and intuitive general-purpose programming language
TclDynamic language based on concepts of Lisp, C, and Unix shells
TeXMarkup and programming language - create professional quality typeset text
TypeScriptStrict syntactical superset of JavaScript adding optional static typing
ValaObject-oriented language, syntactically similar to C#
VHDLHardware description language used in electronic design automation
VimLPowerful scripting language of the Vim editor
XMLRules for defining semantic tags describing structure ad meaning

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