Before I buy this book, I was reading the reviews in this site and I was particularly concerned about the requirement of an UNIX-based OS. Since my only workstation is a PC running Windows, I was very uncertain about buying this book, despite the great review.
Now, listen up.
-I only know the basics of C++ programming;
-I do not know anything about UNIX OS;
-This book help me understand enough about Perl to write my own CGI scripts and run them on the Internet!!! (I've got 3 forums running now and several voting sections!)
If you are a pure Windows user, like myself, but would like to learn the basics of Perl, get this book, period!
Now the cons: As mentioned with so many reviews, this book is very brief. Although I was stuck in chapter for 1 week (!!!), I "fly" through the rest of the chapters in 2-3 days! The biggest problem I find is the lack of adequate explanation for each operators, regular expressions, etc. When writing my own CGI, I have to continuously look for alternative sources of Perl references to clear up my queries and help me to understand a few particular properties of Perl.
For example, I have to use the s///; and the tr///; many times in my scripts, but without extensive understanding of all their properties, I find it "crippling" to my work.
Enough said. For an introduction to Perl, I would give this book 5 stars. If you hunger for much more information, like myself, get this book first, before trying out the lastest Programming Perl (3rd Edition).