Learning perl (was: Let's organise a free teach-in)

Denny london.pm at metamathics.org
Fri Feb 16 21:32:23 GMT 2007

On Fri, 2007-02-16 at 20:16 +0000, Jonathan Stowe wrote:
> What I'd be more interested in would be how and why people here learned
> Perl.  

I learnt Perl 'at the coalface', with the very patient help of the
residents in #linpeople on what was irc.linpeople.org (now
irc.freenode.net).  A dishonourable mention should go here to the
residents of #perl on the same network, who were almost enough to put me
off the language and everything to do with it (you may now speculate on
whether this might have been for the best of everyone else concerned).

The reason I needed to learn Perl with nobody and nothing around to help
me in person was that I took on a research assistant job at the Open Uni
in my final summer holiday during my degree (at DMU-MK, across the road
from the OU).  I ended up hacking on and extending Slash, when the
version number was 0.3-pre and the support consisted of Rob Malda saying
"If you email me about this code I will blacklist you", plus a mailing
list of about a dozen people trying to work out how to even get it to
run, let alone do anything useful (fsvo 'useful').

I'm never quite sure whether learning Perl from the code written by
someone else while they were learning Perl was an incredibly bad idea,
or as good a way as any.


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