easy introduction to perl

Michael Lush mjlush at ebi.ac.uk
Fri Oct 5 11:17:08 BST 2007

Sorry to break the threading I read the digest, how do I back fit the 
message ID using pine?

>>i have been tasked with doing several presentations on perl at work,
>to people who are not at all familiar with it (or even any unix. or
>even the ms-dos cli).
>my first session will focus on the bare essentials and cpan. i have
>the cpan half of it mostly finished, and i'm working on the perl
>introduction. so far i am drilling down these points:

The first half session should focus on unix or what ever OS your using
to teach in!!!

Every programming course I've been to there are several students who 
flounder around trying to pick up how to use emacs mv cp etc etc miss all 
the simple introductions, then spend the rest of the course floundering 
round trying to understand subroutines when they missed all the stuff 
about basic types and control structures!  Then leave hateing the language 
because its 'too complex'.

I assume these are non-programmers so in the second half teach them to do 
something useful with perl using.

one basic type (variable) 
one command (print)
two control structures (while and if)
file input (<>)
simple regexe

I'm not sure what line of buisness your in but some sort of a reporting 
script would probably hit the spot,  or perhaps add in LWP::Simple
and do a bit of web scraping or add in system() and do a bit of command 
automation (people can be pathetically greatful when they learn they don't 
have to type in 100 BLAST searches from the command line!!).

Once you have motivated them, use the next session to do
* three basic types
* control structures
* subroutines
* packages
* cpan

Though to be honest I'd leave packages till later and cpan to the end of 
the course (if they have problems with command line are they really going 
to be installing CPAN modules themselfs?)

I'd then spen the time on regexes,  your not going to turn these people
into Uber-programers,  tell them what they need to know to 'get by in 
perl' and where to learn more..

Michael John Lush PhD			Tel:44-1223 492626
HUGO Gene Nomenclature Committee	Email: hgnc at genenames.org
European Bioinformatics Institute
Hinxton, Cambridge
URL: http://www.genenames.org

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