learning perl Archives

Learning Perl Challenges

I'm starting a series of Learning Perl Challenges at www.learning-perl.com, the blog I maintain for Learning Perl. While I was posting about the Student Workbook for Learning Perl, I started thinking about the difference for exercises based on a particular chapter or feature, and capstone exercises that would use anything or everything in the book.

The first challenge is to reimplement /users/brian_d_foy/learning-perl/index.html

The Perl Learning Environment

For YAPC::NA, I'm creating a new course called "From Zero to Perl" (although I'll probably actually call it "0..Perl"). JT Smith wants to create not only new Perlers, but new programmers, and he wants to start them with Perl. I'm up for the challenge. However, there are some things that you might have opinions and suggestions on.

The Learning Perl course I teach assumes that you already know how to program, just not in Perl. Some non-programmers do alright, many struggle, and a few outright fail. Most of those have nothing to do with Perl as a language. Programming as a way of thinkin…

Learning Perl, 5e giveaway

I have two copies of Learning Perl, 5th Edition to give away. The details are on the book's website. Help me clear space on my shelf for too many copies of the new 6th Edition. Even though it's the previous edition, if you're still on 5.10 (or earlier), it's perfectly fine for you.

I really should prune the shelves of other books, too. I'll have to think about that. I've had this idea that Perl mongers groups should have a book exchange meeting. People bring all the tech books they don't personally …

Learning Perl, 6th Edition is now available

You can actually get Learning Perl, 6th now. It has the latest updates for Perl 5.14, and is much more Unicode friendly (but in a gentle way). So far, it's available directly from O'Reilly Media, it's in Safari Books Online, and it's making its way into the distribution channels for availability in the next two weeks from the book sellers.

There will be piles of them at OSCON, …

Pre-order Learning Perl, 6th Edition

You can pre-order Learning Perl, 6th Edition from some popular book sellers now. We just finished the first production pass, so everything is on track to have it in July. If you want to know what is different from the previous edition, see the book's companion site, Learning-Perl.com.

So far, I've found these sites for pre-orders:

A rough draft of Learning Perl 6th Edition

We're almost finished with the updates to Learning Perl, 6th Edition. The big changes for this edition are beginner-appropriate features up to Perl 5.14 and a lot more Unicode. I've keep keeping a diary of my progress at www.learning-perl.com. Now that we are mostly done, it's time for some tech reviewers to catch any lies (outright or by omission) that we've told. If you've done that for me before and would like to do it again, let me know and we'll make the proper arrangements.

In pre…

Learning Perl sells decently well, even in eBook formats

It's royalty report time, so the mailbox was full of checks this week. I keep close tabs on how well my books do so I can figure out if the time to write the books would have been better spent making fancy coffees at Starbucks. I think I'm slightly ahead, but only slightly.

However, I noticed that the total revenue for Learning Perl, 4th Edition is very close to $1,000,000 for the 20 quarters it has been available. And, curiously, it's getting closer to that number even though the latest edition has been out for 9 quarters. Who's still buying the old edition?

Even better, though, the Fifth Edition is already over $500,000 in total revenue. Now, only a small slice of that gets to the authors, especially on a title with multiple authors, and that only comes four times a year over several years. My cut of Learning Perl, 4th Edition is only 1%, so I'm not buying any Bentleys.

My co-author (and original author) Randal Schwartz probably isn't as excited about that as I am. I think he was doing that level of revenue every quarter back in the First and Second editions, when you could write "Perl" or "Java" on a cardboard box and sell it for $75 with no trouble at all. That was the time to be a writer looking for enough money to eat.

I'm a bit more upbeat, though, because eBook sales have really taken off. Learning Perl is no slouch of a seller, but a fourth of its sales, measured in units sold, were eBooks for Q2. My other O'Reilly books have similar ratios. I think that's directly related to O'Reilly Media's commitment to eBooks and figuring out how to sell them. Instead of trying to make them the same price as the print book, they give you a break (normally about 25%), and you get access to the book for life, in a variety of formats, and with no tricky DRM. I still think eBook prices should be lower, but we're working on it :)

And, with Perl 5.14 due out sometime next year, expect some updates to some major books. I've been using the /r flag on the subsitution operator quite a bit, and it deserves to be in print. :)

A new Student Workbook for Learning Perl

I decided to write another Perl book this week since I couldn't go to OSCON. Well, by "write", I mean update Student Workbook for Learning Perl, which I first wrote in February 2005, when Learning Perl was still in its third edition. I hadn't really thought about it too much, but this is the first Perl book I published. After awhile you lose track of the timeline, I guess.

I've actually been slowly working on this for awhile, so most of the work was porting what I had in Microsoft Word—which O'Reilly was using at the time …

About brian d foy

user-pic I'm the author of Mastering Perl, and the co-author of Learning Perl (6th Edition), Intermediate Perl, Programming Perl (4th Edition) and Effective Perl Programming (2nd Edition).