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Re: [seul-edu] Perl for 9th graders

On Fri, 19 Jan 2001 20:31:38 -0700
 lp <prevettl@cochise.cc.az.us> wrote:

> > A student came to me yesterday and said he thinks he needs 
> > to learn some Linux, especially Perl.

First, I think it is awesome that a teacher is going out of their way to
assist this student learn what they want to learn. Bravo!

Second I _love_ perl. It is powerful, quick, and reasonably portable
between platforms. When I started with Linux, I skipped right over shell
scripts and do all of my sysadmin scripts with perl, and have used it
for web sites and data processing as well - it is truly the swiss army
knife of programming languages.

All that said, I would strongly recommend that if this is the student's
first programming language, it might be prudent to point the student
towards a language that is not so, how do I put this, Frankenstein like
:). Perl, in many ways, takes the best features of several programming
languages and mixes them together in a very powerful way. But an
argument could be made that it's nowhere close to appropriate for a
first language. 

I've heard good things about python as a good, powerful first language,
and java would likely be a good choice as well, as in many ways it was
written from scratch as an OOP language. Pascal is not exactly used in
reality commonly, but is an excellent introduction to structured,
function based programming.

Now that that's out of the way, I'll answer your actual question :).
http://www.informit.com/ has a ton of freely available content online,
including "Sams Teach Yourself Perl 5 in 21 Days, Second Edition", which
might make a good introductory text for the student. There were a total
of 8 perl books listed in their free library, including several related
to using perl in a web environment. Of course, they have free books on
numerous other IT topics as well, including many on Linux.


Chris Hobbs
Technology Services Coordinator
Silver Valley Unified School District