Elements of Programming with Perl

Andrew L. Johnson

1999 | 368 pages
ISBN: 1884777805

Out of Print $34.95 Softbound print



As the complexity of web sites grows, more and more webmasters need to acquire programming skills. Naturally, such persons are inclined to learn Perl, the "language of the web." However, there has been no book to treat Perl as the first programming language; every Perl book assumes that the reader can program already.

Until now.

Elements of Programming with Perl is a general introduction to programming, using Perl as the implementation language. It starts at the beginning, teaching programming style, structure, and design. It covers all the fundamental elements of Perl (e.g., pattern matching and text processing) and proceeds to advanced concepts, including modular programming, abstract data structures, and object oriented programming.

Elements of Programming with Perl contains numerous examples and diagrams that illustrate concepts, algorithms and techniques. Complete example programs show the new programmer how to tie concepts together to solve real-world problems.

Elements of Programming with Perl is designed for the new programmer who needs to know Perl, and for the regular Perl user who would like to improve his or her programming skills.

Translation rights for Elements of Programming with Perl have been granted for France, Germany, India and Japan. If you are interested in learning where to buy this book in a language other than English, please inquire at your local bookseller.


"It is a very good introduction to Perl -- and programming -- for the neophyte who has never taken a programming course, or the webmaster who never learned the lessons that would be taught in one. It makes a great companion to the Llama for those who need more thorough explanations, or just like a little theory with their tools."
--Rachel Rawlings at perlmonth.com

"This book would appear to fall neatly between Learning Perl, which is targeted not only to the Perl beginner, but to the programming beginner as well, and Programming Perl, making it an ideal entry text for experienced programmers in other languages."
--Editor Arthur Corliss with Alaska Perl Mongers

"New to programming, and think Perl may be up your alley? Andrew Johnson's excellent Elements of Programming with Perl will teach you both disciplines...From the start, Johnson's explanations are clean and clear. It's obvious that he's polished his didactic style through yearsof real world teaching. Also from the start, good programming practices receive due emphasis...

This is a good introduction to Perl, and a very good introduction to programming in general. Johnson promotes good habits and discipline... It's a rare book that teaches as well as it informs, so take the plunge and teach yourself Perl and programming."
--chromatic, slashdot.org

"It seems quite clear that Elements of Programming with Perl is the first book that you would want to actually recommend—which teaches Perl to non-programmers—without worrying that they'll have to be entirely retrained afterwards. Johnson does a good job of presenting the basics. After a short introduction to both programming and Perl, the book moves immediately on to structure and style. I am quite happy to recommend this title. The book is informative and clear, and is a good introduction to basic programming and Perl."
--David Adler, Perl Mongers User Group

"Continuing to expand its very strong series of Perl books, Manning Publications has come out with Elements of Programming with Perl, a beginner's Perl text that's meant, in part, to compete with O'Reilly & Associates' Learning Perl and other standard texts of the Perl programming community. Elements of Programming with Perl communicates the basics of the language without the smarty-pants tone that the O'Reilly book slips into from time to time.

...this book provides an excellent introduction to procedural programming concepts (and the special rules of regular expressions), using Perl as a medium. It's a great book for novice and intermediate programmers."
--David Wall, The Development Exchange Enterprise Zone


"I learnt enough about Perl from this book to actually be productive with it, and it was enjoyable enough to encourage me to start playing with the language."
--Kelsey Gray, Perl Newbie


Not only does Andrew L. Johnson hold a master's degree in anthropology, but he also has more than 15 years of experience programming in a variety of languages. As a consultant he does custom data manipulation and analysis programming for market research. He has written training materials, articles for scientific journals, and articles and reviews for the Linux Journal. He has been a regular contributor to the comp.lang.perl.misc newsgroup.


Chapters 1 and 10 of Elements of Programming with Perl are available here in Portable Document Format (PDF); you need Adobe's free Acrobat Reader software to view them. You may download Acrobat Reader here.

Download Chapter 1
Download Chapter 10


"Whether you're new to programming and want to learn via Perl or you're new to Perl but know another language this book will be hard to beat. A good balance of theory and hands on with a sprinkle of some of the clearest descriptions to be found in the world of Perl documentation makes this the book I recommend as a standalone volume for learning Perl."
-- London Perl Mongers

"...for beginners who might just want another angle on the subject, as an alternative to those already out there. Also, if one is interested in Perl documentation and POD (documentation mark up language within source code)."
-- C Vu Journal of the ACCU

Recently adopted for a Programming Concepts course at Chippewa Valley Technical College in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.


Source code and select solutions to chapter questions are provided in a single zip archive.

Download the Source Code (332 kb)