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I agree... it *is* possible to study PERL without knowing C or C++. I don't think it will be a very pleasant experience though, since as someone already mentioned above PERL is not very neat nor very study-friendly for the complete novice.
That said, I recommend you start with "Learning Perl" by Randal L. Schwartz and Tom Phoenix (3rd edition) from the O'Reilly company ('m actually reading that right now... it's really nice). Try to go through the first few chapters in that, and see if you can follow along. If it seems too hard, perhaps you can try to get a very basic understanding of C or C++ first, and then return to the book. A really nice book for learning C++ is "C++: How to Program" by Deitel and Deitel. It's not very cheap, but it is really a very good book for a complete programming novice.
I'll leave you with a quote from the Perl book mentioned above:
In the end, you'll understand Perl better because of your study of language X [fill in random other language here -zsejk], and vice versa, so it will be time well spent."
Don't sweat it...it can be done just fine, just it would be faster and easier if you knew another language first, imho
PERL was the first language I learned and it was really no problem for exactly the reasons mOrlOck points out. The only "problem" with PERL is that it doesn't enforce any of the rules that an object oriented language like C or Java so it is real easy to write convoluted code.
After I learned PERL I found that learning a second language like Java was much easier. I'm now functionally illiterate in both!
Originally posted by m0rl0ck Perl is a beautiful language, it just takes a sophisticated eye to appreciate its beauty, in some what the same way that it takes a sophisticated eye to appreciate cubism or surrealism.
Oh, I definitely agree. I'm not a Perl guru or anything, but it certainly has that minimalist elegance to it that is pervasive in all things Unix Though, you gotta admit, it's going to look like gobbledygook to a beginning programmer, which is why I said it's ugly. Though it sounds like some of you guys have learned Perl as a first language... bravo!
I think if I were just starting programming, and I decided to learn Perl first, I'd take one look at it and run off to find a more sensible vocation like ditch-digging It is certainly not for the timid.
Learn C if you want to study the implementation of the Linux Platform. Perl, or Python are good system administration langauges, plus more, for example, I have seen how Python is used to wrap Gtk+ allowing you to use widgets (GUI components) with Python. And if you want to use a user-mode object oriented operating system than learn Java.