Learn Perl With FreeCodeCamp
Written by Nikos Vaggalis   
Friday, 22 September 2023

I was pleasantly surprised when I noticed that a Perl course has been published on FreeCodeCamp. Amongst the myriad of Javascript and Python courses, there it is, a lone star.

This is because nowadays Perl has accumulated a bad rep, something along the "it's a dead language" lines.On the contrary, not only is there a new version 5.38 with many new and exciting language features but now you also get a cool course about it, indicating that something is set in motion.

I've written about why it still worth sticking to Perl, along with the new features introduced, in "Perl 5.38.0 Released-An Appeal To New Blood?". This course is then an added bonus.

Made by the PerlTechStack and published by FreeCodeCamp, with a duration of 4 hours and 10 minutes, explores modern Perl from basic syntax to object-oriented programming, regular expressions, and web development, all included.

Yes, modern Perl;that is, development in VScode, despite that a simple Notepad would suffice, Perl version 5.36 and installing modules with cpanm.

Syntax wise modern, means the use of 'say' than "print \n" , strict and warnings by default, postfix dereferencing, lexical file handles,subroutines signatures, Mojo::User::Agent for web requests, and more. Those along with the basic syntax, control statements, data structures, built-in functions and the like. For instance:

  • with signatures, we can actually define what arguments a subroutine can receive instead of shifting @_.

  • With feature 'state' we can have stateful variables inside subroutines.

The default exception mechanism with 'eval' is also explored, delaying the more advanced counter parts of try::tiny::smartmatch and exception::class to after introducing the perquisite of Modules and how to import them.

The default and relaxed OOP system is also explored while highlighting its shortcomings, and shirtly explaining how Mouse does fix them.

And Mojo::User::Agent instead of classic LWP, with which you get access to async programming ,promises and nicer interface in general.

All that briefly in 4 hours.But you call 4 hours brief? yes I do; the language's depth and TMTOWTDI can span many many hours. But what you get out of this course is the bare essentials to start using the language and building something usefull using the modern style.

Saying that, it seems that the course ends abruptly.There is a mention "I'll see you at the next video" but there's none later on, as well there's no video on Mouse OOP. So is there a Part 2 and when is it going to be? I asked FreeCodeCamp and this was
@ossia response: "Not yet – there may be in the future". I hope that there is.

To conclude, while it's perfect for a beginner, this course can also appeal to Perl dinosaurs who are still stuck with say Perl version 5.16; they can refresh the concepts, look at the newest possibilities and take a bit of dust off.


 

More Information

Learn Perl

 

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Last Updated ( Friday, 22 September 2023 )