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Training: Idiomatic Perl

One of Perl's many strengths is that There's More Than One Way To Do It, which is great. If you come to Perl from another language then the odds are good that the way you used to do it will work in Perl.

But, like any language, Perl has its own idiom.

Our course will help you to understand that idiom. By the end of the course you will be writing Perl that is easier and more enjoyable to maintain and read, which makes your life easier. And you'll be more productive, which makes your boss's life easier. So everybody wins.

Our course will cover:


When you're working on large projects, there are things you can do to make your life easier in the long term by making it slightly harder to be lazy in the short term. We'll show you how.

Debugging Perl

This isn't strictly about writing idiomatic Perl, but unless you're utterly amazing, you will write code with bugs. We'll cover using the Perl debugger to help you track down those bugs.

Compound Datastructures

There's more to life than hashes, arrays and scalars. We'll show you how to use references to build 'real' data structures, and how to take advantage of them.


If you get to use code more than once, the second time is for free. We cover reusing code other people have written (saving you time now), and structuring your own code so it will be easier to reuse (saving you time later.)

  • Database access: In an extended example of reusing other people's code, we'll cover the standard Perl tools for accessing databases. Not every programming project requires you to use a database, it just seems that way. We'll go over ways to make that painless.

Perl Proverbs

There's a great deal of Perl wisdom in the Perl user community. We've tried to distil some of this wisdom into a collection of useful proverbs. Some of them will be illustrated with extensive examples, others are more 'things to think about', and some contradict each other. All of them are worth knowing.


Last modified on June 25th, 2001 by
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