Perl Help

Does anyone know of any free, online, Perl training?  I’m specifically looking for training that is structured, not just a few examples, or that fancy book learning stuff.  

I’ve coded in shell script for quite a while, but I’m fairly new to Perl.  Considering that I need to maintain perl scripts at my job as a Unix SysAdmin I’ve trying to convince my employer to pay for some online Perl courses by O’Riley, but so far I’ve been told, maybe latter this year.  That was in March and the year is running out quickly.  I really need to learn as much as I can as quickly as I can.  I can read it well enough, but it’s almost. but not quite, unlike shell scripting enough to make coding in it a time consuming chore.

I’ve got personal reasons to want to learn it as well.  I’m writing an adventure novel about Charles Darwin (yes, THAT Charles Darwin) and I really like using iBooks for research because of the iPad’s large screen compared to that of my Kindle Fire’s.  It is easier to make notes in and giving that I have problems with small type, even with my glasses, the larger format is easier on my eyes.

The problem is that iBooks doesn’t have a way to pull those note off as text that I can use to put into Scrivener, the software I use for my larger writing projects.  The Kindle, on the other hand, makes it as easy as going to the My Kindle webpage, showing my highlights, and copying and pasting them.

I found an app that will allow me to access the files on my iPad from my MacBook, but the files are Sqlite DB files, not text.  I’m able to pull data from the databases easily enough using a Bash shell script, but the text of my notes that comes out is pretty ugly as far as formatting goes.  Sure, I could use Sed and Awk in the shell script to format it, but that’s even harder that Perl.  Perl, on the other hand, is literally written for text processing and formatting, hence another big incentive to learn Perl.  In addition to it’s text formatting abilities, Perl had excellent database modules that I can use to get at my notes.

Once I can get a good Perl program written, I plan on using X Code to write a Mac app to pull the data out of the databases on the iPad over either Bluetooth, or my home network, onto my laptop.

So yeah, anyway, I need to learn Perl quickly without having to slog through the O’Riley Perl books.  I have always learned best in a structured environment, so I could really use the help.

If you know of any good, free, online, structured Perl training, I’b be grateful if you send the info for them my way.


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