Recently, I’ve been trying to pick up Perl again. I learned it back around version 4.0, before PHP even existed. After a few years of disuse, you lose the ability to communicate in a language – real or artificial. (Nihongo ga wakarimasen – I can’t speak Japanese [anymore].)
Of course, with a language that is actually maturing, like Perl and PHP, there’s new stuff to learn that’s happened since you’ve been away. Combine that with the experience you gain – I’m just starting to venture into the brave new world of object-oriented design, for example – and catching up can be hard.
Since I’m fairly fluent in both PHP and Perl, I thought I’d share some of my insights for anybody who’s thinking of getting started in web programming, and feeling confused as to where to start.