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1. Learning Perl, 5th Edition
2. Programming Perl (3rd Edition)
3. Effective Perl Programming: Ways
4. Perl Cookbook, Second Edition
5. Perl Best Practices
6. Intermediate Perl
7. Automating System Administration
8. Perl Pocket Reference, 4th Edition
9. Beginning Perl for Bioinformatics
10. Perl for Dummies (Fourth Edition)
11. Mastering Perl
12. Sams Teach Yourself Perl in 24
13. Beginning Perl, Second Edition
14. Perl by Example (4th Edition)
15. Object Oriented Perl: A Comprehensive
16. Perl Programming for the Absolute
17. Higher-Order Perl: Transforming
18. Perl in A Nutshell: A Desktop
19. Sams Teach Yourself Perl in 21
20. Perl Hacks: Tips & Tools for

1. Learning Perl, 5th Edition
by Randal Schwartz, Tom Phoenix, brian d foy
Paperback: 352 Pages (2008-06-27)
list price: US$39.99 -- used & new: US$22.25
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0596520107
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

Learning Perl, popularly known as "the Llama," is the book most programmers rely on to get started with Perl. The bestselling Perl tutorial since it was first published in 1993, this new fifth edition covers recent changes to the language up to Perl 5.10.

This book reflects the combined experience of its authors, who have taught Perl at Stonehenge Consulting since 1991. Years of classroom testing and experience helped shape the book's pace and scope, and this edition is packed with exercises that let you practice the concepts while you follow the text. Topics include:

  • Perl data & variable types
  • Subroutines
  • File operations
  • Regular expressions
  • String manipulation
  • Lists & sorting
  • Process management
  • Smart matching
  • Using third party modules

Perl is the language for people who want to get work done. Originally targeted to sysadmins for heavy-duty text processing, Perl is now a full-featured programming language suitable for almost any task on almost any platform-from short fixes on the command line to web applications, bioinformatics, finance, and much more. Other books may teach you to program in Perl, but this book will turn you into a Perl programmer.

Amazon.com Review
In this smooth, carefully paced course, a leading Perl trainer teaches you to program in the language that threatens to make C, sed, awk,and the Unix shell obsolete for many tasks.This book is the "official"guide for both formal (classroom) and informal learning.It is fully accessible to the novice programmer. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (305)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent intro book to Perl
This book is an excellent introduction to Perl. I bought it without knowing anything about this language and in a few days I was able to set up nice scripts.

2-0 out of 5 stars Decent content, poor editorial style
The authors do a good job of getting the concepts across, but this book is high on:

- Larry Wall.Ok, sure, he invented Perl and I'm sure he's a smart guy - but really guys, get over your love affair with him. It's really not helpful.
- Footnotes.For the love of god, stop it.Sometimes it seems there's more text in the footnotes that in the section that the footnotes cover.It's distracting at best.
- Perl.Sure, it's a Perl book and it's going to favorable to Perl - but - Perl isn't going to cure cancer, create world peace or create a 1000mpg car.Stop treating it like it's magic juice.
- Condescension.I personally get the feeling that the authors are riding a rather spirited moral high horse and if you don't agree with them, you're just not that smart.

They have good information and it's laid out well.The writing style and editing detracted immensely from this book for me.

2-0 out of 5 stars New to Programming
I have had a Linux course and a course on pseudocode, and supposedly had the prerequisites to take a Perl course at the college. The class basically consisted of reading the text and then completing the graded homework. I pick up on patterns very easily, but struggled because the code in the book was just snippets and examples were sorely lacking. In order to see a pattern, I needed to see the code used for an actual purpose, i.e., "find the social security numbers that begin with 547." The book will tell you this is the code and this is what it looks like, but does not give an application piece. With the Internet, it would be great if the authors linked a website to the book which has applicable uses of the code. This could even be as a Wiki, so others could contribute. I read the book 3-4 times and acquired a "knowledge" level of Bloom's taxonomy. If you were to ask me for the command for such and such, I could tell you. However, I can't use the codes in actual situations--which should be the whole point of learning Perl.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great learning book
This is my first book that I have read to learn Perl. It is very well written. Concise and easy to understand. I would recommend it to others looking to learn Perl as well.

4-0 out of 5 stars (Almost) the best introduction to Perl
I own about two dozen Perl books, including the 2nd and 3rd editions of 'Learning Perl'. I'm now buying the 4th edition of 'Learning Perl', and this review is motivated by the negative (level 1) reviews on amazon.com that I just finished reading. I find that the negative reviews on target (more or less) but that they miss the point of 'Learning Perl'.

I recommend 'Learning Perl' to the Perl hacker, the Perl beginner, and the complete beginner, and my recommendation comes without qualification. However, the reader should not expect a perfect book, because the shortcomings identified in the negative reviews exist. This review attempts to answer the most common complaints.

You don't learn a language by reading a book, just as you don't learn to play a musical instrument by reading a book. In both cases, you MUST(!!!) practice, practice, practice. Mastery of the language comes only after many, many hours of struggle (either with the language or with the instrument.)

'Learning Perl' is targeted to those who sit at the keyboard and write code. As such, it doesn't do much for casual readers, or those who want to study the language from an academic standpoint, or for the typical student trying to complete class assignments. This book gives good answers to legitimate questions, but the trick is that the answer won't do a learner any good until he knows what the question is. It takes a good while of writing Perl to know what the questions are ... and only then can one really appreciate this book.

'Learning Perl' is programmer centric, Perl centric, and Unix centric. What I mean is that it gives up its value only to those who are willing to expend effort to mine it. For those willing to work hard, reading and rereading, writing and rewriting, this is a very good book. ... Read more

2. Programming Perl (3rd Edition)
by Larry Wall, Tom Christiansen, Jon Orwant
Paperback: 1092 Pages (2000-07-14)
list price: US$49.95 -- used & new: US$28.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0596000278
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Perl is a powerful interpreted programming language thathas matured steadily since it first appeared in 1988.The first edition of this book, Programming Perl, hit the shelves in 1990, and was quickly adopted as theundisputed Bible of the language. Since then, Perlhas grown with the times, and so has this book.Programming Perl provides a unique introduction to thePerl language and its culture, as you might expect onlyfrom its authors. This third edition of the book has beenexpanded to cover version 5.6 of Perl. New topics includethreading, the compiler, Unicode, and other features thathave been added or improved since the previous edition.Amazon.com Review
Larry Wall wrote Perl and he wrote Programming Perl. Better yet, he writes amusingly and well--all of which comes across in this latest edition of the definitive guide to the language.

Like Topsy, Perl just grew, and as a result the need for a third edition came about. It's now over 1,000 pages, which it needs to be, as it performs several different duties. First, it's an introduction to the Perl language for those who are new to programming; also, it's a guide for those who are coming from other languages; and, finally, it's a Perl language reference.

Among Larry Wall's other pursuits is being a linguist, and it's perhaps for this reason that Perl is a peculiarly flexible language with many routes to achieving the same ends, as the authors ably demonstrate. It's also extensible in several ways, designed to work with many other languages. Also, as it's largely interpreted, programs written in Perl tend to run unmodified on a variety of platforms--although platform-specific Perl modules and programming practices are also discussed.

A major strength of Programming Perl is the way subject areas are approached from several directions. This constant shift of viewpoint eliminates blind spots in the reader's understanding and provides a pleasing echo of the way Perl itself can take many routes from here to there.

Because the Perl community is both knowledgeable and active, the language covers much more ground here than in the previous edition. Even if you have both previous editions, you'll want this latest version--if only for the new jokes. --Steve Patient, amazon.co.uk ... Read more

Customer Reviews (122)

5-0 out of 5 stars still a gem
I have owned this book for almost ten years.I haven't been using Perl much for the last few years, but I have recently been inspired to use it for a couple of projects.I pulled out my old Camel to give myself a refresher...I had forgotten what a great book this is.It is a surprisingly enjoyable read, and presents the information in a very understandable way.Anyone who does anything with Perl, or administers a system with Perl on it, should do themselves a favor and get this book.I wish I had a book of this quality for every language I use.

5-0 out of 5 stars Your Even-Numbered Perl Book?
This is THE Perl book, but unless your style of learning is very different from mine, I wouldn't recommend it as your FIRST Perl book. For that, try Learning Perl.

But after you've spent some time writing simple Perl scripts, this is an excellent choice for your SECOND Perl book. Don't be alarmed if you don't understand everything; this can also be your fourth, sixth, eighth and tenth Perl book. As your experience grows, this is the book you'll keep coming back to -- and not just for the reference material. You'll learn more each time you read it, but only the parts you're ready for NOW will stick with you.

Challenging and rewarding.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book, desperately needs updated
This book covers Perl in great detail. It's extremely useful, almost mandatory, for any Perl programmer. However, it is also out of date. It covers Perl 5.6. We are now on Perl 5.12. A lot has been added to the language since this book was released. In addition, a number of topics in the remaining O'Reilly Perl books, such as best practices, should be rolled back into this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, a true classic
This is an excellent book and not just the best book to learn Perl with but also a true showpiece of technical writing. This takes a slightly unconventional approach compared to other Perl books you may find and some may find that it focuses on obscure language features a tad too much.

But all that is more than made up for in the way it covers the Perl philosophy, culture and it's overall style and tone. It is not often that you find yourself laughing out loud while reading a programming language book.

Highly recommended.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good book if you can get past the language.
Make no mistake about it, this is the Best book to learn to Program Perl. It teaches you the Language in the best manner and teaches you what Perl iswhich is - There is more than one way to do it.

But the problem is the writing which is a bit boring and confusing.

It will take some effort on your part but once you ignore that it is a Great Book No doubt about it.

... Read more

3. Effective Perl Programming: Ways to Write Better, More Idiomatic Perl (2nd Edition) (Effective Software Development Series)
by Joseph N. Hall, Joshua A. McAdams, brian d foy
Paperback: 504 Pages (2010-04-29)
list price: US$39.99 -- used & new: US$22.38
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0321496949
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The Classic Guide to Solving Real-World Problems with Perl—Now Fully Updated for Today’s Best Idioms!


For years, experienced programmers have relied on Effective Perl Programming to discover better ways to solve problems with Perl. Now, in this long-awaited second edition, three renowned Perl programmers bring together today’s best idioms, techniques, and examples: everything you need to write more powerful, fluent, expressive, and succinct code with Perl.


Nearly twice the size of the first edition, Effective Perl Programming, Second Edition, offers everything from rules of thumb to avoid common pitfalls to the latest wisdom for using Perl modules. You won’t just learn the right ways to use Perl: You’ll learn why these approaches work so well.


New coverage in this edition includes


  • Reorganized and expanded material spanning twelve years of Perl evolution
  • Eight new chapters on CPAN, databases, distributions, files and filehandles, production Perl, testing, Unicode, and warnings
  • Updates for Perl 5.12, the latest version of Perl
  • Systematically updated examples reflecting today’s best idioms


You’ll learn how to work with strings, numbers, lists, arrays, strictures, namespaces, regular expressions, subroutines, references, distributions, inline code, warnings, Perl::Tidy, data munging, Perl one-liners, and a whole lot more. Every technique is organized in the same Items format that helped make the first edition so convenient and popular.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Worth having, no matter how expecienced you are
Having purchased the first edition many years ago, I've found it probably the most useful Perl book I ever had - one of those that Internet somehow couldn't manage to replace. It showed how to think in Perl, often tackling problems in ways not possible in other languages. This book is an excellent sequel that I'd consider a must-have for any Perl developer. I routinely check almost every Perl book that comes out, and this is probably one in a dozen I've seen lately that could teach me something about the language itself. There couldn't be a better indication that Perl is alive and kicking.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wow! Awesome!
I have the first edition and have referenced it often in my journey working with Perl.This new edition is totally awesome! It really rocks!The comments that it has new material is true and it is great.But what really impresses me and makes this, in my opinion, a "must have" in your Perl library is that the original material has been so well recrafted...subtly and not with a lot of glitz...but ever so wonderfully.I've now read iti from cover to cover twice...it was a delight.And I've trully learned an unbelievable amount of things that never made sense to me in the past.Thumbs up...TWO thumbs up!

5-0 out of 5 stars New coverage here includes expanded material spanning over a decade of Perl development
The second updated edition of Effective Perl Programming: Ways to Write Better, More Idiomatic Perl joins offers in the 'Effective Software Development' series, updating a classic Perl programmer's guide to nearly twice the size of the first edition. New coverage here includes expanded material spanning over a decade of Perl development, and eight now chapters on databases, distributions, files, and more.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great material written by people who understand Perl
Effective Perl Programming packs a lot of useful information into a slim and manageable volume.There is no "filler" material in the book, which assumes you are already familiar with Perl. I have developed Perl software for more than fifteen years, and here are the aspects of Effective Perl Programming which struck me particularly:

The book doesn't cover what has already been covered elsewhere, so the material is all fresh and the space is used to investigate topics in reasonable detail.

The focus on idiomatic Perl - the authors say: "Although Perl's motto may be "There's More Than One Way To Do It," the corollary is, "But Most of Them Are Wrong," or "Some Ways Are Better Than Others."" The book illustrates how to write idiomatic Perl from the choice of language construct through to testing code and using CPAN (the Comprehensive Perl Archive) effectively.

The authors demonstrate a deep understanding of Perl, and have clearly honed their examples and explanations.Well explained areas include: list vs. array, context, local vs. my, Unicode and utf8 handling, and which language constructs are appropriate where.Their experience with Perl in the real world shows in the explanations.

The writing and examples are clear and concise. The book's web site has an errata section which is kept up to date so I could mark up the known errors.

Effective Perl Programming revealed some of the features of recent Perl and new modules which I hadn't noticed or had time to internalize. Sometimes it is time to unlearn old habits and get up to date!

The authors have clearly carefully selected which material to cover, and covered it well. Part of writing idiomatic Perl is to improve the way I think of writing in Perl, and the topics selected by the authors cover about 90% of the things I need to do in my software development using Perl.

The book uses colour in the code examples to highlight the important bits. The quality of the book as a physical artifact seemed better than most "mass market" technical books I buy these days.

The time I spent reading the book has already been handsomely rewarded. All in all the book is well written, accurate, and a delight to read.The authors know their stuff and provide pointers to resources which cover other aspects of Perl well.

5-0 out of 5 stars Packed Full of "Effective" Information
I don't own the first edition, so I can't compare the two editions.I did read a review of the 1st edition that talked about how densely populated it was for a small book, well that certainly is the case for the 2nd edition.With 12 years of Perl growth since the 1st edition, there is a lot more density added to the book.It is not, as the authors state, the definitive guide on Perl, but it is well worth owning and covers a lot of topics (including Perl 5.12) in small concise sections or "Items" that end with a "Things To Remember" section which is a list of key points that the reader should "remember".I highly recommend this book for any perl programmer, even though it is geared towards the intermediate to advanced Perl programmer.I also recommend checking out the book's website (effectiveperlprogramming dot com), which states "The Effective Perler is the online extension of the Effective Perl Programming, 2nd Edition."I try to visit the website every couple of days, it has more informative "Items" that did not make it into the book.It's worth a visit and there are fairly consistent posts. ... Read more

4. Perl Cookbook, Second Edition
by Tom Christiansen, Nathan Torkington
Paperback: 976 Pages (2003-08-21)
list price: US$49.95 -- used & new: US$25.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0596003137
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The second edition of Perl Cookbook has been fully updated for Perl 5.8, with extensive changes for Unicode support, I/O layers, mod_perl, and new technologies that have emerged since the previous edition of the book. Recipes have been updated to include the latest modules. New recipes have been added to every chapter of the book, and some chapters have almost doubled in size. Covered topic areas include:

  • Manipulating strings, numbers, dates, arrays, and hashes
  • Pattern matching and text substitutions
  • References, data structures, objects, and classes
  • Signals and exceptions
  • Screen addressing, menus, and graphical applications
  • Managing other processes
  • Writing secure scripts
  • Client-server programming
  • Internet applications programming with mail, news, ftp, and telnet
  • CGI and mod_perl programming
  • Web programming
Whether you're a novice or veteran Perl programmer, you'll find Perl Cookbook, 2nd Edition to be one of the most useful books on Perl available. Its comfortable discussion style and accurate attention to detail cover just about any topic you'd want to know about.You can get by without having this book in your library, but once you've tried a few of the recipes, you won't want to.Amazon.com Review
When the second edition of Programming Perl wasreleased, the authors omitted two chapters: "Common Tasks with Perl"and "Real Perl Programs." Publisher O'Reilly & Associates soonrealized that there would be too many pages in Programming Perlif it put updated recipes in the new edition. Instead, O'Reilly choseto release the many Perl code examples as a separate entity: ThePerl Cookbook.

The recipes are well documented and the examplesaren't too arcane; even beginners will be able to pick up the lessonstaught here. The authors write in relatively easy-to-understandlanguage (for a technical guide). Through this book and its arsenal ofrecipes, you will learn many new things about Perl to help you throughyour toughest projects. The next time you're working on a project at 2a.m., you'll thank yourself for the guidance and direction The PerlCookbook provides. --Doug Beaver ... Read more

Customer Reviews (116)

4-0 out of 5 stars the book is in great condition
the book was in great condition although it took around 25 days for me to get the book

5-0 out of 5 stars A model for technical books
The first _Perl Cookbook_ was great.This one is fantastic.

When a programming language, operating system, or the like undergoes significant changes, many publishers of technical books seem to have a policy of making the bare minimum of changes to the current edition of their book on the subject and then publishing it as a whole new edition, thicker and with a higher price tag.O'Reilly, by and large, isn't like that; a new edition of any of their books is more often than not a substantial reworking.

In this mode, the 1st edition of the _Perl Cookbook_ was obviously intended as a companion volume to _Programming Perl_; but the present (2nd) edition could stand alone as both a reference manual to the language in general and a source of ideas and working code to be adapted to almost any project.Most everything in _Programming Perl_ is here too, but described differently by the different authors, in a way that I find often makes more sense.For example, the discussion of OOP in Perl (Chapter 13) is much more straightforward than the treatment of the subject in _Programming Perl_ for a programmer who already has significant experience with another object-oriented language (in my case, C++).

Bottom line: combined with the embarrassment of riches online at[...], this book should give the intermediate- to experienced-level programmer all they could ever need to write great Perl code.

4-0 out of 5 stars Very good recipies
I liked the book from the minute I started reading. It's written in an easy and understandable manner, and the "cooking recipies" highlight a lot of common questions a typical programmer has when dealing with perl.

Unfortunately it has become a bit dated, and it could do with an update about more modern ways to to things (like e.g. OO with Moose).

5-0 out of 5 stars A must have for your book shelf
This book will not teach you Perl, but it contains a recipe for many possible problems that you will have to solve while coding in Perl. It is a MUST HAVE for any Perl programmer.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Cookbook
With twenty-two chapters spanning a variety of topics, the Perl Cookbook is enough to satiate any Perl programmer. Although not my top recommendation for a beginner, the book does an excellent job of teaching the basics for those who need it. For a more seasoned programmer this book does not disappoint; the topics covered in later chapters are sure to pique your interest. More importantly, however, it ensures that whatever your task may be, it is done with equal weight placed on both speed and practicality.

The book begins by discussing the various ways to manipulate strings, numbers, arrays and hashes. It conveys various examples of many common tasks that serve as a strong base for future Perl programs. The book then shifts attention to the all-powerful regular expressions, providing numerous commonly used (and often forgotten) examples, not to mention the all-encompassing Regular Expression Grab Bag, a three-page spread of expressions that often sit on the tip of your tongue. From here the book begins to pick up pace and diagram proper programming etiquette and design for subroutines, packages, libraries, modules, classes and objects.

My favorite part of the book comes near the end in the form of sockets and client/server communication. The book quickly gave me the answers I needed on how to establish a proper client and server as well as several options and explanations along the way. Instead of simply telling me what I needed to do, the book gave me several options and explained the pros and cons of each (a common theme I enjoyed throughout the book).

In short, this book allowed me to learn the ins and outs of Perl at my own pace, making this a wonderful cookbook for any Perl chef. ... Read more

5. Perl Best Practices
by Damian Conway
Paperback: 544 Pages (2005-07-12)
list price: US$39.95 -- used & new: US$23.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0596001738
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

Many programmers code by instinct, relying on convenient habits or a "style" they picked up early on. They aren't conscious of all the choices they make, like how they format their source, the names they use for variables, or the kinds of loops they use. They're focused entirely on problems they're solving, solutions they're creating, and algorithms they're implementing. So they write code in the way that seems natural, that happens intuitively, and that feels good.

But if you're serious about your profession, intuition isn't enough. Perl Best Practices author Damian Conway explains that rules, conventions, standards, and practices not only help programmers communicate and coordinate with one another, they also provide a reliable framework for thinking about problems, and a common language for expressing solutions. This is especially critical in Perl, because the language is designed to offer many ways to accomplish the same task, and consequently it supports many incompatible dialects.

With a good dose of Aussie humor, Dr. Conway (familiar to many in the Perl community) offers 256 guidelines on the art of coding to help you write better Perl code--in fact, the best Perl code you possibly can. The guidelines cover code layout, naming conventions, choice of data and control structures, program decomposition, interface design and implementation, modularity, object orientation, error handling, testing, and debugging.

They're designed to work together to produce code that is clear, robust, efficient, maintainable, and concise, but Dr. Conway doesn't pretend that this is the one true universal and unequivocal set of best practices. Instead, Perl Best Practices offers coherent and widely applicable suggestions based on real-world experience of how code is actually written, rather than on someone's ivory-tower theories on how software ought to be created.

Most of all, Perl Best Practices offers guidelines that actually work, and that many developers around the world are already using. Much like Perl itself, these guidelines are about helping you to get your job done, without getting in the way.

Praise for Perl Best Practices from Perl community members:

"As a manager of a large Perl project, I'd ensure that every member of my team has a copy of Perl Best Practices on their desk, and use it as the basis for an in-house style guide." -- Randal Schwartz

"There are no more excuses for writing bad Perl programs. All levels of Perl programmer will be more productive after reading this book." -- Peter Scott

"Perl Best Practices will be the next big important book in the evolution of Perl. The ideas and practices Damian lays down will help bring Perl out from under the embarrassing heading of "scripting languages". Many of us have known Perl is a real programming language, worthy of all the tasks normally delegated to Java and C++. With Perl Best Practices, Damian shows specifically how and why, so everyone else can see, too." -- Andy Lester

"Damian's done what many thought impossible: show how to build large, maintainable Perl applications, while still letting Perl be the powerful, expressive language that programmers have loved for years." -- Bill Odom

"Finally, a means to bring lasting order to the process and product of real Perl development teams." -- Andrew Sundstrom

"Perl Best Practices provides a valuable education in how to write robust, maintainable Perl, and is a definitive citation source when coaching other programmers." -- Bennett Todd

"I've been teaching Perl for years, and find the same question keeps being asked: Where can I find a reference for writing reusable, maintainable Perl code? Finally I have a decent answer." -- Paul Fenwick

"At last a well researched, well thought-out, comprehensive guide to Perl style. Instead of each of us developing our own, we can learn good practices from one of Perl's most prolific and experienced authors. I recommend this book to anyone who prefers getting on with the job rather than going back and fixing errors caused by syntax and poor style issues." -- Jacinta Richardson

"If you care about programming in any language read this book. Even if you don't intend to follow all of the practices, thinking through your style will improve it." -- Steven Lembark

"The Perl community's best author is back with another outstanding book. There has never been a comprehensive reference on high quality Perl coding and style until Perl Best Practices. This book fills a large gap in every Perl bookshelf." -- Uri Guttman

... Read more

Customer Reviews (38)

5-0 out of 5 stars The only Perl style guide you'll probably ever need
The book is essentially a standard definition for modern high-quality Perl code. Despite having learned very little from it, I regard is as one of the most useful Perl books to come out in recent times, because it spares teams from the lengthy and sometimes painful effort of defining a common coding style. Being very common-sensical and backed with the authority of Damian Conway, this is an excellent and much-needed next step from "perlstyle." I would recommend this book as coding style guide for any Perl team or individual developer.

3-0 out of 5 stars Overrated
The recommendations from this book seem to fall into one of the following categories:

* Nitpicky stylistic issues (such as whether to cuddle an else, or whether to follow the last item of a list with a comma)
* Common sense practices that everyone with a little experience in Perl ought to know (use whitespace around operators, etc)
* Controversial and not uniformly-accepted or universally-appropriate practices (such as to always use the /xms set of switches in your regexes, or never to use the "unless" statement)
* Genuine best practices that are sound advice, but not followed frequently enough (such as never to use bareword file handles).

Obviously, only the final category is particular useful, but too much of the advice seems to fall in the other three categories.

I would much prefer it if there were a community-maintained "best practices" document, which more closely followed general consensus, and a "perlcritic"-like tool that worked based off of that (and especially, working off a publicly-accessible, open document, rather than pointing one at page numbers within Perl Best Practices, forcing you to purchase this book in order to understand the reason perlcritic is warning you about something).

5-0 out of 5 stars good habits distilled from professional experience
Perl can be cryptic by nature. Writing Perl code that is easy/easier to read and understand is possible. This book describes several hundred ways to do this, ranging from code layout topics of line length and tab spacing up to 'professional coder' topics of class hierarchies, testing, and debugging. The book encapsulates professional coding experience into an extensive set of good practices otherwise known as good habits.

The book does not teach Perl coding. Its focus is on writing code in a way that is understandable by you today, you in six months, and code maintainers who come along after you. Many of the practices are aimed at avoiding inadvertent coding errors, some of which would be devilishly hard to recognize.

This book will benefit the beginning Perl coder as well as the professional coding team. Beginners will benefit by learning good habits and the reasoning for each recommendation, aka mentoring. Professional coding teams can use this book to review and update their established practices.

See A. Williams 4-star review for a nice summary of the book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Perl Salvation!
I came to perl from a C++ background, and was initially horrified by the aspects of perl that control-freak-language developers usually are. However, after using it on and off for a couple of years it became my language of choice because it's so quick and easy to do things that just take too much coding in other languages. (As a friend of mine said who kept pushing me to get used to perl, "Yes, Dave, perl *is* the dark side, but once you go there you'll never want to go back...")

Being A Good Developer I have purchased a number of perl books, and several of those have been useful. The problem is that there's a tremendous amount to remember, especially if you're not coding 100% in perl, especially since encyclopediac reference books just don't have time for the 'why' aspect.

This book excels in a few important ways:

1) There's always a 'why' given, and the right way and the wrong way are contrasted. This makes it, for me, far easier to remember things. It helps that the author uses English very well, and I virtually never find myself wondering what he meant. (In too many programming books, there's just not enough editing of the explanations, and very poor English.)

2) While I don't always agree with the author's best practices, most of the time I do, and he always makes his case well.

3) He shows both 'before and after' code, and gets the amount of code needed to make the point exactly right. I almost never find myself flipping past over-long examples, nor do I find myself not getting things because he's too concise.

This book was both highly useful and a pleasure to read. (Perl is indeed the dark side, but now I revel in the dark side.)

5-0 out of 5 stars Good work
This is good stuff.

It's a book with 256 guidelines about how to write better Perl code that's more accurate, faster, and more maintainable. It takes a courageous stand to declare how you /should/ use Perl, not just how you /can/ use it.

Here are some things I really like about the book:

- It covers a helpfully broad range of topics. Most of the things I've gone hunting for in this book so far, I've found. ...Including performance topics.

- It tells me why. I don't agree with every guideline in the book (but I do agree with most of them). It's probably a mathematical impossibility to write a book like this in which every guideline would please everyone (or even /anyone/!). But Damian Conway explains his rationale, which enables me to make an informed decision for myself about every guideline in the book.

- It's compartmental. It has that fun, "it's ok to read just a page or two" kind of structure that lets me grok a couple of little topics at a time, instead of making me plow through a lot to get a little.

I think that Programming Perl (Wall, Christiansen, Orwant) and Perl Cookbook (Christiansen and Torkington) are two of the best programming books ever written. Perl Best Practices is a worthy member of the set. This book has improved the quality of my programming. ... Read more

6. Intermediate Perl
by Randal L. Schwartz, Tom Phoenix, brian d foy
Paperback: 288 Pages (2006-03-08)
list price: US$39.99 -- used & new: US$25.07
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0596102062
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

Perl is a versatile, powerful programming language used in a variety of disciplines, ranging from system administration to web programming to database manipulation. One slogan of Perl is that it makes easy things easy and hard things possible. Intermediate Perl is about making the leap from the easy things to the hard ones.

Originally released in 2003 as Learning Perl Objects, References, and Modules and revised and updated for Perl 5.8, this book offers a gentle but thorough introduction to intermediate programming in Perl. Written by the authors of the best-selling Learning Perl, it picks up where that book left off. Topics include:

  • Packages and namespaces
  • References and scoping
  • Manipulating complex data structures
  • Object-oriented programming
  • Writing and using modules
  • Testing Perl code
  • Contributing to CPAN

Following the successful format of Learning Perl, we designed each chapter in the book to be small enough to be read in just an hour or two, ending with a series of exercises to help you practice what you've learned. To use the book, you just need to be familiar with the material in Learning Perl and have ambition to go further.

Perl is a different language to different people. It is a quick scripting tool for some, and a fully-featured object-oriented language for others. It is used for everything from performing quick global replacements on text files, to crunching huge, complex sets of scientific data that take weeks to process. Perl is what you make of it. But regardless of what you use Perl for, this book helps you do it more effectively, efficiently, and elegantly.

Intermediate Perl is about learning to use Perl as a programming language, and not just a scripting language. This is the book that turns the Perl dabbler into the Perl programmer.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great reference to have on your bookshelf
This is a great reference book for Perl.Combine this with the Perl Cookbook and you have your tools to tackle your Perl coding tasks. Great book.

4-0 out of 5 stars Intermediate Perl has good code, good examples
This book has good perl examples and good perl code. It is a good choice if you have an intermediate understanding of the perl language.

5-0 out of 5 stars A worthy (as expected) successor
Successors are not always as expected. In this case you do get from this trio of authors, who are classics in their own right, just what you expect.In my own case, I needed to get good at OO Perl and fast. In three days, I covered the major chapters thoroughly, went off to my interview and in the end was told, "hey, you really know your stuff". This book intends and does indeed follow well the Learning Perl classic. If you finished the meat of the classic, this is the dessert.You'll recognize the writing style and flavour. There are no surprises. In my opinion, another classic.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good follow up to the The Llama, but poorly organised
If you've mastered The Llama, make haste to read this one. Even if you only want to do scripting with Perl, you'll eventually find you need data structures slightly more complicated than just flat arrays and hashes, and you need to know about references for that. While The Camel does contain a fair chunk of material on just this subject, it was a bit too much for me to digest after The Llama. If Intermediate Perl (aka The Alpaca) had been around for me to read, I would have had a much easier time.

Written in the same style as The Llama, this breeze through most of the rest of Perl, in particular: references, objects, packages and modules. These are the bits that you need to use Perl as a general purpose programming language, not just for scripting. In a similar pragmatic vein, it also covers how to use tools to build your own packages in the CPAN style, and there's a good chunk of material on using Test::More for unit tests. Probably the only thing missing is material on type globs and symbol tables, although hopefully, brian d foy's forthcoming Mastering Perl will fill in these gaps.

The bottom line is this is Llama part 2, and you need to read it if you want to have any hope of understanding anyone else's Perl. But I can't give it five stars. The major problem is that the material is not very well organised. At the chapter level, objects are sandwiched between modules and packages. It would have been far preferable to keep the module and package information together. As a result, the distinction between modules and packages is rather muddied, and the introduction of objects in the middle just makes things worse. Overall, I found the explanations to lack the clarity of the Llama.

A more minor complaint is that, while there are mercifully fewer annoying footnotes, the Gilligan's Island theme (if, like me, you had no exposure to this growing up, you might want to read the Wikipedia article first!) grates far sooner than the Flintstones flavour of the Llama.

That said, make this your second book on Perl. Then, _still_ don't read The Camel yet. Avail yourself of Perl Best Practices first.

5-0 out of 5 stars Good Book For Classroom Setting
I picked up this book for a class that I was teaching at my office.The goal of the class was to train HTML/CSS/JavaScript and/or Java programmers to code in Perl since a large portion of our code base is written in Perl.Overall, I think that the book was a good choice for the class for a number of reasons.

First of all, the book is already written with a classroom setting in mind.The authors have used previous versions of the book, titled "Learning Perl Objects, References and Modules", for their own courses.This updated version benefits from all of the hours of empirical testing that it has received in the classroom.There are many thoughtful additions like having all of the chapters close to the same size.This allowed for me to assign a single chapter per session and know that I could comfortably fit the lecture and discussion of the chapter into a two-hour session.There are also exercises at the end of each chapter and answers for those exercises (with discussion) in an appendix.

This book is good for getting people just learning the language ready for the TMTOWTDI/TIMTOWTDI aspect of Perl.Take something simple like opening files... there are at least four 'standard' ways to do it.The book prepares you for all of the different versions of annoyances/features like this that show up in Perl code by walking through the evolution of the feature.

Another reason that I like this selection of book is that data files and code examples are actually available for download.I've been shocked that some of the programming books that I've gotten lately actually don't have this addition.

Finally, the course that I'm teaching is for people who probably already know how to program, at least a little, but they don't know Perl.I didn't want to drag them through all of the picky details of the language by starting with "Learning Perl" or something equivalent.This book has been a good choice for introducing programmers to Perl.I do have to stop occasionally and explain some fundamentals of the language, but not too often... maybe I just work with smart (or shy) people :)

Of course, the book isn't perfect.As odd as it seems, one of the biggest complaints that I get is over the Gilligan references that are used in all of the examples in the book.There is also some coverage of packaging modules for CPAN.This is useful, just not for the particular class that I'm teaching, so we skipped that chapter.Of course, both of these complaints are pretty weak.

In short, this is a good book, especially if you are doing a training session about Perl. ... Read more

7. Automating System Administration with Perl: Tools to Make You More Efficient
by David N. Blank-Edelman
Paperback: 672 Pages (2009-05-21)
list price: US$39.99 -- used & new: US$24.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 059600639X
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

If you do systems administration work of any kind, you have to deal with the growing complexity of your environment and increasing demands on your time. Automating System Administration with Perl, Second Edition, not only offers you the right tools for your job, but also suggests the best way to approach specific problems and to securely automate recurring tasks. Updated and expanded to cover the latest operating systems, technologies, and Perl modules, this edition of the "Otter Book" will help you:
  • Manage user accounts
  • Monitor filesystems and processes
  • Work with configuration files in important formats such as XML and YAML
  • Administer databases, including MySQL, MS-SQL, and Oracle with DBI
  • Work with directory services like LDAP and Active Directory
  • Script email protocols and spam control
  • Effectively create, handle, and analyze log files Administer network name and configuration services, including NIS, DNS and DHCP
  • Maintain, monitor, and map network services, using technologies and tools such as SNMP, nmap, libpcap, GraphViz and RRDtool
  • Improve filesystem, process, and network security

This edition includes additional appendixes to get you up to speed on technologies such as XML/XPath, LDAP, SNMP, and SQL. With this book in hand and Perl in your toolbox, you can do more with less--fewer resources, less effort, and far less hassle.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars Useful, inspiring - and fun!
As one of the reviewers for Automating System Administration with Perl,
I can only rabidly recommend the work as some of the best I have seen
lately on both subjects (Perl and System Administration).

2-0 out of 5 stars Wish for More...
I rely on a substantial collection of O'Reilly references on a day-to-day basis.Therefore I am sad to say this book has collected quite a bit of dust on my bookshelf.

I like the concept of the book (I bought it, after all), but it seems to try to do too much.

To be sure, the topics included are worthwhile, and essential to any sysadmin arsenal.Unfortunately, I do not believe the author fully covers them in depth.IMHO the book would be greatly improved by focusing on a particular O/S (and I'm not advocating one......just pick ONE), rather than trying to be a go-to reference for [U]nix and Windows admins alike.

Topic coverage in this book leaves something to be desired.It seems like the author said, "Here is how to do an LDAP search with Perl.Moving on to AD, here's how you do an LDAP search.Here's how to manage users in [U]nix; now here's how to do it in Windows."

Save your money, instead invest in Automating Linux and Unix System Administration, Second Edition (Expert's Voice in Linux) for an engaging, useful book (barring the CFengine portion).

5-0 out of 5 stars The Otter Book never leaves my side
Perl occupies the sweet spot between shell scripting and C programming, with the ability to lean as far as you'd like in either direction.As a sysadmin, Perl is better than a tool -- its the perfect tool for building tools, and this book is at the top of a very short list of texts which help bring to bear the full power of the best language for cutting down complex tasks down to size.

I've read a lot of Perl books and I own most of the O'Reilly books on the topic.The Otter Book, however, is the one which I cart around with me in my laptop bag wherever I go and is the first place I look for hints on how to attack problems that I face at work or home.It's chocked full of working examples and hints and tips on how to customize them, as well as plenty of context as to why these suggestions work the way they do.

The book is very well written and I highly recommend it to anyone, whether they are a professional admin or just want to cut out some of the repetitive tasks of managing their own workstation.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent update to a classic
The original Otter book was published in 2000, and had a place on just about every sysadmin's shelf as well as most anyone who regularly used Perl.I expect this new 2009 edition will likewise be a "must have" for anyone serious about System Administration and Perl (and any Perl coder, really, given the wide range of topics).While it will likely serve as an excellent reference, I'd also recommend this edition to newcomers to Perl (up there with Llama, Camel and Perl Cookbook) due to the "real world" nature of the tasks covered and the author's obvious depth of knowledge and wealth of experience.

This edition is much updated from the 2000 original, with four new chapters ("Working with Configuration Files" and "Experiential Learning" being two favorites of mine) and two new appendices (including the "10 minute XPath tutorial).Some of what I like best about the book is the exploration of "best of breed" CPAN modules and "Pros and Cons" sections that compare modules for particular tasks.All-in-all very highly recommended!

5-0 out of 5 stars Topics include spam control, analyzing log files, working with different configuration file formats, and more
AUTOMATING SYSTEM ADMINISTRATION WITH PERL by David N. Blank-Edelman appears in its second updated edition for any systems administrator working with Perl. It's been updated and expanded to include the latest operating systems and technologies and replaces an outdated version, so is key for any serious Perl computing collection. Topics include spam control, analyzing log files, working with different configuration file formats, and more.
... Read more

8. Perl Pocket Reference, 4th Edition
by Johan Vromans
Paperback: 96 Pages (2002-07)
list price: US$9.95 -- used & new: US$4.82
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0596003749
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The Perl Pocket Reference provides a complete overview of the Perl programming language, all packed into a convenient, carry-around booklet.It is updated for Perl 5.8, and covers a summary of Perl syntax rules, a complete list of operators, built-in functions, and standard library modules, all with brief descriptions.Also included are the newest Perl features, such as enhanced regular expressions, multithreading, the Perl compiler, and Unicode support. The Perl Pocket Reference, 4th Edition, is the perfect companion to the authoritative books on Perl published by O'Reilly & Associates: Programming Perl, Learning Perl, and the Perl Cookbook. This pocket reference will never make it to the bookshelf--dog-eared and well worn, it will remain within arms reach of the keyboard or tucked in a back pocket, where it will be referred to on a daily basis. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (10)

4-0 out of 5 stars Handy to have.
Handy to have around the office for when you need a quick reference, but not essential given the ubiquitous documentation of Perl. Still, worth the money.

5-0 out of 5 stars I was new to Perl
This was neat as I was learning scripting.Still a nub at it but great for me who doesnt use it daily.

5-0 out of 5 stars Out of 5 Perl books, my most-used reference
Out of my fairly extensive Perl library, this is the book that sits next to my keyboard - the one that I keep "at-hand".Simple, concise, easy to find the data you are looking for .... it just "works" as a reference book.

No, you're not going to find the syntax for building and manipulating a hash of hashes, but you've got the full list of special variables, a good list of common functions, and great starting points for things like Network programming, Win32 programming, regular expressions, and more.

Definitely worth the price of entry if you are a beginner to moderate Perl programmer who doesn't code every day and frequently needs a reference.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good Quick Reference
This book is a good quick reference.If I can't find previous code I always reach for this book when I need to get a quick syntax reference.

2-0 out of 5 stars Very Terse
Perl Pocket Reference only gives lists and tables.No explanation of how to use the various functions, variables, etc.Definitely not for new-comers.

I was very disappointed by this pocket reference.I was expecting something more like the very high quality "Python Pocket Reference", which manages to give complete description of the language, all functions, standard modules, etc, ALONG WITH EXAMPLES FOR EACH; The Python Pocket Reference is able to be used as a standalone reference.This is definitely not true for the Perl Pocket Reference; You will need other books to make this pocket reference make sense... what a pain! ... Read more

9. Beginning Perl for Bioinformatics
by James Tisdall
Paperback: 400 Pages (2001-10-15)
list price: US$39.95 -- used & new: US$25.86
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0596000804
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
With its highly developed capacity to detect patterns in data, Perl has become one of the most popular languages for biological data analysis. But if you're a biologist with little or no programming experience, starting out in Perl can be a challenge. Beginning Perl for Bioinformatics is designed to get you quickly over the Perl language barrier by approaching programming as an important new laboratory skill, revealing Perl programs and techniques that are immediately useful in the lab. Each chapter focuses on solving a particular bioinformatics problem or class of problems, starting with the simplest and increasing in complexity as the book progresses. Each chapter includes programming exercises. By the end of the book you'll have a solid understanding of Perl basics, a collection of programs for such tasks as parsing BLAST and GenBank, and the skills to take on more advanced bioinformatics programming.Amazon.com Review
Biology, it seems, is a good showcase for the talents of Perl. Newcomers to Perl who understand biological information will find James Tisdall's Beginning Perl for Bioinformatics to be an excellent compendium of examples. Teachers of Perl will likewise find the text to be filled with fresh programming illustrations of growing scientific importance. Seasoned Perlmongers who want to learn biology, however, should search elsewhere, as Tisdall's emphasis is on Perl's logic rather than Mother Nature's.

Departing from O'Reilly's earlier monograph Developing Bioinformatic Computer Skills, Tisdall's text is organized aggressively along didactic lines. Nearly all of the 13 chapters begin with twin bullet lists of Perl programming tools and the bioinformatic methods that require them. Likewise, the chapters end with exercises. String concatenation is illustrated with gene splicing, and regular expressions are taught with gene transcription and motif searching.

Tisdall emphasizes sequence examples throughout, leading up to an introduction to a Perl interface for the NIH GenBank biological database and the widely used BLAST sequence alignment tool. After a brief discussion of three-dimensional protein structure, he returns to sequence extraction and secondary structure prediction.

Tisdall's goal is to boost the beginning programmer into a domain of self-learning. He imparts essential etiquette for the success of programming newbies: use the wealth or resources available, from user documentation to Web site surveys to FAQs to How-To's to news groups and finally to direct personal appeals for help from a senior colleague. A well-plugged-in bioinformatics Perl student will soondiscover Bioperl, an open-source effort to bring research-grade bioinformatic tools to the Perl community. Bioperl is described briefly at the end of Tisdall's book and will reportedly be a forthcoming title of its own in the O'Reilly bioinformatics series.

Although he introduces bioinformatics as an academic discipline, Tisdall treats it as a trade throughout his book. He indicates that open questions and computational hard problems exist, but does not describe what they are or how they are being tackled. Ultimately, Tisdall presents bioinformatics as another arrow in a bench scientist'squiver, very much like HPLC, 2D-PAGE, and the various spectroscopies.

As odd as a "bioinformatics-as-tool" book may be to its research proponents, the reduction of bioinformatics to trade status both deflates and vindicates the years of research, as Tisdall's work attests. --Peter Leopold ... Read more

Customer Reviews (30)

3-0 out of 5 stars Not really for beginners!
It seems to be a very good book, but not basic at all! You need to know a lot of perl language before using this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars I loved this book:
If you haven't programmed in perl before, this book is perfect for learning.It also teaches very low level bioinformatics skills that'd probably help an undergraduate get their next internship.I was clueless to perl, and programming for that matter, when I got this book a long time ago.I painfully flipped each page from front to back, because it 'is' a technical book, and absorbed everything as much as possible.This book set me off in a direction that I never imagined.Although we're on the brink of version six of the language, this book will do you right in any aspect of computer programming.For a 'beginner' looking to get into any language, this book is for you.It's painful, but try and take the time to really learn the information the book presents.It not only teaches you perl, but gives you a peek into the numerous databases and resources that exist as well as a terrific job of teaching you how to use regular expressions.

In the end, you'll have the foundation to become whatever kind of perl programmer you desire.If you're looking into bioinformatics, or a bioinformatician looking to learn, I recommend this book as well as 'Programming Perl', 'Mastering Perl for Bioinformatics', and 'BLAST'.'BLAST' is fairly easy to breeze through and does a good job of explaining everything you would need to know.'Mastering Perl...' picks up where this book left off, and 'Programming Perl' is one of the best buys I ever made, in regards to perl.I know these are all O REILLY books, but they're probably the best source for perl books out there.I'm not pitching their books either.Lastly, if you have the time I recommend you crunch on through 'CGI Programming with Perl'.Although the book is a bit out of date, it's definitely another 'piece' of the puzzle for someone to become a LAMP programmer.

5-0 out of 5 stars good book for biologists
Very good book in perl for those biologist trying to merge their career into bioinformatics.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beginning Perl is an excellent book.
Beginning Perl for Bioinformatics is an excellent, well-written text for the non-specialist person who wishes to program in perl.Although perl is indeed very powerful some concepts are rather unique and difficult to grasp if one understands other scripting languages.For a beginner, the book provides the necessary detail as required so as to progress rapidly.I would recommend it highly.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great for Biologist that Don't Know How to Program
If you know anything about how to program then this book is NOT for you.This book is more geared towards biologists that know nothing about programming.If you fall in this category I recommend this book for you.Seriously, buy it and learn how to program so you can stop bugging people with better things to do to parse your BLAST output and FASTA files for you.In this day and age there is no reason why a biologist shouldn't have basic scripting abilities. ... Read more

10. Perl for Dummies (Fourth Edition)
by Paul Hoffman
Paperback: 408 Pages (2003-03-21)
list price: US$24.99 -- used & new: US$8.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0764537504
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
In the days before personal computers, BASIC was the easy programming language to learn, and serious programmers learned FORTRAN or COBOL to do “real work.” Today, many people have discovered that Perl is both a great beginning programming language and one that enables them to write powerful programs with little effort.

If you’re interested in discovering how to program (or how others program), Perl For Dummies, 4th Edition, is for you. If you already know something about programming (but not about Perl), this book is also for you. If you’re already an expert programmer, you’re still welcome to read this book; you can just skip the basic stuff (you never know what kind of new tips and tricks you’ll pick up).

This reference guide shows you how to use Perl under many different operating systems, such as UNIX, many flavors of Windows (Windows 95/98, Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows Me, and Windows XP), and Macintosh OS 9 and OS X; in fact, Perl runs on many more operating systems than these.

Here's a sampling of what Perl For Dummies, 4th Edition, has to offer:

  • Installing Perl on various platforms
  • Nailing down the basics of building Perl programs
  • Working with text and numbers
  • Constructing lists and working with them
  • Creating conditionals and loops
  • Delving into more advanced features such as operators and functions
  • Reading and writing files and directories
  • Using subroutines for modularity
  • Demystifying Web server programs
  • Creating your own Internet clients

    The Perl programming language enables you to write fully working computer programs with just a few steps. It’s particularly good at common programming tasks, such as reading and writing text files, but it also excels at reducing the work that programmers have to do. Perl For Dummies, 4th Edition, shows you how to do all of that and how to modify programs to your heart’s content. After all, one of the common phrases in the world of Perl programmers is, “There's more than one way to do it.”Amazon.com Review
    The standard for Perl books is, of course, Perl founder LarryWall's ProgrammingPerl. But every journey requires a first step, and theassumption that everyone interested in learning Perl has aprogrammer's background can make other Perl books inaccessible to theabsolute beginner. Enter Perl for Dummies, a book that presumesthat the reader wants to know only how to master the mechanics ofPerl.

    Just because it starts at the beginning--and we're talkingabout the very basics--doesn't mean that Perl for Dummies doesn'thead into more advanced topics. Paul Hoffman explains the programmingterminology and mathematical concepts that programming in Perlrequires. He also moves beyond basic file manipulation, discussingpattern matching and using regular expressions. He touches on goodPerl style, as well as object-oriented Perl.

    He's not averse tocriticizing what he perceives as Perl's shortcomings, but he alsocounters with a section called "10 Reasons Why Perl Is Better ThanJava." Hoffman takes great pride in demystifying Perl--a goal thatfits in well with Larry Wall's own philosophy of promoting Perl'saccessibility. As a way into the "duct tape" programming language,Perl for Dummies fulfills its mission. --JenniferBuckendorff ... Read more

    Customer Reviews (41)

    3-0 out of 5 stars Forget gems me like PERL
    Only a classy lady shows off her perls and not her bling...with that said, Perl for Dummies is really a good place to start and can get you right into the mix of showing off what you can do with such a language that has an infinite list of examples that will bore you. The delicate breakdown from start to finish in simple english will not clog your brain or stir up any anxiety or panic attacks for the wanna be/would be programmers. Although the gray & black ink may cause depressive tendacies...a little color or graphics would make have made someone's day brighter(thatz my beef with all dummies' books). I forgot everything i learned and the link initially recommended for downloading Perl provided an unworkable application that is why it gets 3 stars! Last words... truly a perl in the rough!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Perl for Dummies
    The book is well written and useful. I've a need to write scripts and
    do some coding in my job. I feel that this book will help me get past some of the disconnects, in my way of thinking, when it comes to programming. As a Hardware designer I can understand a piece of logic. But I've often struggled with interpretting or writing my own code.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good Reference for Perl Syntax
    This was the first book that I used to learn Perl.I would agree with some of the other reviews that it would be tough to learn Perl with just this book.I ended up filling in some of the gaps with "Learning Perl" by Randal L. Schwartz.

    The book is an overview of the language and its different uses.It uses a lot of small snippets of useful code for examples which is great when you need that snippet. However, chapter 4 is the only example of a fully written out program and is only used to illustrate what a program would look like.You will not find a fully written out solutions or examples here.

    This, in addition to its spartan coverage on certain advance topics, can make parts of the book not very useful and confusing. Do not get this book if you want to learn about the following subjects as it covers them only briefly:
    -Object-oriented programming with Perl
    -Perl modules
    -CGI scripting or other involved server-side scripting
    -XML processing

    I basically use Perl for data munging and not for web purposes.I generally need to write a quick and dirty script to munge some legacy data.To this end this book is valuable to me.It is a good reference for remembering the quirky Perl syntax.I keep it handy when I need to remember how to write a section of code.I use it as a mini "Perl Cookbook".
    I would give it:
    4 stars for teaching the basic language
    3 stars for coverage of advance material
    5 stars for basic reference of regular expressions and data structures.

    5-0 out of 5 stars ETEXASFISHING GUIDE SERVICE

    1-0 out of 5 stars Really Awful
    This was my first book for PERL and let me tell you, it was the worst written piece of garbage I have ever read. This book lives up to its name - it makes you feel like a dumbass.This is due to the authors approach in showing you PERL.Rather than breaking down the structure and powerful commands (telling you what they are and what they can do), he instead takes the approach of just showing you countless examples of complex code that the reader hasn't been properly introduced to.To show an example of how to use the chomp command, he buries it within examples along with other commands that he hasn't even talked about. That is confusing for a beginner. If you knew how to read his code, you wouldn't need this book in the first place.

    I recommend going with O'Reilly books instead. They tend to take a systematic approach, discussing and breaking down the structure and use of specific commands and then showing you small examples using only the code and commands they already discussed. Believe me, it is better than dummies approach of making you try to read a 50 line code example to see what a specific command can do.

    Stay away from the dumies series.All these books do is make you feel like a dummy. ... Read more

  • 11. Mastering Perl
    by brian d foy
    Paperback: 352 Pages (2007-07-16)
    list price: US$39.99 -- used & new: US$20.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0596527241
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
    Editorial Review

    Product Description

    This is the third in O'Reilly's series of landmark Perl tutorials, which started with Learning Perl, the bestselling introduction that taught you the basics of Perl syntax, and Intermediate Perl, which taught you how to create re-usable Perl software. Mastering Perl pulls everything together to show you how to bend Perl to your will. It convey's Perl's special models and programming idioms.

    This book isn't a collection of clever tricks, but a way of thinking about Perl programming so you can integrate the real-life problems of debugging, maintenance, configuration, and other tasks you encounter as a working programmer.

    The book explains how to:

    • Use advanced regular expressions, including global matches, lookarounds, readable regexes, and regex debugging
    • Avoid common programing problems with secure programming techniques
    • Profile and benchmark Perl to find out where to focus your improvements
    • Wrangle Perl code to make it more presentable and readable
    • See how Perl keeps track of package variables and how you can use that for some powerful tricks
    • Define subroutines on the fly and turn the tables on normal procedural programming.
    • Modify and jury rig modules to fix code without editing the original source
    • Let your users configure your programs without touching the code
    • Learn how you can detect errors Perl doesn't report, and how to tell users about them
    • Let your Perl program talk back to you by using Log4perl
    • Store data for later use in another program, a later run of the same program, or to send them over a network
    • Write programs as modules to get the benefit of Perl's distribution and testing tools
    Appendices include "brian's Guide to Solving Any Perl Problem" to improve your troubleshooting skills, as well as suggested reading to continue your Perl education. Mastering Perl starts you on your path to becoming the person with the answers, and, failing that, the person who knows how to find the answers or discover the problem.
    ... Read more

    Customer Reviews (9)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great "used" books
    It was in much better condition that I thought.Never know what to expect, but hey it's worth a chance for a great price.I was surprise to see it was in excellent condition, since it was rated as "very good" condition.It looks like a new book to me.That's why I keep buying "used" books from Amazon.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good, but not too essential for the experienced
    This book is not essential, if you already have several years of experience with Perl, if you know who are Damian Conway, Randal Schwartz and Abigail, and if you know the meaning of weird words like CPAN, Perl Monks and "zero-width positive look-ahead assertion".

    If you don't know what these things are, then with a little motivation you can find everything about them using Google without the need for this book. If this would be any other book about programming, i'd give it no more than 3 stars.

    However, brian d foy's first-person writing style is very readable and enjoyable, which awards this book an extra star, and does make this book a good buy for people who learned the basics from Learning Perl or Programming Perl. Furthermore, as great and relevant as The Camel Book is, its last edition was published in 2000, and it is already a little dated, in terms of both the technology and the culture of Perl, so Mastering Perl is a pretty good way to get up-to-date.

    To sum up - while this book is not as essential as Programming Perl, Perl Cookbook or Perl Best Practices, it is certainly up to the high standards set by those O'Reilly titles.

    3-0 out of 5 stars A Collection Of Perl Stuff
    This should not be called "Mastering Perl" but rather, "A Bunch Of Perl Stuff We Didn't Know What To Do With So We Put Them In This Book."You will find some interesting things but this book will not help you Master Perl.If you are looking for mastery try "Perl Best Practices",
    "Advanced Perl" (1st and 2nd Ed) and "Higher Order Perl."

    This book has interesting pieces that you will learn from but it is mis-titled.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Perfect Companion Perl Reference
    'Mastering Perl' is another gem in the line of O'Reilly Perl books that hav continued to set the standard for over a decade now.From the original Perl references that simply discussed the language from the basics of variable declaration to the most complicated ways you can use Perl, O'Reilly has continued to add more and more and more.Many new revisions and editions to the original Perl books were made, 'Learning Perl' was released and now 'Mastering Perl'.Is this too many books, is this simply a cash cow from O'Reilly?Yes and NO.Obviously publishers are here to try and make money, but this isn't a book that was just released for the sake of releasing it.I feel that 'Mastering Perl' is a fine addition to this line of books and well worth picking up for all serious Perl programmers.I feel that any book which builds on your programming skills and you can get something new from is worth the time and effort to read and learn from.This book is a welcome edition and I still feel that the Perl line of books (O'Reilly's original bread and butter) is the best the company has and it's a solid effort.If you want to go beyond the basics and sponge out even more goodies from this great language, pick this 300+ page book up today, kick back and become the best Perl developer that you can!!


    4-0 out of 5 stars Mastering Perl: at least a three (3) step process
    The journey to mastering Perl requires at least three (3) steps :)
    One optional route would be to read:
    1) Learning Perl
    2) Intermediate Perl... and finally
    3) Mastering Perl

    brian d foy mentions in his introduction and appendix A that the path to mastery involves learning from many people... and to learn from brian is an advantage. Appendix A is a list of Further Reading and by following up on many of these compounds the effect of the book. You get the bang for your buck.

    Chapter 3 on Secure Programming Techniques is helpful because it places the topic front and center. This topic should find its way downstream into Learning Perl to encourage secure programming as early as possible.

    I found immediate value in the chapters on benchmarking, profiling (especially DBI profiling) and logging. The chapters on Cleaning Up Perl (chapter 7: perltidy and de-obfuscation) and Configuring Perl (chapter 11: dealing with switches) are a great recap of material critical for "creating professional programs with Perl".

    PS - My personal route to mastering Perl had a required stop at "Programming the Perl DBI". ... Read more

    12. Sams Teach Yourself Perl in 24 Hours (3rd Edition)
    by Clinton Pierce
    Paperback: 480 Pages (2005-06-25)
    list price: US$34.99 -- used & new: US$9.67
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0672327937
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
    Editorial Review

    Product Description

    Learn Perl programming quickly and easily with 24 one-hour lessons in Sams Teach Yourself Perl in 24 Hours. The book's step-by-step lessons teach you the basics of Perl and how to apply it in web development and system administration. Plus, the third edition has been updated to include five chapters on new technologies, information on the latest version of Perl, and a look ahead to Perl 6. Sams Teach Yourself Perl in 24 Hours focuses on real-world development, teaching you how to:

    • Effectively use Perl for large development projects using Perl modules
    • Use Perl for data processing
    • Utilize Perl as a "glue" language with other programming languages
    • Use Perl as a web development language
    ... Read more

    Customer Reviews (30)

    4-0 out of 5 stars 24 does not really equal 24
    You have to really be a fast reader and typist and be able to absorb info fast to imagine that you can run through this book in 24 hours.There are 24 chapters, each of which is supposed to take an hour.

    Aside from that, it is pretty good information and well organized. But don't set your stopwatch.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great book. Great price. Quick service.
    I found this book in a local library and enjoyed reading the first chapter or so there.I decided it was one that I needed, so I ordered it while sitting in the library.I haven't been disappointed.The book arrived quickly, and was in wonderful condition for a used book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great book
    This was my first introductory programming book.Since then I have branced off into C++.What I like about this book is that it teaches perl in a logical method.I found that the programs that showed syntax of perl were very useful for any programming language.It started on a bit of history of Perl then how to use Perl then to the basic concepts of the language.Each program was intersting to write and I did learn how to actually accomplish basic programming tasks.The book does not go into more advanced concpets but is a great resource for beginners.It has all the software and instruction to begin designing basic programs.

    2-0 out of 5 stars typos, typos..everywhere typos
    This books is filled with typos, which is extremely frustrating when you are a beginner and have to rely on the teacher's skills.

    I give this book two stars because it does EXPLAIN the topics quite understandably for novices, but fails to give the user much practice because of all the typos...at least for Windows users.

    I have found better practice material freely available on the web than are in this book.

    So if it is knowledge ABOUT Perl, this is a decent book to get, if you are looking for a way to PRACTICE it, look elsewhere.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome book, awesome language.
    Perl is probably one of the best languages to learn if you just want to have a programming language in your toolkit and this book is a great resource for learning Perl.
    If you're new to programming Perl introduces many of the concepts that you'll need to master while allowing a lot of flexibility.
    I don't know if 24 hours is quite enough to complete this book, but the short focused lessons make learning fun. ... Read more

    13. Beginning Perl, Second Edition
    by James Lee
    Paperback: 464 Pages (2004-08-30)
    list price: US$39.99 -- used & new: US$24.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 159059391X
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
    Editorial Review

    Product Description
    "Beginning Perl, Second Edition is a well-named text that starts exactly where it claims…This book is a fine place to start."— James Edward Gray II, Slashdot contributor

    "...there are great examples, and projects assigned after each chapter to help you really understand and remember how to code in Perl."— Mark Spritzler, JavaRanch Bartender

    "This book is a well-conceived introduction to Perl in tutorial form... A Very Good Book. :) :) :) :) of 5."— George Woolley of Oakland Perl Mongers

    "The Perl (this book) teaches is strong industry-standard Perl that is…considered best practice."— Jack Herrington, Editor, Code Generation NetworkOriginally created as a powerful text processing tool, Perl has since evolved into a multi-purpose, multi-platform language capable of implementing a variety of tasks such as system administration, CGI and network programming, XML processing, and more. Beginning Perl, Second Edition provides valuable insight into Perl’s role regarding all of these tasks and more.Commencing with a comprehensive overview of language basics, you'll learn all about important concepts such as Perl's data types and control flow constructs. This material sets the stage for a discussion of more complex topics, such as writing custom functions, using regular expressions, and file input and output. Next, we move on to the advanced topics of object oriented programming, modules, CGI programming, and database administration with Perl’s powerful database interface module, DBI. The examples and code provided offer you all of the information you need to start writing your own powerful scripts to solve the problems listed above, and many more.Whether you are a complete novice or an experienced programmer, Beginning Perl, Second Edition offers an ideal guide to learning Perl. ... Read more

    Customer Reviews (21)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Learning Perl Programming
    Being experienced in programming (i.e., HTML, JavaScript, C++, Java, CSS), I was curious about Perl Programming. I read various articles and information in the Internet, and decided to get my feet wet in this language. A quick review of James Lee Beginning Perl prompted me to purchase subject book. I am very happy I did it. James Lee walks you through with detailed steps how to program Perl. He provides numerous resources on Perl, including source code of his book.
    His teaching is clear, detailed, and includes manyexercises to comprehend subject matter. I really enjoyed the flow of information presented in book chapters. In reminds me of some of the excellent [...] programming books. Once you started a chapter you want to continue the learning process of book. I worked all the exercises since I am a firm believer that practice is the best approach to learn correctly a new field.
    Specific characteristic of this book is that author explains with many examples in a clear and precise manner how to execute correct Perl programming.
    Excellent book!
    Thank you

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book for First-time Programmers
    While I have worked in IT/Tech for many years in a variety of supporting and management roles, I confess that Perl is my first programming language. This book provides the necessary background for a first-time programmer like myself to really understand and begin to make use of the palette of Perl's powerful features. Code examples fit well with the text, while explanations are clear, concise and illuminating. I cannot comment on the usefulness of the book for seasoned programmers, as I am not one of those. But for beginners, this book gives hope that what initially appears as an arcane and mystifying "teka" is actually both comprehensible and practical. Beginning Perl is not a fatty and daunting tome, but is just long enough to provide the kind of "big-picture" overview that makes it easier to approach other books devoted to related topics: regular expressions, OO programming with Perl, Perl and CGI, Perl and SQL Server administration, or Perl and system administration, now have a context and framework for me that they did not have previously. Like a good first map, "Beginning Perl" has pointed out the major landmarks, and has helped me to identify those areas I may wish to visit and explore more carefully in the future. An excellent first book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Kindle version review
    I read this on a kindle 2.

    This book is great for learning Perl. Before reading this book I knew C++ so I knew about programming but I didn't have experience with a scripting language.

    I am very pleased with both the book and Perl. The book is easy to read and follow. For the kindle version of the book, the code examples are actually pictures, not text. At first I thought this was a downside but after reading other Perl books on the Kindle I think it is better to have it in that format. Since the code is a picture, long lines of code do not end up wrapping around and looking weird. This usually happens when the code is commented.

    Recommended for learning Perl.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great explanations but slow to put things together
    The strength of the book is that it offers truly clear and precise explanations of how to do basic coding with Perl.

    The drawback of the book is that it rarely takes its examples very far, not even as the book progresses.It is not really until the chapter about references (which is a great chapter) that the examples and exercises get interesting.

    For someone who is having trouble understanding why their script isn't doing what they thought it would, you will not find better explanations than here.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Decent Book
    The book is acceptable for learning Perl. The examples are straight-forward, but seems to intended for non-programmers. Beginning Perl is not the same as Beginning Programming Using Perl. ... Read more

    14. Perl by Example (4th Edition)
    by Ellie Quigley
    Paperback: 1008 Pages (2007-11-15)
    list price: US$49.99 -- used & new: US$27.48
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0132381826
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
    Editorial Review

    Product Description

    “I picked up a copy of JavaScript by Example over the weekend and wanted to thank you for putting out a book that makes JavaScript easy to understand. I’ve been a developer for several years now and JS has always been the “monster under the bed,” so to speak. Your book has answered a lot of questions I’ve had about the inner workings of JS but was afraid to ask. Now all I need is a book that covers Ajax and Coldfusion. Thanks again for putting together an outstanding book.”

    Chris Gomez, Web services manager, Zunch Worldwide, Inc.

    “I have been reading your UNIX® Shells by Example book, and I must say, it is brilliant. Most other books do not cover all the shells, and when you have to constantly work in an organization that uses tcsh, bash, and korn, it can become very difficult. However, your book has been indispensable to me in learning the various shells and the differences between them…so I thought I’d email you, just to let you know what a great job you have done!”

    Farogh-Ahmed Usmani, B.Sc. (Honors), M.Sc., DIC, project consultant (Billing Solutions), Comverse

    “I have been learning Perl for about two months now; I have a little shell scripting experience but that is it. I first started with Learning Perl by O’Reilly. Good book but lacking on the examples. I then went to Programming Perl by Larry Wall, a great book for intermediate to advanced, didn’t help me much beginning Perl. I then picked up Perl by Example, Third Edition–this book is a superb, well-written programming book. I have read many computer books and this definitely ranks in the top two, in my opinion. The examples are excellent. The author shows you the code, the output of each line, and then explains each line in every example.”

    Dan Patterson, software engineer, GuideWorks, LLC

    “Ellie Quigley has written an outstanding introduction to Perl, which I used to learn the language from scratch. All one has to do is work through her examples, putz around with them, and before long, you’re relatively proficient at using the language. Even though I’ve graduated to using Programming Perl by Wall et al., I still find Quigley’s book a most useful reference.”

    Casey Machula, support systems analyst, Northern Arizona University, College of Health and Human Services

    “When I look at my bookshelf, I see eleven books on Perl programming. Perl by Example, Third Edition, isn’t on the shelf; it sits on my desk, where I use it almost daily. When I bought my copy I had not programmed in several years and my programming was mostly in COBOL so I was a rank beginner at Perl. I had at that time purchased several popular books on Perl but nothing that really put it together for me. I am still no pro, but my book has many dog-eared pages and each one is a lesson I have learned and will certainly remember. “I still think it is the best Perl book on the market for anyone from a beginner to a seasoned programmer using Perl almost daily.”

    Bill Maples, network design tools and automations analyst, Fidelity National Information Services

    “We are rewriting our intro to OS scripting course and selected your text for the course. It’s an exceptional book. The last time we considered it was a few years ago (second edition). The debugging and system administrator chapters at the end nailed it for us.”

    Jim Leone, Ph.D., professor and chair, Information Technology, Rochester Institute of Technology

    “Quigley’s book acknowledges a major usage of PHP. To write some kind of front end user interface program that hooks to a back end MySQL database. Both are free and open source, and the combination has proved popular. Especially where the front end involves making an HTML web page with embedded PHP commands. “Not every example involves both PHP and MySQL. Though all examples have PHP. Many demonstrate how to use PHP inside an HTML file. Like writing user-defined functions, or nesting functions. Or making or using function libraries. The functions are a key idea in PHP, that take you beyond the elementary syntax. Functions also let you gainfully use code by other PHP programmers. Important if you are part of a coding group that has to divide up the programming effort in some manner.”

    Dr. Wes Boudville, CTO, Metaswarm Inc.

    The World’s Easiest Perl Tutorial–Fully Updated!

    Perl by Example, Fourth Edition, is the easiest, most hands-on way to learn Perl. Legendary Silicon Valley programming instructor Ellie Quigley has thoroughly updated her classic to deliver the skills and information today’s Perl users need most–including all-new coverage of MySQL database programming and a Perl QuickStart designed to get experienced users up and running fast.

    Quigley illuminates every technique with focused, classroom-tested code examples, detailed line-by-line explanations, and real program output. This exceptionally clear, easy-to-understand book takes you from your first Perl script to database-driven applications. It’s the only Perl book you’ll ever need!

    New in this edition:

    • Perl programming QuickStart: makes first-time Perl programmers productive in just twenty pages

    • All-new chapter on using the Perl DBI with the MySQL database–plus an easy SQL primer to quickly get you started programming any database

    • New introductions to Perl in biology (bioinformatics) and to mod_perl, a Perl interpreter embedded in the Apache server, which allows you to create fast, dynamic content; manage the Apache server; authenticate users; and much more

    Completely updated:

    • Includes many new and completely rewritten code examples

    • Contains fully revised CGI coverage for building dynamic Web sites with Perl

    • Covers modern Perl 5.8 concepts and principles–and provides a great foundation for Perl 6

    More than 30,000 sysadmins, power users, and developers have used previous editions of Perl by Example

    to become expert Perl programmers. With Perl by Example, Fourth Edition, you can, too–even if you’re

    completely new to Perl. After you’ve become an expert, you’ll turn to this book constantly as the best

    source for reliable answers, solutions, and code.

    About the CD-ROM:

    The CD-ROM includes all code and files for this book’s hundreds of example scripts.

    ... Read more

    Customer Reviews (43)

    3-0 out of 5 stars OK, but not the best book on Perl
    I bought this book hoping to get a broader view on Perl from that given in "The Perl CD Bookshelf". Although it somehow does, I seldom find my self searching items in this book. As a recommendation, I would suggest that you do not buy this book if you have doubts about it. Do not get me wrong, it is OK, but I prefer the one mentioned above.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Not for beginners, not for programmers?
    I'm a developer who is learning Perl for a new project.My background is in PHP, Bash, and C++.I spent a great deal of time trying to figure out which book would be most helpful to "jump start" me on Perl, and I'm not sure I picked the right one.I'm about half way through this book, and I have to say that I can't figure out who would find a lot of value in it.

    Before I go any further, I want to make a comment to anyone looking to learn Perl: You need to have some foundational understanding of UNIX or (Linux).Its just a fact.The language's roots are in UNIX, and no matter how many platforms it gets ported to or how much marketing people try to convince you the examples work anywhere, concepts like pipes, sed pattern matching and input/output redirection simply aren't going to make a lot of sense unless you have some experience in a *nix environment.

    Now to the book.I found the book to be *very* disorganized.References are made in examples to concepts that haven't been introduced.Syntax is used with no explanation about what it means.She starts talking about objects on page *28*!(What other programming book introduces objects before page 300 unless its Java?)I was not expecting there to be a solid introduction to programming in general, but I was expecting a little more introduction to the language as a whole before diving into many, many pages of language reference-like material.You are just supposed to trust that the examples work (even if they don't).Which leads me to my second point.

    Errors in the examples.I won't say there are "hundreds" or "thousands" as has been mentioned in previous reviews, but there are quite a few.More than I would like.I've been able to work around most of them, but I think thats largely because of my background with other languages.

    IMHO, beginners will be frustrated by the lack of organization, diving into a lot of reference-like material and the errors in the examples.Developers experienced with other programming books are going to be confused by the maze of logic that is (not) weaved in the first few chapters.Having the examples is a step above a pure language reference, but only when they work or when you can work around the syntax errors.

    So I don't think I can say that this is a good book or a bad book.Its just a book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Required ereading for anyone new to Perl.
    I bought this book after reading some of the reviews on Amazon, and I haven't looked back.I have programmed in different languages for 25 years now, but only in Perl for the last six months.I program in Perl every day, and this is my most thumbed book.I started from scratch, with only a few bits of sample code and taught myself.There are a few quite negative views out there, but for me I can't understand why.It's a professional well-written book with plenty of simple examples.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Good book for learning Perl
    This book was required for an online course on Perl programming and so far I have to say that it has been pretty easy to read and follow. It has many clear examples and exercises. Not to mention, the book is HUGE and covers a large range of topics. If you are going to learn Perl, this book is a great one to pick up.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Poorly organized...
    Wow -- what a frustrating experience!I'm an experienced programmer who is familiar with both C and shell programming, which are the two areas that are referenced often in the book, but it was *still* hard to figure out how to do things in Perl using this book.

    My biggest complaint is the very poor organization.As some other reviewers noted, it seems to be a random collection of tidbits, but not organized logically or hierarchically like every other programming book I've ever read.

    For example, as I write this, I'm trying to figure out how to read lines from a file.I looked at the section for "Report Writing".As most anyone can figure out, when you write a report, you need data.So this section goes on and on about generating reports.But all the example simply output the contents of various variables.As anyone who processes data knows, the normal sequence of things is: read data, process data, output data.Well, I have yet to find how to simply read in lines from a text file.I mean the book talks about printf, so I assume there is something similar to scanf or gets or something similar right?I'm sure it must be in here somewhere, but so far it is not obvious from the table of contents or the index.

    Hey, so what about this section called "Getting a Handle on Files"?Nope!It tells you how to open and close files, and how to even output lines of text to a file, but amazingly, it doesn't mention how to read lines from a file!ARGHHHH!!!

    I guess this author must expect data to spontaneously, magically materialize from thin air!

    I finally figured it out!...but not from this book.It took me two minutes with Google to figure out what I couldn't find in this book after half an hour!

    So, now that I know the "trick" to reading lines from a file, out of curiosity, I try to find the info in the book.So I search the index for "$_".Well, guess what?You know how most languages have their share of special characters (including operators, of course), so every programming book I've read had these symbols in the index (and as far as I can recall, usually right at the front of the index)?Well, this book does not put the special symbols in the index!This is a huge shortcoming, because as you read through the book and see these various symbols for the first time, it is usually very convenient to be able to look them up in the index (as opposed to trying to search in the book for the first occurrence of the symbol).Well, that's not an option here...Ridiculous!
    ... Read more

    15. Object Oriented Perl: A Comprehensive Guide to Concepts and Programming Techniques
    by Damian Conway
    Paperback: 490 Pages (2000-01-01)
    list price: US$42.95 -- used & new: US$21.89
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1884777791
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
    Editorial Review

    Product Description
    Discusses how to build objects for hashes, arrays, scalars, pseudo-hashes, subroutines, regular expressions, or typeglobs, master encapulation, inheritance, and polymorphism, and advanced topics such as operator overloading, tied variables, generic programming, and persistence.Softcover. DLC: Object-oriented programming (Computer Science).Amazon.com Review
    Perl has always been a powerful and popular programminglanguage, but with its new object capabilities, it can do evenmore. Written for anyone with a little Perl experience, DamianConway's Object Oriented Perl provides an invaluable guide tovirtually every aspect of object-oriented programming in Perl.

    Themost notable thing about Object Oriented Perl is Conway'sexcellent perspective on object-oriented concepts and how they areimplemented in Perl. This book does a remarkable job of cuttingthrough traditional jargon and illustrating how basic object-orienteddesign techniques are handled in Perl. (A useful appendix attests tothe author's wide-ranging knowledge, with a comparison of Smalltalk,Eiffel, C++, and Java with Perl, including a summary ofobject-oriented syntax for each.) This book also features a trulyexcellent review of basic Perl syntax.

    Throughout this text, theauthor shows you the basics of solid object design (illustrated usingclasses that model music CDs). Basic concepts like inheritance andpolymorphism get thorough and clear coverage. The book also points outcommon mistakes and provides many tips for navigating the powerful andflexible (yet sometimes tricky) nuances of using Perl objects. Forinstance, Conway shows how to achieve true data encapsulation in Perl(which generally allows calls across modules) as well as its naturalsupport for generic programming techniques.

    He also pays specialattention to popular object modules available from CPAN (likeClass::MethodmakerK, which simplifies declaring classes) anddiscusses performance issues and the tradeoff between programmingconvenience and speed often faced by today's Perl developer. Advancedchapters cover a number of techniques for adding persistence andinvoking methods using multiple dispatching.

    Filled with syntactictips and tricks, Object Oriented Perl is a sure bet for anyprogrammer who wants to learn how to use Perl objectseffectively. --Richard Dragan

    Topics covered: Perllanguage review, CPAN, Perl objects, 'blessing' and inheritance,polymorphism, Class::Struct and Class::Methodmaker modules, Perl tiesand closures, operator overloading, encapsulation, multiple dispatch,Class::Multimethods, coarse-grained and fine-grained objectpersistence techniques, performance issues. ... Read more

    Customer Reviews (48)

    4-0 out of 5 stars More than objects, but a wee bit long in the tooth now
    This is a fine book, but the passage of time has rendered some parts of it less relevant.

    As an introduction to object oriented programming, and how to do it in Perl, this is one of the best sources you could learn from. Neither The Alpaca nor The Camel do such a good job.

    And it's not just objects that are well covered. You'll also find lucid explanations of closures, type globs, the symbol table and tied variables, all of which can be considered advanced Perl.

    Elsewhere, though, the material has not aged so well, superseded by the author's own Perl Best Practices, where some of the recommendations have been reversed, or improved upon ('inside out' classes, for example, as implemented in Class::Std, is a superior development of the flyweight approach mentioned in this book). Some of the material, which concentrates on CPAN modules, and the experimental pseudohashes is not so useful in the light of this - the latter are on course to be removed in Perl 5.10. The sections on building objects using references to things other than hashes (e.g. arrays, regular expressions and subroutines) is clever, but this reader was unconvinced of their utility.

    There's also coverage of generics, although in Perl this is not much like generics in C# or Java, basically passing around Perl code as uninterpolated text strings and then evaling it inside a subroutine, where any lexical values are interpolated.

    Finally, there are chapters on multimethods (no more elegant or manageable in Perl than other languages that support this feature, alas) and persistence.

    The principles discussed remain relevant, and the book is a pleasure to read. However, if you already familiar with OOP and just want to get going as fast as possible, the relevant chapters of Intermediate Perl and Perl Best Practices might be better places to look.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing style and clarity
    I am a newbie to perl and I'm writing an application that involves using object-oriented perl. I have not seen any other book that explains difficult concepts with amazing clarity that even a newbie like me can understand. I wish other perl books were written as simple and clear like this one :(

    5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent catch all
    I have written a number of modules for Perl over the last 5 years, and I really wish I had bought this book earlier.

    It is a mixture of sound coding practices and great examples. I actually bought this after reading Perl Best Practices by the same author, and have not been disappointed.

    This is a book written by someone how obviously knows Perl from the inside, and can apply this to real world issues.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The first useful documentation on Perl OOP
    This is my favorite Perl book, alongside Advanced Perl Programming.

    When I first read it, I was very upset that 3 pages in particular had not simply been inserted into the original Camel book, which I think is one of the most important yet most poorly written programming books ever.

    I wish Damien Conway had written Camel and Llama.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Must-read Advanced Perl Book, the title is misleading
    I almost passed this book by, thinking it was a primer into the OO world with Perl. I'm comfortable(if slightly annoyed) writing OO Perl code. What surprised about Conways text was that the book used OO as a premise to instruct the reader on more advanced aspects of Perl; its more an Advanced Perl book than the expected Object Oriented book.

    I learned more depth of Perl than I have in years. Perl is a thick and crafty language. Chapter 2, subtitled "A Perl Refresher", was worth the price of admission alone, as he deftly re-hashed Perl features he would use later in the book. The practices and features of Perl he later expanded on in the OO chapters incontinued to impress me.

    If you are a Perl programmer, beginner to advanced, this is a must-read book, and a great source of coding inpiration. It made me a better programmer, in Perl and other languages.

    This book is was published in 2000, and usually the half-life of most computer texts don't hold up 5 years, but this book certainly does! Also, I just noticed Conway just published "Perl Best Practices" which I am eager to tackle. ... Read more

    16. Perl Programming for the Absolute Beginner
    by Jr.Jerry Lee Ford
    Paperback: 400 Pages (2006-06-30)
    list price: US$29.99 -- used & new: US$18.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1598632221
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    Product Description
    Perl is an enormously popular scripting language that runs on many different operating systems, including Windows, Linux, Unix, and Mac OS X, and provides programmers with a robust and powerful programming language that is easy to learn, yet sufficiently complex to tackle just about any job. As such, it's a perfect programming language for those new to programming to learn. Perl Programming for the Absolute Beginner has been designed to teach you how to develop Perl scripts and to help you become an effective programmer, and teaches concepts through the creation of simple games. Whether you are an experienced programmer looking to learn another language or you are reading this book as the first step in your programming career, you will find that this book's games-based teaching approach makes the learning process a lot more enjoyable. You will also find that the knowledge you'll gain from developing Perl-based games will provide you with a strong foundation from which you can branch out and tackle more complex challenges. ... Read more

    Customer Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Perl Absolutely Thumbs up for beginngers
    This book is great for the beginning programmer who has never programmed before. Young teens around 15 years of age can be a programmer with this book. Perl can be easy to learn if taught the right way and this book does. For instance, I took a Perl online class, after the third week I was lost and just dropped it. It was because of the way it was being taught. The instructor was using upper level math for all the assignments and instructions. This book uses building games as the foundation to learn, same programming language but taught in a way that can be understood so you don't have to learn calculus at the same time...thumbs up...children as young as 15 and up can and should get this book. Start young bright future... ... Read more

    17. Higher-Order Perl: Transforming Programs with Programs
    by Mark Jason Dominus
    Paperback: 600 Pages (2005-03-28)
    list price: US$75.95 -- used & new: US$44.43
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1558607013
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    Product Description
    Most Perl programmers were originally trained as C and Unix programmers, so the Perl programs that they write bear a strong resemblance to C programs. However, Perl incorporates many features that have their roots in other languages such as Lisp. These advanced features are not well understood and are rarely used by most Perl programmers, but they are very powerful. They can automate tasks in everyday programming that are difficult to solve in any other way. One of the most powerful of these techniques is writing functions that manufacture or modify other functions. For example, instead of writing ten similar functions, a programmer can write a general pattern or framework that can then create the functions as needed according to the pattern. For several years Mark Jason Dominus has worked to apply functional programming techniques to Perl. Now Mark brings these flexible programming methods that he has successfully taught in numerous tutorials and training sessions to a wider audience.

    * Introduces powerful programming methods—new to most Perl programmers—that were previously the domain of computer scientists
    * Gradually builds up confidence by describing techniques of progressive sophistication
    * Shows how to improve everyday programs and includes numerous engaging code examples to illustrate the methods ... Read more

    Customer Reviews (14)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Haiku on a typewriter
    Non-Lisp programmers, I think, fundamentally misunderstand the appeal of Lisp, and why it is superior to other programming languages.Lisp is not superior because it offers higher order functions or any of the other things, it is superior because it does not get in the way:Lisp meets problems, rather than forcing problems to meet it.

    This book serves two purposes: on the one hand it helps Perl programmers to move the center of gravity of their solutions further away from Perl, and a bit closer to their problems (quite a bit closer, actually), and on the other it provides a good introduction to Perl for Lisp programmers, and for that it gets an effortless five stars.

    I suspect that it is maybe more successful for the second purpose than the first: a relaxed read for someone who knows what a closure is, but for someone who does not know what a closure is, most likely not a relaxed read. Further, anyone who masters the contents may find that his newly refined coding style is somewhat caviary to the general, something that would be a problem in any IT/ORG that I have experienced.

    Small quibbles: A Pratt Precedence parser might have fitted the discussion better than the recursive descent parser that is developed, and adeeper discussion of the ways that Perl nevertheless falls short of Lisp, instead of just a passing reference to Norvig's list, would actually have made the arguement stronger - for instance you cannot add a macro facility similar to that of Lisp to Perl, and you cannot add the general continuations available in Scheme (or the limited continuations that Graham, e.g., shows how to add to Common Lisp).

    In short, Higher Order Perl makes a good case for the the aesthetics of haiku, but one should understand that (in spite of what my cousin, Leontia Flynn, thinks) it is haiku written with a typewriter, not with a caligrapher's brush.

    P.S. One minor repeated irritation for me was the way the author, in spite of everything, insisted on emphasising how input functions should read input files one line at a time.This is a bizarre mindset holdover from the seventies, that is inconsistent with the general argument of the book: if you have a computer with hundreds of megabytes, or gigabytes, of core, then the efficient way to read a text file is not line by line, but in one go.

    5-0 out of 5 stars good book, for people with computer science background
    good book, for people with computer science background! otherwise a little hard to understand the algorithm.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Solving Problems using Perl in a Functiona Programming approach
    Functional Programming is a programming paradigm that is very useful and must be part of the tool-arsenal of any software engineer and developer along with the well known Object Oriented Programming, the procedural programming approaches and the less known Aspect Oriented programming.

    HOP gives an easy access to Functional Programming for Perl developers. The book is written in a personal manner and is fun to read and sometimes even funny. It is definitely not a dry factoid book.

    The examples in the book are useful not only as they demonstrate nicely the need and power of functional programming but also due to their practicality for seasoned programmers.

    I felt the influence of books such as "Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs" by Abelson and the Sussmans" on HOP, and it was very nice and helpful to read MJD's recommendations for other good readings on the subject.

    I got to reading HOP cover to cover, several times. I attempted to solve myself the problems raised in the book and found the process of doing that enjoying and rewarding. Reading on the commentary and approach suggested by MJD was in many ways enlightening. You can find some very amusing footnotes in the book that makes it yet more fun to read.

    MJD gives a refreshing view on Perl programming, and shows that tasks that can be very complicated and hard, or computationally intense can be turned "inside out" and handled in a functional programming approach that simplifies understanding, simplifies the solution and also simplifies the implementation.

    MJD presents a very useful introduction to functional programming using Perl using practical problems, and the nice thing is that even theoretical problems get practical usages when explained, which makes the reading fun, and worth the while for the non-theoretical people amongst the readers.

    Though the book sometimes goes into detail or length too much for my taste, it does do a good job in giving the new view of the capabilities of a Perl programmer and the Perl programming language and how to use them.

    I can testify that a lot of code that I got to see, write and maintain got a considerable "lift" and "upgrade" since me and other colleagues of mine read this book and used some of the wisdom that it offers.

    There are many good and useful follow-ups to this book in the form of Perl modules on CPAN, articles and posts on the web and some book chapters. Look them up!

    Also, if you feel that this functional programming approach is useful to you, you might want to probe further on this by reading Haskell, Lisp, Scheme (and other functional programming languages) literature. There are several "must read!" for these programming languages that will give you a very deep understanding and good skills in this programming paradigm. Also -- you will find, especially after reading HOP, that you now have the tools to easily and practically apply the functional programming principles that you learn in Functional Programming books to Perl and use it in your Perl code.

    A few words on MDJ himself: I read a lot of what he wrote for Perl and used some of his modules and code that is available on the web. I had the pleasure of hosting him on the first YAPC in Israel and attend a 3 day course that he gave. He is a very smart person, a very nice person and an excellent teacher and a very good writer. If you don't already know MJD, this book is a very good way of getting access to some of the wisdom that this gut has to offer.

    If you don't know which Perl books to buy and/or to read, know this: HOP is one of the books that you should read!

    (It is funny that almost 3 years after I read this book for the first time and after reading some of the material before editing, as MJD offered in his private mailing list, I only now get to write a review on it. But still, it surely deserves a book review and a good mark too.)

    5-0 out of 5 stars a must-read book for serious Perl programmers
    I had originally planned to read Higher Order Perl and write my review immediately.When it became clear that I wasn't going to read HOP straight through, I figured I'd write a review when I was done.More and more, it looks like my reading of the last two chapters is being indefinitely delayed.I'm going to write what I think so far, while it's still more or less fresh in my mind.

    Higher Order Perl was originally going to be given some fairly bland name, like "Handbook of Advancted Perl Techniques."This would have been a spot-on (but uninteresting) title.HOP provides the reader with explanation and demonstration of techniques for problem-solving that are often overlooked.The examples are complex and detailed, but not byzantine, and they're built up slowly, piece by piece, so that each line of code's meaning and significance are made clear.

    The title "Higher Order Perl" refers to the book's most central technique, functional programming.While many programmers understand how to abstract a specific solution into a more general one, Dominus helps the reader learn to push the envelope, abstracing generic solutions into extremely generalized solutions that can be applied to seemingly-unrelated problems.This is frequently done by the construction of functions that build functions that build functions -- and so on, functions all the way down.Instead of solving the problem in base, earthly Perl, the programmer produces Perl elements of a higher order which, operating in harmony, become all things to all people.Well, I'm hyperbolizing, but I think it would be hard for me to over-emphasize the value of techniques like closures, iterators, and currying.They are, in part, what make Lisp so powerful, and the marriage of Lisp's power and Perl's expressivity is a happy one.As for the writing, it is good.The language is clear and the material is well-presented.One should be cautioned, though, that the book is dense.Dominus is constantly pressing onward, explaining new techniques or new ways to apply already-explained techniques.I found myself reading each page carefully and deliberately, only to turn back to it a few pages later, to be sure that I understood how the new material was relying on the old.It made the book a challenge to read, but it was a thoroughly enjoyable challenge.I never felt so frustrated by a bizarre idea that I gave up or so bored with an over-explained one that I skipped ahead.

    Finally, while the techniques that Dominus presents are powerful and advanced, the required knowledge of Perl is not particularly great.Because he clearly explains the key Perl concepts that he uses (especially closures and associated scoping issues), any competent programmer with a working knowledge of Perl should be able to put the ideas in Higher Order Perl to work.

    For serious Perl programmers, Higher Order Perl is a must-read book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Functional programming meets Perl, this is something special
    In a book market awash with teach-yourself-in-x-time-units, cookbooks, and API tutorials, Higher-Order Perl is ambitious. It attempts to bring functional techniques to Perl, leaning heavily on two language features: closures, and functions as first-class entities. To enjoy this book you need to be completely comfortable with Perl's syntax, there's lots of code to read and digest, and if you can't follow it, you're going to get lost very quickly, because there are lots of new concepts going to be thrown your way. There's no outlandish symbol table hacking, almost no object orientation, not even much use of modules, but it is in a very different style to most of the Perl you're used to.

    If, like me, most of the programming languages you're familiar with are more closely related to C than Lisp, this is going to be a challenging read. It's going to take you a long time to get through this book, and it'll probably require re-reading (more than once) to fully get it all. This is a book bursting at the seams with ideas, beginning with recursion, and then onto caching, iterators, streams and currying. The last two chapters show how to apply these techniques to parsing and declarative programming, and they feel like mini books in themselves. Applications of the code range from classics like Tower of Hanoi, Fibonacci sequences and the Newton Raphson method, to more practical material including databases, tied files, and directory walking.

    Part of the reason I enjoyed this book so much may be because I have no formal training in Computer Science, and of course, the likes of SICP and The Little Schemer contain similar concepts. But for someone without functional programming experience it's great to have it in Perl. Lispniks, MLers and Haskellites may well be familiar with these ideas already, but they should consider this an enticing 'gateway book' for Perl programmers. And Introduction to Functional Programming using Haskell just isn't as well-written as HOP. There's no hiding from the fact that if you want to fully appreciate the material here, you're going to have to work hard at it, but Mark Jason Dominus does a great job at stopping things from feeling like a textbook, and knows how to inject some wit into the proceedings without being distracting. Full marks to Morgan Kaufmann for the layout and overall production quality, too.

    I keep The Camel, Perl Cookbook and Perl Best Practices on my desk when programming Perl. HOP is not going to be joining them (yet), it's not that sort of a book. Instead it's a very different intellectual pleasure and easily one of my favourite and most important Perl books (only PBP edges it out due to the latter's everyday practicality). If you're serious about Perl, you need to read this book. If you're serious about programming, ditto. Hell, this might just be a good enough reason to learn Perl if you don't already (admittedly, the chances of such a person reading this far are small).

    HOP has set the bar very high. Python and Ruby authors, please step up! ... Read more

    18. Perl in A Nutshell: A Desktop Quick Reference (2nd Edition)
    by Ellen Siever, Stephen Spainhour, Nathan Patwardhan
    Paperback: 800 Pages (2002-06)
    list price: US$39.95 -- used & new: US$19.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0596002416
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    Product Description
    This complete guide to the Perl programming language ranges widely through the Perl programmer's universe, gathering together in a convenient form a wealth of information about Perl itself and its application to CGI scripts, XML processing, network programming, database interaction, and graphical user interfaces. The book is an ideal reference for experienced Perl programmers and beginners alike.In this second edition, Perl in a Nutshell has been expanded to include the latest version of Perl (5.7), with information on Unicode processing in Perl, new functions and modules that have been added to the core language, and up-to-date details on running Perl on the Win32 platform.The book also covers Perl modules for recent technologies such as XML and SOAP.As part of the successful "in a Nutshell" book series from O'Reilly & Associates, Perl in a Nutshell is for readers who want a single reference for all their needs.Amazon.com Review
    Perl in a Nutshell strives to be a perfect set ofsocket tools for the active Perl programmer. By and large, itsucceeds, providing endless and well-thought-out lists and tables onthe language's modules, flags, and extensions. The authors brieflyaddress basic learner's questions--such as the difference between ahash and an array--but these concepts are not the purpose of thebook. (Those new to Perl would be better off with others in theO'Reilly Perl series, such as Learning Perl, whileprogrammers making the switch to Perl can pick up the nuances of thelanguage with ProgrammingPerl.) This book is pure Perl reference, briefly coveringPerl/Tk (for GUI Perl programs on Unix and Windows 95/NT) and Perl forWin 32.

    The authors do start at the very beginning, and even in aself-described "desktop quick reference" find the time to comment onless urgent--but still interesting--Perl-related matters (like how tofind online help amidst the "Perl culture"). The format of the bookmakes sections on topics such as Perl debugging easily understandable,illustrating how to make an interactive and timesaving environment.

    Of particular convenience is the outstanding section on the standardPerl modules. A four-page "quick look" allows you to easily scanthrough short definitions of all the modules and find the entry you'relooking for. An index with full definitions for each module follows,showing you how to use each module and providing a more in-depthexplanation (and often, examples). Perl in a Nutshellconcludes--as you might expect--with an excellent andwell-cross-referenced index. --Jennifer Buckendorff ... Read more

    Customer Reviews (25)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Review for Perl in A Nutshell
    Like New. In very good condition. No markings. I am happy with what I purchased and got.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
    I have a shelf of Perl books from O'Reilly, from the Quick Reference to Advanced Perl Programming.This tends to be my first grab when I am looking for something.A bit thick when I am on the road, so I fall back to the Quick Reference, and whenever I do, I find I miss having the Nutshell book (with all my notes in the margins :)If I can't find it in this book, I jump to the Perl Reference most often.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I've used Perl for several years and love this book
    Exactly as advertised, "Perl in a Nutshell: A Desktop Quick Reference" is a great reference book if you already have a basic understanding of Perl.Although it does have a section that it refers to as an "Introduction to Perl" it is actually a pretty cursory introduction and there are better books for learning the basics of Perl.

    The book does have an excellent section on installing Perl including installation on both the Unix and Windows platforms.I've worked with both platforms and the installation process is well documented including how to install modules.This brings us to the large chapter on getting and installing Perl modules.I have spent hours sometimes trying to find an appropriate module for a special situation.This chapter lists all the most common modules and includes descriptions of what they do.This alone makes it a valuable resource for anyone involved in Perl.

    The authors also include a lot of technical information including command line options and environment variables as well as a section on program structure, data types, special variables, operators, expressions, subroutines, filehandles, and just about anything else that you might need a quick refresher on.

    Functions are listed both by category and by alphabetical order with descriptions and syntax information.I had a couple of problems on a large project recently and it took three days to get an answer through the forums on the Internet.The answers to all of them are right here and I could have saved myself a lot of trouble if I had had this book then.

    A lot of other information is available in the book including CGI programming, Webserver programming, database programming, SOAP, Network modules including Net, Mail, NNTP, FTP, and LDAP, Perl/Tk, Win32 Modules and Extensions, OLE Automation, and ODBC Extensions.This book will be the one I keep close at hand when working with Perl and deserves its location on my desktop instead of in the library."Perl in a Nutshell" is highly recommended for Perl programmers from basic to advanced level.

    3-0 out of 5 stars A handy reference, but...
    This is a handy reference, but if you have a limited budget you should probably go with Programming Perl and the Perl Cookbook before this one. This is a fine reference but it doesn't have the depth that the other books have and the information on the modules is available online through CPAN. I have the entire Perl library on my bookshelf and I hardly ever pick this one up.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great reference!
    I am not a beginning programmer nor am I what you would call an expert.Having a background in PHP made Perl easy to learn, so I didn't need a book that would "teach" Perl.All I needed was a good reference to figure out the differences between PHP and Perl.This book did exactly that!I was able to start programming within a day and I have referenced this book more times than I can count during my most recent development efforts.The binding is nearly worn out!I recommend this book to intermediate programmers that only need a small boost to get to work.If you're a beginner, buy this book to use after you learn the basics and you'll find it to be one of the most valuable tools on your desk! ... Read more

    19. Sams Teach Yourself Perl in 21 Days (2nd Edition)
    by Laura Lemay, Richard Colburn
    Paperback: 704 Pages (2002-06-10)
    list price: US$49.99 -- used & new: US$24.26
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0672320355
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Product Description
    Sams Teach Yourself Perl in 21 Days covers the basics of Perl in the first few chapters, and then moves on to practical issues of Perl and in-depth discussions of more advanced topics. Later chapters also delve into software engineering topics, with discussions of modular code and object-oriented programming. CGI is covered in one chapter, but it is not the focus on the book.The book relies heavily on longer working examples and code, as opposed to small snippets and code fragments, and each chapter includes two to three smaller complete examples and one major one that illustrates most of the concepts for that chapter and builds on the chapters before it. Written by Laura Lemay, this is her third major book after Sams Teach Yourself Web Publishing with HTML in 21 Days and Sams Teach Yourself Java in 21 Days.Amazon.com Review
    A great book for beginning programmers who want to learnPerl. Filled with concrete examples and, yes, by using this book youwill be able to write good Perl code on your own in 21 days. But noperlson is an island, and there is no single book that covers Perlcompletely, so we recommend that you also get Programming Perl, which isbetter at providing the language specifications, and, in fact, waswritten by the author of Perl. ... Read more

    Customer Reviews (77)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good introductory Perl Tutorial
    A basic, but well written book. I have only gotten to the 3rd chapter but satisfied with this purchase. I also use the net for additional information.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Why you should buy another book
    The bad:

    1. It has many typos and mistakes. Mistakes in a "teach yourself" book are particularly unacceptable.

    2. The explanations are very tedious to read and not very good. If you have never programmed then these tedious explanations may be of some help to you, although better quality explanations of the language are available elsewhere. But if you're an experienced programmer looking to learn Perl then reading an explanation of how a while loop works over and over again will, to say the least, not be your cup of Java. This is especially strange since, as it said in the book, this book is written for readers with at least some programming experience. Furthermore, many of the explanations are so vague that they're practically useless. For instance, instead of giving an explanation about the local scope of a foreach loop variable, the author says "if it [the iterating variable in the foreach loop] doesn't exist prior to the loop, it'll stop existing after the loop. If it does exist prior to the loop, the foreach will just use it as a temporary variable, and then restore its original value when you're done looping. You can think of the foreach variable as a sort of scratch variable used solely to store elements, which is then thrown away when the loop's done." And I consider this to be a representative example of most of the explanations in this book.

    3. This book is a bad reference. Many people buy programming books so that they can quickly read a few pages and learn some detail about some language feature. For this, the book is useless. There are many features that do NOT have a full explanation, only a partial one, and even these are often times strewn around the book so that you'll have to search for them. And personally, I can not use this book as a reference since I have doubts about the correctness of many of its explanations.

    4. The author will MANY times give a vague description of a feature and then tell you to look at the Perl documentation for more details. This makes the book useless for a beginner (since they're just learning the language) and useless for someone who already knows the language and is using it as a reference (since then they may as well have just gone to the Perl documentation from the outset).

    5. The example programs are not that well written. The quality of the example programs reminds me of something that I would have written when I had just a few years of programming experience.

    6. The book tells you many times about what you're going to learn about later in the book, which gets annoying.

    7. The author includes useless programming examples for some reason. Ex: "For example, here's a somewhat pointless for loop that creates an array, and then destroys it, backwards, printing the number of remaining (sic) and the array itself as it goes: [shows the code] I can't image what sort of Perl program would need this kind of loop, and because it iterates over a list it would probably make more sense as a foreach."

    8. Mistakes such as not knowing when to use "that" or "which" are unacceptable for any author.

    The good:

    1. If you're a beginner and if you can stand reading through all of it then you will learn something about the Perl language and you will learn how to create a quick script (although as a word of caution, if you emulate this book's examples then your scripts likely won't be very good).

    This programming book is among the worst that I have seen.
    Overall, I wish that I had bought another book.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Not bad...
    This isn't bad.I think it moves kinda fast, but that may just be me.This is seriously the only presentation of the subject matter that I'd consider reading to completion.This is a good introduction to Perl and a good reference for the future.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great book - clear and easy to read
    I find myself using this book as a refernce almost every day.It is well written and easy to follow.I highly recommend it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I haven't even finished the book and I am already feeling like a perl programmer
    I bought this book after trying to learn Perl through another book (Perl for Bioinformatics). This book is definitely a better introduction to Perl than any other book I've seen. It is clear and concise enough and although it might be hard to finish it in 21 days, you can start coding your own scripts much before the end of the book. I am still on chapter 11 and I can program most of what I need with it (i.e parsers and simple bioinformatics applications). I recognize that there are a few typos on the book but if even Knuth's Art of Computer Programming have them why shouldn't Lemay's Teach Yourself Perl in 21 Days do the same?

    Given what I said above, I must warn begginer programmers (like me) that Perl is not the best language for you to learn as your first one. It is a dirty scripting language which does the job and is most suitable for parsing files and formatting data but it has a lot of things which make it quite confusing initially (its context dependency for instance). If you want to learn something that will give a solid programming base you should start with something else (i.e. Java, Pascal, Ruby etc) which will probably be a little bit harder but will payoff later. ... Read more

    20. Perl Hacks: Tips & Tools for Programming, Debugging, and Surviving
    by chromatic, Damian Conway, Curtis "Ovid" Poe
    Paperback: 304 Pages (2006-05-08)
    list price: US$29.99 -- used & new: US$15.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0596526741
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
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    Product Description

    With more than a million dedicated programmers, Perl has proven to be the best computing language for the latest trends in computing and business. While otherlanguages have stagnated, Perl remains fresh, thanks to its community-based development model, which encourages the sharing of information among users. This tradition of knowledge-sharing allows developers to find answers to almost any Perl question they can dream up.

    And you can find many of those answers right here in Perl Hacks. Like all books in O'Reilly's Hacks Series, Perl Hacks appeals to a variety of programmers, whether you're an experienced developer or a dabbler who simply enjoys exploring technology. Each hack is a short lesson--some are practical exercises that teach you essential skills, while others merely illustrate some of the fun things that Perl can do. Most hacks have two parts: a direct answer to the immediate problem you need to solve right now and a deeper, subtler technique that you can adapt to other situations. Learn how to add CPAN shortcuts to the Firefox web browser, read files backwards, write graphical games in Perl, and much more.

    For your convenience, Perl Hacks is divided by topic--not according to any sense of relative difficulty--so you can skip around and stop at any hack you like. Chapters include:

    • Productivity Hacks
    • User Interaction
    • Data Munging
    • Working with Modules
    • Object Hacks
    • Debugging

    Whether you're a newcomer or an expert, you'll find great value in Perl Hacks, the only Perl guide that offers something useful and fun for everyone.

    ... Read more

    Customer Reviews (10)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Like a collection of really good blog posts
    Imagine that chromatic were to write a professional once-a-week blog for the span of about two years, with edits and ideas from Damian Conway and Curtis "Ovid" Poe, focusing on cool Perl tricks.The result would look very similar to the Perl Hacks book.

    The book is filled with lots of small, self-contained gems.I've put a few of these ideas into immediate practice, like Smart::Comments.Other ideas solve problems that I didn't think had any simple solutions, like reading files backwards, which I'll use the next time I need it.Many of their ideas are curriosities, the sorts of things that are kinda cool but I never think I'll need like vi and emacs hacks, or database stuff; still, knowing that they are there and where to read more makes me much more likely to use those tools if ever the need arises.

    In all I'm very pleased with my purchase and I would recommend it to others.You're almost certain to find a few ideas that you can put into immediate use and many ideas that you'll bookmark mentally so you can use them in the future.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent way to get more out of Perl than you ever realized
    Perl is my workhorse language. I've written more Perl code, both personally and professionally, than any other language I've learned. Whenever I receive a new project, I immediately think of how I would accomplish it quickly in Perl. I've also been a fan of O'Reilly's "Hacks" series of books. When I heard of the marriage of Perl and O'Reilly's "Hacks" series in the book Perl Hacks, I knew I had to pick up a copy. It was a match made in heaven. The nature of Perl for terse, yet powerful constructs, and the hackish nature of the "Hacks" series makes for one of my favorite books in this series. The collection of articles in Perl Hacks are great for putting more productivity into your programming experience.

    Those of you not familiar with O'Reilly's "Hacks" Series may need an introduction. The "Hacks" Series is an ever-growing set of books with focused attention on a particular topic, like Astronomy, Mental Improvement, or even Halo 2. The books are generally short, and contain article-length "hacks" of varying difficulty, noted by a thermometer next to the hack number and description. These "hacks" fall into several categories; the non-obvious solution to a problem, the performance improvement, and the "gee, I didn't know it could do that" oddity. What makes this series special compared with other books is the willingness to "void the warranty" on a particular product, and get straight to the internals, whether they lay in hardware or software. If something can be made better by opening the covers, or twiddling with the program layout, then its eligible for inclusion in these books. The series lends itself to a wide range of topics, and the format is great for a quick read, or for (my favorite) just randomly opening the book and reading what's there.

    Perl Hacks is not a book that you'd find yourself reading straight through (although you do want to make sure you visit every hack in the book at least once). The book is divided into nine chapters: Productivity Hacks, User Interaction, Data Munging, Working with Modules, Object Hacks, Debugging, Developer Tricks, Know Thy Code, and Expand Your Perl Foo. There are 101 hacks in this book, ranging from the simple (Reading files backward, or managing your module paths) to the truly perverse (Replacing bad code without touching it by substituting the system-wide exit call with your own[...]. Each hack title is listed in the table of contents, with both the page number and the hack number. Each hack contains a graphic of a thermometer next to the number to show the relative difficulty of the hack (higher temperatures = more difficult hacks). There quite a variety of hacks placed throughout the book. Not once did I feel that the book was padded with something that really didn't belong in the book. If anything Perl Hacks opened my eyes to things that I would never have thought to do, but could easily see as being useful. I wouldn't have thought to create my own personal module bundles for moving my Perl programs between machines (I've always done it the old fashioned way: run, cpan install, repeat), but hack #31 makes it so "of course" that I'm thinking of including this in all of my Perl code that I ship. Hack #74 shows how to trace all of the modules your program uses (and all of their modules, too). Hack #52 is a simple hack ("Make Invisible Characters Apparent") but I can see this saving a developer or two some time when figuring out why their code isn't behaving properly. Of course, not all hacks in the book are productive (at least, not while you're programming). Hack #37, "Drink to the CPAN" is a drinking game you and your Perl buddies may want to try.

    Perl Hacks is a short book, at less than 300 pages, but it's loaded with incredibly useful information. Much like the "Perl Cookbook" (also from O'Reilly) you'll find lots of useful items hidden in their pages. Many times I started with one hack, and finished the chapter reading the rest of the hacks because there were just that interesting. Perl Hacks is highly recommended for any Perl programmer to have on their programmer book shelf. Sure, you might be able to find some of the hacks out there on the net, but I think you'll find as I have that this is more of a go-to reference for finding out some of the more interesting corners of Perl.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Super-advanced Perl
    From the title, I wasn't quite sure what to expect from Perl Hacks. Was it going to be about rummaging around in Perl's internals? Making Perl do clever, yet ultimately dumb and pointless tricks? It turns out that, while there is some fairly voodooish material here, some of it quite playful, on the whole it's a very practical book. Aimed firmly at the advanced Perl programmer who knows when it's appropriate to mess about with the symbol table, temporarily turn off warnings, or crack out one of the B:: modules, this is a collection of 101 suggestions to improve your productivity, boggle your mind about what Perl can do, or both.

    The content reminds me a little of the likes of Exceptional C++ Style, a mixture of advanced best practices, and things which you may not need to know, but you'll probably still be interested in finding out how it works. For instance, have you ever considered tieing an array or hash variable to a function? Ever wanted to name a supposed anonymous subroutine? Print out the source code as well as the line number of a syntax error? Nor me, but Perl Hacks shows how it could be useful. These are illustrative of the spirit of the book.

    My favourite material was probably the chapter on modules. Included are how-tos for outputting all the modules used in a package, automatically reloading modules in running code, shortening long package names with the CPAN 'aliased' module, and making up your own bundle of modules for easy installation. There's also an interesting object chapter with subjects such as: inside out objects, using YAML for serialisation, using traits and autogeneration of accessors.

    Additionally, there's a little on using those scary B:: packages, using modules which use the B:: packages or other dark magic (e.g. peeking inside closures), some fairly hardcore tracing and profiling, that touches on some Perl VM internals. Also worth mentioning is the hack that hijacks the angle bracket glob operator to create Haskell/Python-style list comprehensions.

    You are going to have to be one scarily gifted Perl hacker not to find something useful or at least thought-provoking at regular intervals throughout this book. My only complaint is that the hack format, which the blurb on the back of the book describes as a "short lesson", does not lend itself equally well to all hacks. While I liked the chapter on objects, some of the hacks (in particular the traits hack, some of the testing material) were too short.

    If you like the sound of a book that's somewhere between Perl Cookbook, Perl Best Practices and the second edition of Advanced Perl Programming, you're going to love this.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Collection of Perl Tricks
    I received this book as a token of appreciation for my contributions to
    the 2006 Perl Advent Calendar. It's the first book I read as part of the
    O'Reilly Hacks' series of books, and it proved to be a light yet informative and entertaining

    The book covers various useful "hacks" or small tricks that allow one to
    achieve a lot of cool tasks when working with Perl. These tricks are unorthodox
    and stretch the limit of one's Perl knowledge. Since they require an advanced
    knowledge and understanding of Perl, I would recommend this book only for Perl
    experts. Some of the B:: using modules were even too high-level for me to
    understand how they worked internally. However, I understood the purpose of the
    code in all cases, even if I didn't understand the code itself.

    So it is a recommended read for people who've worked with Perl a lot,
    and wish to learn many new and useful tricks. Perl Hacks for Perl hackers,

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Compendium of Perl Tricks
    To be completely honest, this isn't the book I thought it was going to be. Most O'Reilly Hacks books start off pretty simply and in a few chapters take you to the further reaches of their subject area. Whilst this is a great way to quickly get a good taste of a particular topic, it has the occasional disadvantage that for subjects that you know well, the first couple of chapters can seem a bit basic. As I know Perl pretty well, I thought I would be on familiar ground for at least half of the book.

    I was wrong.

    Oh, it started off easily enough. Making use of various browser and command line tools to get easy access to Perl documentation, creating some useful shell aliases to cut down typing for your most common tasks. "Oh yes", I thought smugly to myself, "I know all that". But by about Hack 5 I was reading about little tweaks that I didn't know about. I'd start a hack thinking that I knew everything that the authors were going to cover and end up frustrated that I was on the tube and couldn't immediately try out the new trick I had just learnt.

    It's really that kind of book. Pretty much everyone who reads it will pick up something that will it easier for them to get their job done (well, assuming that their job involves writing Perl code!) And, of course, looking at the list of authors, that's only to be expected. The three authors listed on the cover are three of the Perl communities most respected members. And the list of other contributers reads like a who's who of people who are doing interesting things with Perl - people whose use.perl journals are always interesting or whose posts on Perl Monks are worth reading before other people's. Luckily, it turns out that all these excellent programmers can also explain what they are doing (and why they are doing it) very clearly.

    Like all books in the Hacks series, it's a little bitty. The hacks are organised into nine broad chapters, but the connections between hacks in the same chapter can sometimes be a bit hard to see. But I enjoyed that. In places it made the book a bit of a rollercoaster ride. You're never quite sure what is coming next, but you know it's going to be fun.

    In fact, the more I think about it, the more apt the fairground analogy seems. When you ask Perl programmers what they like about Perl, you'll often hear "fun" mentioned near the top of the list. People use Perl because they enjoy it. And the authors' enjoyment of Perl really comes through in the book. It's obvious that they really wanted to show people the things that they thought were really cool.

    Although I did learn useful tips from the earlier part of the book, it was really the last three chapters that were the most useful for me. Chapter 7, Developer Tricks, had a lot of useful things to say about testing, Chapter 8, Know Thy Code, contains a lot of information on using Perl to examine your Perl code and Chapter 9, Expand Your Perl Foo was a grab-bag of obscure (but still useful) Perl tricks.

    So where does this book fit in to O'Reilly's Perl canon? I can't recommend it for beginners. But if you're a working Perl programmer with a couple of years' experience then I'd be very surprised if you didn't pick up something that will be useful to you. And don't worry about it overlapping with other books in your Perl library - offhand I can't think of anything in the book that has been covered in any previous Perl book.

    All in all, this would make a very useful addition to your Perl library. ... Read more

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