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Computer Science & Perl Programming: Best of The Perl Journal Paperback – 14 Nov 2002

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Product details

  • Paperback: 762 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (14 Nov. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596003102
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596003104
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 4.4 x 23.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,048,332 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


The writing in the book is simply good; clear, accurate, intellectually coherent, and warm without being too cute. -- Cameron Laird,, Feb 2003

From the Publisher

The first of three volumes from the archives of The Perl Journal that O'Reilly has exclusive rights to distribute, this book is a compilation of the best from TPJ: 71 articles providing a comprehensive tour of how experts implement computer science concepts in the real world, with code walkthroughs, case studies, and explanations of difficult techniques that can't be found in any other book.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas Dunn on 16 Feb. 2004
Format: Paperback
While it's not the best place to come to learn Perl or to learn Computer Science from scratch it does provide a huge amount of fascinating material illustrating all the traditional aspects of a university Computer Science course. It's made up from articles taken from The Perl Journal over a period of five years and so provides a very varied and interesting range of subjects, but it still sits coherently together as a single book.
Anyone learning Perl or seeking a simple guide to the basics would be better advised to start with an introductory text, like the 'Learning Perl' and 'Programming Perl' titles from the same publisher before moving on to this.
In some ways it's similar to the other O'Reilly titles, 'The Perl Cookbook' and 'Mastering Algorithms with Perl'. It follows the same approach of explaining the subject clearly, but in sufficient depth, and providing the relevant Perl code with suggestions on using the code in different situations. It is probably a better choice than the other two titles as it provides in-depth descriptions and explanations similar to the algorithms book along with larger chunks of functional code in the same way as the cookbook. The other advantage is the much larger number of articles and greater depth and breadth of coverage.
The readable style coupled with the range and accuracy of technical information make this a great addition to the Perl programmer's library.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 7 reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Great collection 13 Dec. 2002
By Mark - Published on
Format: Paperback
Computer Science and Perl Programming is a collection of 70-odd articles from The Perl Journal magazine. As the title suggests it focusses on more of the theoretical side of perl. This is the first volume in a series of three books. The second one focusses on web and graphics, and the third one on games and diversions.
CS & PP is divided into seven sections as follows: Beginner Concepts, Regular Expressions, Computer Science, Programming Techniques, Software Development, Networking and Databases. The articles are straight reprints from TPJ and are written by a number of leading perl people such as Larry Wall, Damian Conway, Mark Jason Dominus, etc. Jon Orwant, the publisher of TPJ is the editor for this book.
I haven't finished this book yet but I've greatly enjoyed the articles I've read. A vast array of topics are covered, such as B-Trees, random number generators, benchmarking, makemaker, DBI and even Win32::ODBC and Microsoft Office. There's something for every perl programmer in this book. Highly recommended.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Absolutely lovable and entirely unique 5 Jan. 2005
By Scott D. Walters - Published on
Format: Paperback
The title is misleading in that it doesn't give the full impact of what's going on with this book. This book was written by somnething of a who's-who of the Perl community and it's similiarly a massive aggregation the best applications of nearly all of Perl's features. It's true that it's edited versions of TPJ articles but TPJ has always been hands-on and the feel is more as though the best pages were ripped out of already great Perl books to be arranged and edited into one volume. I urge you to think of this as a book in the vein of Programming Perl but written by everyone but Larry Wall. =)

Because nearly every article was written as the result of a Perl feature manifesting itself to violently break through a hard problem, this book contains a collection of examples that no single human could possible contrieve. Other books (even Programming Perl by comparison) relatively thoroughly demonstrate and document the language features but only this one shows each feature shining as it solves real problems in real problems taken from real life. You'll get a feel not only for the syntax of features but how to think about them. You'll start to spot new and better applications for Perl's features in your own programming work.

Compared to other books, it's more verbose than Programming Perl and it neglects the bare basics and moves much further with the ideas. It examines more macro scale ideas than the Perl Cookbook and generalizes thier applications rather than giving numerous specifics. The closest example I can think of is the styles and much of the contents of Advanced Perl Programming, Learning Regular Expressions, Learning Algorithms with Perl and several others rolled into one.

It goes into more depth on why things are the way they are than any other Perl book. For example, one chapter demonstrates how things would go wrong if the order of operators were different than how they are and using the good and bad arrangements walks the reader through infering what the relative orders are. Where other books list the order of operations in a matter-of-fact way, this one leaves you with a sense of order and rationality of things that your intuition and creativity can feed off of when programming.

Quoting from the foreword (Hi Mark Jason Dominus!): "It does not suffer from the usual flaw of the anthology, which is that the best you can hope for is that more than half of the articles are above average. On the contrary, it is by turns brilliant, witty, and profound.". And from the preface: "In a sense, this book was written very carefully and methodically over six years. ... Every issue, there were a lot of new subscribers, many of whom were new to Perl. Common sense dictated that I should include beginner articles in every issue, but I didn't like where that line of reasoning led. If I catered to the novices in every issue, far too many articles would be about beginner topics. ... So I did something very unusual for a magazine: I made it easy (and cheap) for subscribers to get all of the back issues when they subscribed, so they'd be able to enjoy the introductory material. A side effect of this approach was that the articles hang together very well: they tell a consistent "story" in a steady progress from TPJ #1 to TPJ #20...".

Perl's books have always been one of it's major strengths and I'm happy this trend continues. Computer Science & Perl Programming is delightful.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Computer Science and Perl Programming 18 May 2004
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
Ahh how I miss The Perl Journal. This volume brings me right back to the good old days of humor and fine code. Unfortunately, The Perl Journal has been relegated to a quarterly supplement appearing in Sys Admin magazine. Thankfully, some of the knowledge found in the pages of The Perl Journal has been compiled here.
Computer Science and Perl Programming is a collection of 70 articles from The Perl Journal. It is the first volume of a set of three and, in my opinion, the best volume. Jon Orwant, the original editor of The Perl Journal, has done a great job in putting together this volume.
This volume is divided into tips for beginners, regular expressions, data structures, networking, databases, software development processes, object-oriented programming, and advanced Perl programming techniques. I particularly enjoyed the regular expressions, and networking sections. The data structures section was also very useful, as data structures in Perl can tend to be a bit odd. This volume has a good bit of programming knowledge crammed into it, and seems to be a bit more serious than the other two volumes.
All in all, a great read and a great reference to keep around. I would definitely advise anyone interested in Perl to pick up this set, you won't regret it.
Good but not great 14 Dec. 2007
By Jerrad Pierce - Published on
Format: Paperback
The material is great, but the first edition (at least) suffers from enough typesetting flaws to make some content difficult to follow. There are several instances where the prose indicates some text is supposed to be highlighted in some way but it is not e.g; bold to indicate differences from an earlier code listing, or variables missing the distinguishing overlines resulting in incomprehensible formulae.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Good, but over my head 15 Feb. 2007
By Mountainside - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoyed learning the algorithms they presented, but I don't have much use for them in my work. This is a good collection for those who are interested in doing very difficult work in the easiest Language to Succeed in; Perl.
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