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Object Oriented Perl Paperback – 12 Oct 1999

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Product details

  • Paperback: 490 pages
  • Publisher: Manning Publications; 1 edition (12 Oct. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1884777791
  • ISBN-13: 978-1884777790
  • Product Dimensions: 18.8 x 3 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 93,105 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon Review

Perl has always been a powerful and popular programming language but with its new object capabilities, it can do even more. Written for anyone with a little Perl experience, Damian Conway's Object Oriented Perl provides a truly invaluable guide to virtually every aspect of object-oriented programming in Perl.

The most notable thing about Object Oriented Perl is the author's excellent perspective on object- oriented concepts and how they are implemented in Perl. This book does a remarkable job at cutting through traditional jargon and illustrating how basic object- oriented design techniques are handled in Perl. (A useful appendix attests to the author's wide-ranging knowledge, with a comparison of Smalltalk, Eiffel, C++, Java with Perl, including a summary of object-oriented syntax for each). This book also features a truly excellent review of basic Perl syntax.

Throughout this text, the author shows you the basics of solid object design (illustrated using classes that model music CDs). Basic concepts like inheritance and polymorphism get thorough and clear coverage. The author points out common mistakes and provides many tips for navigating the powerful and flexible (yet sometimes tricky) nuances of using Perl objects. For instance, he shows how to achieve true data encapsulation in Perl (which generally allows calls across modules) as well as its natural support for generic programming techniques.

The author also pays good attention to popular object modules available from CPAN (like Class::MethodmakerK, which simplifies declaring classes). He also discusses performance issues and the trade-off between programming convenience and speed often faced by today's Perl developer. Advanced chapters cover a number of techniques for adding persistence and invoking methods using multiple dispatching.

Filled with syntactic tips and tricks, Object Oriented Perl is a sure bet for any programmer who wants to learn how to use Perl objects effectively. --Richard Dragan

Topics covered: Perl language review, CPAN, Perl objects, "blessing" and inheritance, polymorphism, Class: Struct and Class: Method maker modules, Perl ties and closures, operator overloading, encapsulation, multiple dispatch, Class: Multimethods, coarse-grained and fine-grained object persistence techniques, performance issues.

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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 5 Oct. 1999
Format: Paperback
This is a book that many people have been awaiting for a very long time. There are a large number of Perl books on the market and many of them include a chapter or two on Object Oriented Programming using Perl, but this is the first book completely devoted to the subject.
As a bonus, not only does the book cover a very useful and interesting subject, but it is also extremely well written and easy to understand. Everyone who is serious about writing Perl programs should buy this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Thing with a hook on 15 July 2007
Format: Paperback
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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 6 April 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A lot of programming books waffle.
This one doesn't , Damian Conway has perfected the art of explaining quite a complex subject in an easy to understand and concise way, with a touch of subtle humour along the way.
I'd give it more stars , only Amazon limit me to 5.
This book should be at the top of anyone's shopping list who is serious about learning Perl, especially if you want to use Perl for more than just hacking out disposable scripts.
Perl can be a highly scalable language , if you use the principles in this book and Damian Conway's other book "Perl Best Practices".
Perl programming can also be a dog's dinner when left in the hand's of hackers, but then this book (along with "Perl Best Practices") will take you from being a Perl Hacker to a Perl Developer of scalable solutions. It did with me , Thank you Damian !
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This is the classic of Perl OOP, everybody must have who is planning to do some serious Perl, not just OOP, but even for functional Perl. May not use the latest code features, but still the best reference for OO Perl.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 53 reviews
32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
A fantastic addition to your Perl collection 14 July 2000
By Douglas Welzel - Published on
Format: Paperback
I was a bit skeptical when I was first handed a copy of Object Oriented Perl because I tend to be biased toward O'Reilly books. However, after reading it I felt it is one of the best Perl books I have come across. Most Perl books deal with Perl as a scripting language. Conway treats pull like a real development language. He gives the standard introduction to object orientation and objects in Perl and then quickly moves past this to look at some of the unique features of Perl's OO development in Perl. For example, he covers blessing every type of reference possible, why you would want to bless a particular type of reference and what the pros and cons are of each approach.
Conway also gives a very thorough coverage of implementating true data encapsulation in Perl and presents several methods for doing so.
Another thing that struck me about this book is Conway's attention to detail. In his code samples, he carefully explains why each line was written a certain way. He even notes which version of Perl a certain feature or module first appeared in.
All in all, a wonderful book. Even if you have been developing in Perl for a while this book has something to offer.
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Excellent for intermediate AND advanced programmers 4 Mar. 2000
By Sean Burke - Published on
Format: Paperback
/Object-Oriented Perl/ is miles ahead of any other book on OOP that I've ever seen. It sets a new standard in how concepts of OOP should be explained, and how they should be related to the language that the OOP framework is implemented in.
And the best thing about this book is that, on the way to explaining various OOP concepts, it manages to elucidate all sorts of non-OOP advanced programming techniques in Perl. So I recommend this book to anyone who's finished /Learning Perl/ and is looking for what to learn next.
It's a surprising achievement, and one that makes this book very worthwhile reading for people who don't even particularly care about OOP!
And, conversely, because /Object-Oriented Perl/ touches on so many of the possible approaches to OOP, I think that this book would be interesting to people who are interested in OOP, but not terribly interested in Perl per se.
It is, in short, a book of immediate as well as lasting value.
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Exhaustive and illustrative 26 May 2000
By joe_n_bloe - Published on
Format: Paperback
Conway's Object Oriented Perl is the definitive work on object-oriented Perl programming and will probably remain so for some time (if not indefinitely). It illustrates how to construct all manner of object-oriented frameworks in Perl and aptly demonstrates the wide range of styles that are possible--from simplistic to complex and constrained.
My only complaint about this work, which is more of an opinion that isn't relative to its rating, is that I think Perl programs are more beautiful and elegant when they don't embody complex scaffolding of the type that this book so ably describes. I see this book as a Perl counterpart to Coplien's Advanced C++, but in the case of C++, it's possible to bury scaffolding in a library out of sight in a way that isn't quite possible in Perl. I'm not sure how many Perl programmers actually know C++ (my experience is that it's a surprisingly small number) but I think that C++ is a language that tolerates and even demands such complexity in a way that Perl doesn't.
One thing for sure--the coverage of objects here is vastly superior to that in the turquoise Camel book (Programming Perl). I'm sorry, but I think the topic deserves more descriptive terminology than "thingy." Conway knows his concepts, knows how to execute them in Perl, and sets them down lucidly and, yes, exhaustively.
I'm not sure it's worth it in the long run, but that's just me, and obviously others see architectural tradeoffs differently. Meanwhile, this is an excellent, literate work that enhances both the capabilities of programmers and the stature of Perl. If nothing else, studying it will definitely improve your understanding of the language and idioms of Perl. But I would expect it to be more rewarding than that.
27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
Most Excellent! 8 May 2000
By Stephen C. - Published on
Format: Paperback a 1989 Keanu Reeves might say, if his Ted Logan character could possibly comprehend computer programming.
To my ever-growing stack of O'Reilly Perl books, I've just added this gem, which fits nicely alongside Effective Perl Programming (ISBN 0201419750 for the uninformed) as a non-O'Reilly Perl book that every Perl programmer should have at their disposal.
Not content with writing just a Perl book, Damian Conway spends the first chapter explaining normally confusing object-orientation concepts in a very clear manner. This tutorial alone is worth a good chunk of the purchase price, especially if you tend to find typical articles on object-oriented programming overwhelming. To fill the rest of your order, the next 400+ pages are pure Perl, as Conway takes every concept introduced in the first chapter and spends a chapter on each one, showing you how Perl accomplishes them. The examples and code samples are very clear, very real-world, and (thusly) very easy to understand. A good deal of time is also spent on tricks and optimizations to help reduce the much-touted performance hit from OO Perl. The later chapters dive into more advanced topics and start combining all the core concepts together.
Besides teaching all the ins and outs of OOP, a good number of paragraphs are also devoted to non-OOP advanced Perl techniques. This book transcends its title; it's a book for anyone looking to move into the advanced Perl realm, OOP or not.
This book has definitely helped me increase my level of Perl competence and the knowledge gained is presently working to streamline a number of projects I'm on. I'm elated. I think I'll play my air guitar in celebration.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Wonderful, Fun, Code provoking 22 Feb. 2000
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is an extraordinary book not because it is well-organized, clearly written, and easy to read, though it is all of those things. This is a book that is intriguing and makes one want to try out new things.
I have spend the last couple weeks literally playing with Conway's examples and ideas. It has been tremendous fun. Reading the book is almost like having a clever pal constantly egging one on. "Hey, watch this!" or "Why don't you try it this way?"
No offense to O'Reilly and Co., but this book is exceptionally easy to read and understand. The whole book is a relief from the usual confusing and dry computer book. There is plenty of code and all of it is explained.
Conway is also candid about the problems and advantages of OO perl. For me, this established his credibility early.
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