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Perl Cookbook: Tips and Tricks for Perl Programmers Paperback – 11 Aug 1998

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Product details

  • Paperback: 800 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (11 Aug. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1565922433
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565922433
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 3.9 x 23.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,460,309 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Amazon Review

In the world of art, a picture can paint a thousand words. In the world of computing a good example does much the same thing.

The Perl Cookbook is a superb collection of coding snippets which cover all manner of subject areas in a fashion that proves suitable for beginners and established programmers alike. From date formatting and text searching to socket programming and creating Internet services, it's all here and each is a little gem.

Authors Tom Christiansen and Nathan Torkington have done a sterling job of documenting each code snippet through explanatory text and in-line comments which goes a long way to helping the casual user understand what is going on and more importantly, how and why.

As a volume in its own right, the Cookbook is an essential desktop reference for anyone with an interest in programming the language, but combined with O'Reilly's other weighty Perl tomes--Learning Perl, Programming Perl and Advanced Perl Programming--it forms the final piece in one of the most thorough and comprehensive documentation sets for any programming language.


"Worth reading." -- Dave Cross, Linux Format, May 2002

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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 8 Feb. 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The summary line says it all - if you're a Perl programmer, you should buy this book irrespective of whether you're a beginner or an `old hand'.
One of the best (and worst) things about Perl is the fact that 'There's More Than One Way To Do It', and the Cookbook contains a number of useful recipes for a variety of different tasks ranging from simple things like opening files up to data parsers. A downside of this is that just when you think you know the language, the authors come up with another way to do something! The book focuses, rightly, on `everyday' programming applications and as a result the treatment of CGI and databases is lacking but, having said that, perfectly good books are available on both subjects.
Along with O'Reilly's other Perl books, the Cookbook has taken up permanent residence on my desk - the book is *that* good. If you're just getting into Perl programming, you'll learn an awful lot by using the Camel Book in conjunction with the Cookbook.
There are lots of poor computing books out there, but the Cookbook stands head and shoulders above practically everything, but then would you expect anything less from two authors who are pillars of the Perl community?
Just go out and buy it!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 7 Jan. 2000
Format: Paperback
A useful book for the experienced or amateur programmer, but I would imagine it would not be the easiest read for a complete novice. An average to good knowledge in almost any other proper programming language would help in understanding many of the terms used in this book. This book has obviously not been written with the novice in mind.
A bit of unnecessary flannel exists in this book and makes some areas over complicated, yet in other areas not enough detail exists. This book is most definitely directed at the UNIX side of Perl rather than just Perl. Useful but being so UNIX biased, it occasionally can be a bit difficult adapting to the Windows environment. Although a small attempt has been made at attacking the problems with Windows NT and Perl, there is no reference to lesser OS such as Win98 or 95 and not a mention of the Mac. This is can be frustrating for some whom may wish to use a none UNIX OS. I have used this book many hundreds of times for ideas and reference in the creation of nearly a thousand scripts and packages all of which I have written and tested on Windows 98 machines and then successfully executed on UNIX machines with no changes.
Sadly (like all O-Reilly) books, the index is not as good as it could be. Most programmers who are looking for a solution to a problem don't always know the commonly used name for the answer and the index seems to have been written by someone who knows what they are talking about with Perl. Sounds like a silly comment but most whom would be using this book don't know what they are talking about and if they did why use the book ? That aside the index is moderately useful but most readers will probably find themselves inserting 50 or 60 bookmarks for the most useful parts and examples.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Dewi Morgan on 7 Nov. 2000
Format: Paperback
I bought it thinking it'd be a vast collection of one-liners, but in fact, the solutions seem to average about a page each. But still, I wouldn't be without it now. It's well organised, and I personally find that it's index is pretty close to perfect, head and shoulders over most IT books (I'd say the same about other OI'Reilly books, though - perhaps the other reviewer wants other things from an index?).
The solutions I found most handy are things that tell you how to, say, parse comma delimited stuff, or do certain things to HTML files and URLs.
I found the section on validating email addresses to be one of the best I've found, and it backed me up very well when a client told me that I had to completely validate them.
It is not as readable as the camel book ("Programming Perl"), but fills a complimentary niche.
Basically, if you use perl regularly for many varied tasks, then you probably need this or you will be reinventing the wheel far too often. You'll probably get back the cover price as time saved the very first time you refer to it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Thing with a hook on 15 July 2007
Format: Paperback
Once you've learnt the syntax of a language, you want to learn the idioms, and how it's used most effectively. And given Perl's famous 'There's More The One Way To Do It' motto, you'll need all the help you can get. Perl Cookbook is that help.

Neither a reference nor a tutorial, if you've ever read another cookbook, you'll know what to expect -- after all, this is the daddy of them all. Themed chapters, consisting of short tasks that most people will find handy e.g. trimming white space from a string, or populating a hash. What makes Perl Cookbook so valuable is not just finding out how to do it, but finding out what the most efficient and idiomatic way to do it is. This is where you'll see the Perl way of doing things in action, and it's an immensely valuable learning experience, even if you never need to do exactly any of the things in the book.

For me, the most vital material is the earliest stuff, which takes you through how to use the string, array and hash, the guts of any Perl program. The final half of the book explores Perl's libraries for the use of databases, and a lot of network and web-related stuff, from simple socket programming, to CGI, and the use of mod_perl.

This is a cornucopia of Perl lore, firmly established in the Perl Canon, and deservedly so. You want it on your bookshelf if you want to really call yourself a Perl programmer.
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