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Perl Cookbook Paperback – 31 Aug 2003


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Product details

  • Paperback: 968 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 2 edition (31 Aug 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596003137
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596003135
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 17.8 x 4.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 245,970 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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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 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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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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By The Happy Space Invader on 21 Aug 2008
Format: Paperback
The biggest problem with this book is that none of the examples work when using the warnings flag and the "strict" pragma... if you leave these out when writing Perl, you can very quickly tie yourself in knots trying to work out why your variables are colliding with each other. So, you can either take the lazy approach and leave out warnings and strict (and pay the cost later when you're dealing with a few hundred lines of code), or you can battle away trying to turn their examples into good Perl code that works.

The other problem with this book is... well, the fact that it's a book. This kind of example-heavy manual lends itself far better to an online format, from which example code can be copied & pasted.

Those gripes aside, this is a manual I come back to again and again (although I invested in the CD-based Perl Bookshelf from O'Reilly, which includes this book). The format is excellent, the index is a little weak, but it's generally easy to find what you're looking for. The examples are well explained and I particularly like the way in which multiple solutions are presented for each problem, reflecting the very essence of Perl.

This book is not for beginners though (hint: read the top line of the front cover); for that I recommend you read "Learning Perl" or, better still, get yourself on a beginner course.
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