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Perl Developer's Guide (Application Development) [Paperback]

Ed Peschko , Michelle DeWolfe

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Book Description

1 July 2000 0072126302 978-0072126303 Pap/Cdr
-- Developers will get hands-on knowledge of the latest version of Perl. Perl Developers Guide has hundreds of examples showing solution to real-world problems to reinforce learning.-- Professional development guide with 300 diagrams showing Peri concepts.-- CD-ROM -- Install Perl, source code for book, and on-line Perl documentation with the included installer.-- Keep constantly up to date - install via online connection or via snapshot on compact disc.-- Website -- Get in-depth development guidance, full support via email and the book's website.

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Amazon Review

While O'Reilly's Programming Perl is the definitive reference it also reflects Perl author Larry Wall's sideways approach to life. The Perl Developer's Guide is more mainstream with the emphasis on learning how to make Perl work for you.

The book assumes only a passing familiarity with programming and is platform agnostic, covering methods of installing, writing and running Perl programs under a variety of operating systems.

There are few "correct" ways to build or even run a Perl program. With every feature introduced the authors demonstrate alternative usage approaches before sticking their necks out to recommend a "best" solution. This familiarity with different ways to write programs helps enormously when looking at existing code but can be exhausting to read about, even with many examples and diagrams to help. One of Perl's strengths, apart from being able to do just about anything with anything on any platform, is regular expressions--which can be confusing. The authors acknowledge the problem with this mind-numbing example: $line =~ m"sub\s+(\w+)\s+{(.*?)}\s*(?=sub)"s;. As usual, they then supply a fix, in this case with the x operator, which enables white space in Perl regular expressions to aid readability. Nowhere is this approach more effective than in the section on turning old code into object code.

The section on debugging Perl is extremely thorough, with usage examples of carp(), cluck(), croak() and confess() as well as discussion on debugging larger Perl projects using exception handling.

To get the most out of the Perl Developer's Guide you really need to work through it, which is the only downside. It will consume a lot of rainy Sunday afternoons. On the other hand, you'll be an impressive Perl programmer. --Steve Patient

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Customer Reviews

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Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Exhaustive and makes good reading 30 April 2001
By Rex - Published on Amazon.com
This is one of the good books available in the market for a Perl Programmer. It has a lot of content, and if you take the font-size into account (fonts are small), you have lots to read. Perl programmers for the Windows platform would find this book to be pretty interesting. However, the authors could have done more justice if they could have given short but lucid examples to prove their point. Many a times, they either quickly digressed from their examples, or would have given some glib remarks about an important example.
I would have given this book more than 3 stars, but for the numerous typos and other minor errors which have been overlooked by the authors. At one point the authors, proudly proclaim that they had used Perl's Regular-Expressions to edit the book (???).
Nevertheless, I am sure the authors would notice the typos and minor mistakes that is rampant in this book and take remedial action in future editions. Perl being an idiosyncratic and idiomatic language, there should not be room for such syntactical errors which confounds the reader all the more.
Despite these reservations, I would enthusiastically recommend this book to any Perl programmer, particularly Windows users, as a guide and reference.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book -- Material well presented 4 Jan 2001
By Brad Snobar - Published on Amazon.com
This book was both clear and concise. That is a difficult job. I was impressed that throughout the entire book, I didn't find any bloated garbage. It was a pleasure to read.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good way to learn Perl 15 July 2002
By deuist - Published on Amazon.com
Perl Developer's Guide starts off a bit rough. The first chapter, An Overview of Perl, is enough to make anyone put away the book. But after getting scalars and arrays down pat, everything takes off. PDG will introduce you to almost everything Perl can do. From Windows programming to GUIs to CGI, this book has it all.
3.0 out of 5 stars Full of errors - but a lot of information 22 Sep 2005
By M. Miquel - Published on Amazon.com
I've never read a book that was more poorly edited than this one. It's full of errors - typographical errors, formatting errors, even some errors in the code samples. It's not bad if you're able to recognize the errors and figure out what the author meant, but I wouldn't put this book in the hands of a beginning programmer.

The book does have a lot of information in it though. Nearly 1000 pages with small print. The explanations could be better at times - the author frequently uses concepts that haven't been explained yet, which can leave the reader lost.
5.0 out of 5 stars Demystifies Perl 14 Jan 2005
By Henry Lenzi - Published on Amazon.com
Excellent treatment of topics. I still haven't read the whole book, but the chapters on Functions, Contexts and References were very enlightening, and the clearest explanation I've ever read. It has lots of diagrams explaining how Perl recognizes and translates code. For instance, the chapter on Functions has detailed explanation of the Argument Stack ("@_"). Think of it as a sort of Camel Book illustrated.
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