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Programming Perl (A Nutshell handbook) [Paperback]

Tom Christiansen , Randal L. Schwartz , Larry Wall
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)

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Hardcover --  
Paperback £23.02  
Paperback, 11 Oct 1996 --  
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Programming Perl: Unmatched power for text processing and scripting Programming Perl: Unmatched power for text processing and scripting 4.4 out of 5 stars (5)
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Book Description

11 Oct 1996 1565921496 978-1565921498 2

Programming Perl, 2nd Edition is the authoritative guide to Perl version 5, the scripting utility that has established itself as the programming tool of choice for the World Wide Web, UNIX system administration, and a vast range of other applications. Version 5 of Perl includes object-oriented programming facilities. The book is coauthored by Larry Wall, the creator of Perl.Perl is a language for easily manipulating text, files, and processes. It provides a more concise and readable way to do many jobs that were formerly accomplished (with difficulty) by programming with C or one of the shells. Perl is likely to be available wherever you choose to work. And if it isn't, you can get it and install it easily and free of charge.This heavily revised second edition of Programming Perl contains a full explanation of the features in Perl version 5.003. Contents include:

  • An introduction to Perl
  • Explanations of the language and its syntax
  • Perl functions
  • Perl library modules
  • The use of references in Perl
  • How to use Perl's object-oriented features
  • Invocation options for Perl itself, and also for the utilities that come with Perl
  • Other oddments: debugging, common mistakes, efficiency, programming style, distribution and installation of Perl, Perl poetry, and so on.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 670 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 2 edition (11 Oct 1996)
  • Language: French
  • ISBN-10: 1565921496
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565921498
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 17.8 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 831,610 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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About the Author

Larry Wall is one of the associates of O'Reilly & Associates; in his copious free time :-) he has authored some of the most popular free programs available for UNIX, including the rn news reader, the ubiquitous patch program, and the Perl programming language. He's also known for metaconfig, a program that writes Configure scripts, and for the warp space-war game, the first version of which was written in BASIC/PLUS at Seattle Pacific University. By training Larry is actually a linguist, having wandered about both U.C. Berkeley and U.C.L.A. as a grad student. (Oddly enough, while at Berkeley, he had nothing to do with the UNIX development going on there.) Over the course of years, he has spent time at Unisys, JPL, NetLabs, and Seagate, playing with everything from discrete event simulators to network-management systems, with the occasional spacecraft thrown in. (He also plays with his four kids every now and then, but they win too often.) It was at Unisys, while trying to glue together a bicoastal configuration management system over a 1200 baud encrypted link using a hacked-over version of Netnews, that Perl was born. Tom Christiansen is a freelance consultant specializing in Perl training and writing. After working for several years for TSR Hobbies (of Dungeons and Dragons fame), he set off for college where he spent a year in Spain and five in America, dabbling in music, linguistics, programming, and some half-dozen different spoken languages. Tom finally escaped UW-Madison with B.A.s in Spanish and computer science and an M.S. in computer science. He then spent five years at Convex as a jack-of-all-trades working on everything from system administration to utility and kernel development, with customer support and training thrown in for good measure. Tom also served two terms on the USENIX Association Board of directors. With over fifteen years' experience in UNIX system administration and programming, Tom presents seminars internationally. Living in the foothills above Boulder, Colorado, surrounded by mule deer, skunks, and the occasional mountain lion and black bear, Tom takes summers off for hiking, hacking, birding, music making, and gaming. Randal L. Schwartz is an eclectic tradesman and entrepreneur, making his living through software design, technical writing, system administration, security consultation, and video production. He is known internationally for his prolific, humorous, and occasionally incorrect spatterings on Usenet -- especially his "Just another perl hacker" signoffs in comp.lang.perl. Randal honed his many crafts through seven years of employment at Tektronix, ServioLogic, and Sequent. For the past five years he has owned and operated Stonehenge Consulting Services in his home town of Portland, Oregon.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars knowing is not teaching 30 April 2011
Classic situation where someone knows all about something but is unable to teach it.

Never gets to the point without first changing the subject.

Repeatedly tells you there are exceptions to what was just said, but never says what they are.

Waffle Waffle Waffle.

"Not only endless lame jokes, but also lame endless ones." -That is the sort of linguistic playfulness the author finds funny.
There is a laugh on every page.

Goes to a great deal of effort to not quite explain something. If you have any experience coding you can see what is going on straight away in most examples (you just want to know the syntax), but when you get to one you can't understand the book will not quite help.

I was given my copy - now I know why.

You are better off using a more succinct text, and a bit of trial and error to get what you want.
Certainly if you are new to coding this is not a place to start learning Perl.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A reference book for perl/unix experts only! 19 Feb 1998
By A Customer
Indispensible as a reference book, but a poor choice if you are just starting out with perl. The geeky attempts at humor and general tone of "look how clever we are" frequently get in the way of explaining the concepts at hand, apart from being very tiresome. Chapter 4 on references and nested data structures is particularly obscure.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A Festival of Footnotes 29 Dec 1997
By A Customer
Eeesh, this thing reminds me of someone that just got a new word processor and discovered how to insert footnotes into their text. Just because you -can- doesn't mean you -should-.
All in all an above average programming book but a little rough in places. Written in a rather informal tone it is really a pleasent read, much more than most programming books. Unfortunately the author makes the mistake of using concepts well before their introduction in the text, resulting in a rabbit-hunt for information. One example is 'my' which is refered to and used early in the second chapter (talking about file globbing) but not defined for 54 more pages! As a previous reviewer said this book is probably a great book assuming you already know the language! Unfortunately, I only know awk and sed, so perhaps I have a bit of a leg up, but woe be to the unitiated.
O'Reilly has done better...
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By A Customer
This was my introduction to Perl... and now my main Perl reference book. I taught myself the bulk of the language from this text over a weekend, but really it's more oriented towards an overview and reference than a tutorial. Comes complete with a huge amount of material all supplied in O'Reilley's usual concise, accessible manner and sprinkled with light-hearted comments.
It's true to say that it does need a little polish in a couple of areas to make some things more easily found, but this is a minor point in the context of the whole book. If you only have one Perl book on your shelf, this is the one to go for.
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This book took me from the firsts steps of Perl programming through to the creation of modules and using external resources. Within a few days I felt competant at using the language, and was creating scripts in little or no time at all.
The author(s) manage to inject humour into a book which doesn't need it, but it is a welcome break during the trawel of the chapters.
I would recommend this book to anyone who wishes to learn Perl. Both the language, and the book, lead me to believe that this is the most developer-friendly language out there. A must for any Perl programmer.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly fantastic !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 8 July 1998
By A Customer
This is the definitive book on PERL. You will learn something from every page. No filler here, just rock solid information. This book treats the reader as seasoned technical professional wanting to gain a competitive advantage in his career by mastering a remarkable technology. And that is exactly what you will say about PERL after spending some time with this book. Any technical feat will seem possible. This book will help you internalize the material quickly, correctly and efficiently. There are no other books on the market if you are serious about PERL as far as I am concerned.
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By A Customer
This book has taught me exactly what I needed to know when I bought it. I was looking for a complete Perl reference, and got it.
It tells you about the history of Perl, and how to program in Perl, from the most simple of scripts to an advanced Shopping Cart CGI program. It even explains all about Perl's file handling capabilities.
If you want to learn Perl, this IS the book to get! It's a good idea if you have at least some programming experience, but is not necessary with this book, unlike some other programming books.
To sum up, then: GET IT! :)
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good but not superb 31 Oct 1998
By A Customer
The definitive Perl book -- of course. But it's my feeling that at times, Larry was forgetting that the purpose of this book is not *only* to demonstrate his absolute superiority over the humble reader. The book would certainly win if a few phraseological masterpieces were deleted and dumb phrases like "A means this-and-this, and B means that-and-that" substituted instead. In particular, it is impossible to understand the really juicy things -- modules, references, and all that -- from this book unless you happen to understand them already.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Worthy book to use for my purposes
I use perl on the server/ cgi side of things at work and the book has helped me with certain aspects when programming. So it has my thumbs up, well documented and planned. Read more
Published on 7 Feb 2000
4.0 out of 5 stars The reference
As an occasional programmer, this book is my reference. Unlike many other O'Reilly programming books, here it is easy to look-up forgotten commands and detailed explanations.
Published on 22 Dec 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars The Perl Bible
I used this to teach me the Perl language and how to apply it. So far it's proved invaluble as both a guide and a reference to the language. Read more
Published on 7 Dec 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars A useful tool for moderately experienced programmers
This book is probably not for the absolute beginner, but an indispensable tool for those wanting a good grounding in Perl.
Published on 2 Dec 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars The definitive Perl reference.
Programming Perl (1st edition), and Programming Perl (2nd Edition) are the most heavily referenced books I have. Read more
Published on 13 Sep 1999
3.0 out of 5 stars Programming Perl is not a beginners book.
If you like "tounge-in-cheek" commentary together with complex explainations of simple concepts then I would recommend this book. Read more
Published on 18 Mar 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars A magic book
Like many O'Reilly books, this one has the uncanny habit of falling open to the page with exactly what you're looking for--even before you fully understand what you're looking... Read more
Published on 22 Feb 1999
3.0 out of 5 stars Starters should look for something else, and ...
I have both v.4 and v.5 of this Camel book, and have been using it from time to time. I know it's written by the creator of Perl. Read more
Published on 21 Dec 1998
5.0 out of 5 stars Programming for Pleasure
Having progressed through the many diverse languages and systems I keep coming back to Perl for a reminder of how much fun programming can be. Read more
Published on 9 Dec 1998
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