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on 10 August 2012
If you already program in Perl you know that "Programming Perl" is the de facto reference of the language. I haven't met Perl Mongers citing randomly from it, but we are not that far from it :) . If you're new to Perl, well now you know what you will be reading soon.

This brings us to the targeted public of this book and that's a tricky question. In my opinion, if you're new to Perl -or new to programming- you are better served by "Learning Perl" (or a similar book). On the other hand, if you are an experienced programmer you'll learn Perl from "Programming Perl" with a deep understanding of the language as a bonus. But 1184 pages may be a little too much to get your feet wet.

Don't return the book to Amazon yet or you take the tutorial-road: your copy will serve you well for years to come as reference for the less obvious aspects of the language (and let's be honest, there are several). So, this book is not a tutorial book. It's neither, unlike what I just wrote, a pure reference book. The book is very well written, with just enough humour (also: as not "too much") to make the 1184 pages digestible to get a deeper insight of the language, something that can not be said of many reference books that are written in a "phone book" style.

The previous versions dates from the year 2000 and covers ancient perls preceding the Perl revival and modernisation we're enjoying today. Well, if this book is so important for the language -the codification of the language as it were- and well written to be enjoyable, the authors should be lucky to not face trial for the Perl riots while waiting for the update of the book. More seriously, the update was indeed urgently needed and kudos to the authors: writing this kind of book (content and reputation) is hard. It helps that Larry, the creator of Perl, is part of the team. A great read.

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on 26 May 2012
As expected, a thorough presentation of one of the most powerful computer languages today. I have been using this language for a few years, for projects ranging from one liners to full blown network daemons, and I think mostly anything can be done with it. Even after all these years, the book gave me a lot of information, on how this great language came to be, how it works, and how it should be used. The book is easy to read, with good examples. The language is presented in a funny way, and the whole book is infused by the freedom and power given to the programmer bz Perl.
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on 4 January 2014
I bought this to refresh my memory of Perl and of its strength in using regular expressions. This book seems to jump about a lot in its explanation of Perl and introduces concepts without explaining them, which I found very confusing, expecially as I was reading it on a Kindle and couldn't thumb through the book to find other sections quickly!

Unfortunately it didn't help with regular expressions - it mentioned them on occasion but not all in one place and I had to resort to Google in the end.
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on 9 December 2012
Although I haven't read the first quarter of it yet (more than a thousand pages) it's obvious that this is the ultimate reference for everything Perl. It also makes for a pleasant read, as the authors abuse of humorous references and tongue-in-cheek statements specially appealing for the brainier bunch. There is also (at least in the first chapters) a concern with the linguistic background and semantic capabilities of Perl, exposed frequently.

However, the sheer volume and pacing may not be suitable for newcomers to Perl. I'd recommend this book as an addition to 'Learning Perl' by Randal L. Schwartz, Brian D Foy & Tom Phoenix. This book offers a quicker, effective hands-on introduction to Perl with a very similar refreshing tone of writing.
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on 7 August 2000
A thoroughly educational, entertaining and practical exploration of Perl 5 by the guys who should know! This is a fun(!) reference (or should that be \$fun ?). Don't get me wrong - this volume presents the serious aspects of Perl and includes tons of 'difficult' ideas and reference material. It just does it in a very entertaining style which is never patronising or over the top, no matter your level of competence.
A Perl reference for Perl People by Perl People.
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on 2 November 2000
If you're doing serious Perl, you *need* this book for reference.
(I wouldn't try to learn the language from it though).
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on 1 November 2000
If you can't get out of using Perl (in an ideal world, you'd always find an excuse to use another language) this book is remarkably complete, well-written and useful. It's just a pity that it's an infinitely better book than the language it describes.
It's in a strange position - a superb book describing an absolute mess of a language - but there is no better guide through the Perl minefield.
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on 27 January 2013
An excellent update of a master tome. It manages to really come around everything Perl. The writing is kept in the known conversational tone with the occasional humor bits that you'd expect from Larry Wall and company. A worthy update of a modern classic.
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on 8 October 2000
Look, Larry, you ain't no humourist, so cut the unfunny jokes, and do make the philosophical asides relevant, not pointless and irritating. Not the book to learn perl from, I know because I've tried. I know and use daily, C, Korn/Bourne shell,awk, sed etc. I ought to be able to pick this language up from this book. But I can't...
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