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Customer Review

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The codification of Perl, 10 Aug. 2012
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This review is from: Programming Perl: Unmatched power for text processing and scripting (Paperback)
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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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 29 Jan 2013 19:35:42 GMT
J. Higham says:
Hi

If I understand correctly one should start off with 'Learning Perl' and then move onto the 'Programming Perl' book that you review?

Thanks in advance.

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Jan 2013 19:45:13 GMT
cram says:
No. If you stay with O'Reilly I would go:
- Learning Perl (6th ed)
- Intermediate Perl (2nd ed)
- Programming Perl (4th)
- Mastering Perl (wait for the new edition, the present edition is somewhat outdated)

While at it get this (on whatever level you are):
- Modern Perl by chromatic, free pdf also available (buy the book though). http://www.onyxneon.com/books/modern_perl/index.html
- Effective Perl Programming bu briand d foy http://www.effectiveperlprogramming.com/

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Jan 2013 20:29:11 GMT
J. Higham says:
A big thanks. I already - just - ordered the 'Learning Perl'. I guess it's the sixth edition, at least it's the one they have advertised here. Thanks for the online stuff as well, I'll check those out.

I'm just starting a Perl course at university. Unfortunately several other courses clash with it, so I though I'd back myself up with a good starting text book so as not to get lost when I miss some of the courses.

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Jan 2013 20:33:34 GMT
cram says:
If you like it, be part of the community (look for Perl Mongers group in the part of the world and/or Perl conference). It's a really good community to be part of.

Big tip: If you want to do Object Oriented programming have a look at Moose (full OO-system with meta object protocol) and Moo (sub-set without the MOP, but faster startup time): https://metacpan.org/module/Moo and https://metacpan.org/module/Moose. The modern Perl book will point you in the right direction.

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Jan 2013 20:46:55 GMT
J. Higham says:
Excellent, sounds very interesting. I guess I should start my course first before getting too excited about all the rest, although it looks very tempting! I'll check out the Moose and Perl Mongers to see what I can come up with. I'm a Pure Data freak so I'm used to hunting down the relevant group of fanatics. I'll get back to you when I've had a few weeks of programming.

Thanks again.

Posted on 15 Mar 2013 20:49:30 GMT
I have the second and third editions already. I'd be curious to know how much has changed in the new edition. I found that other than structural changes between the 2nd and 3rd edition the vast majority of the content was actually the same. I'm well aware that there has been a big gap between this edition and the 3rd edition and that Perl has evolved a lot in that time but is that reflected in the book?
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