Effective Perl Programming: 60 Methods and Rules for Scripting Better Programs (A-W Developers Press) Paperback – 30 Dec 1997
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Effective Perl Programming is a gem of a Perl book. Its author, Joseph Hall, is a well-known Perl instructor and frequent poster on the seminal comp.lang.perl.misc newsgroup. The book's technical editor is none other than Randal Schwartz, noted Net personality and enigmatic author of Learning Perl.
Hall has distilled his years of Perl experience into a book for Perl programmers that is both fluid and fun to read. It's somewhat like reading the Perl FAQ; even when you think you know everything, there's so much you don't know.
Effective Perl Programming has a clear layout: the text is easy on the eyes and the mono-spaced font makes a clear distinction between backticks and single quotes. Hall uses his PEGS (Perl Graphical Structures) notation to show the difference between Perl's different types of data structures and how everything ties together.
Packed with great examples and code snippets, this book is an excellent source of tips and tricks to make your Perl programs faster and easier to read. You'll also find a strong section on using the Perl debugger to improve your Perl programming skills. In yet another section, Hall walks the reader through the creation of a complete XS module that can boost the performance of array shuffling eight-fold. All in all, this is a great book for programmers who want to move beyond plain, verbose Perl toward a more succinct and powerful coding style. --Jake Bond
From the Publisher
Helping you to make the most of Perl
In Effective Perl Programming, Perl experts Joseph Hall and Randal Schwartz share programming solutions, techniques, pointers, rules of thumb, and the pitfalls to avoid, enabling you to make the most of Perl's power and capabilities.
The authors will help you develop a knack for the right ways to do things. They show you how to solve problems with Perl and how to debug and improve your Perl programs. Offering examples, they help you learn good Perl style. Geared for programmers who have already acquired Perl basics, this book will extend your skill range, providing the tactics and deeper understanding you need to create Perl programs that are more elegant, effective, and succinct. This book also speaks to those who want to become more fluent, expressive, and individualistic Perl programmers.
To help you design and write real-world programs, Effective Perl Programming includes:
Perl basics Idiomatic Perl Regular expressions Subroutines References Debugging
Usage of packages and modules Object-oriented programming Useful and interesting Perl miscellany
Numerous thought-provoking examples appear throughout the book, highlighting many of the subtleties that make Perl such a fascinating, fun, and powerful language to work with.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
The content holds up surprisingly well for 1997. The opening chapters cover a lot of the oddities and gotchas of life with Perl, such as slicing, the various connotations of undef, a persuasive defence of $_ and where + is necessary to disambiguate. The final 'miscellany' chapter also contains useful information in a similar vein. And this also appears to be one of the first books to detail the now famous Schwartzian transform and the Orcish manoeuvre for sorting, so it has a certain historical appeal.
Equally, the chapters on debugging, references, regular expressions and object oriented programming are also pretty good. It's just that there are now several other books that cover these topics. If you only want one book in this style, Perl Best Practices bestrides the field like a colossus, being more comprehensive, and better written. Not that there's anything wrong with the writing here, it's never boring as such, but it does feel flat.
Nonetheless, Effective Perl Programming does the job it sets out to do fairly well, and I find you can never have too much help in explaining the nooks and crannies of idiomatic Perl, so this is still worth getting hold of, particularly because you can find it at an extremely reasonable price.
Joseph and Randal have taken the years of knowledge they've gained and distilled them into a strong set of clever tricks that show Perl at its best. Several functions under-explained by the Camel and Llama are allowed to shine here. They can open the eyes of anyone who wondered if Perl wasn't just an easier, text-oriented companion to C.
Joseph has wondered on his web page what the nickname for this book might be, perhaps "the shiny ball book." I'd suggest "the non-O'Reilly book."
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One beauty of perl is that there are so many ways to do any given task. This can also make life hell when you have to maintain other people's code, or even your own code several... Read morePublished on 30 Jun. 1999
WHEN"S THE NEXT ONE COMING OUT!!!! This book is excellent. I want the author to sign my book. When is he coming to my town and having a signing, better yet when is the moving... Read morePublished on 10 April 1999
This book is a "must read" for any serious PERL hacker. Joseph explains both practical and stylistic reasons why a programmer should favor a particular notations... Read morePublished on 21 Sept. 1998