Object Oriented Perl Paperback – 12 Oct 1999
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Perl has always been a powerful and popular programming language but with its new object capabilities, it can do even more. Written for anyone with a little Perl experience, Damian Conway's Object Oriented Perl provides a truly invaluable guide to virtually every aspect of object-oriented programming in Perl.
The most notable thing about Object Oriented Perl is the author's excellent perspective on object- oriented concepts and how they are implemented in Perl. This book does a remarkable job at cutting through traditional jargon and illustrating how basic object- oriented design techniques are handled in Perl. (A useful appendix attests to the author's wide-ranging knowledge, with a comparison of Smalltalk, Eiffel, C++, Java with Perl, including a summary of object-oriented syntax for each). This book also features a truly excellent review of basic Perl syntax.
Throughout this text, the author shows you the basics of solid object design (illustrated using classes that model music CDs). Basic concepts like inheritance and polymorphism get thorough and clear coverage. The author points out common mistakes and provides many tips for navigating the powerful and flexible (yet sometimes tricky) nuances of using Perl objects. For instance, he shows how to achieve true data encapsulation in Perl (which generally allows calls across modules) as well as its natural support for generic programming techniques.
The author also pays good attention to popular object modules available from CPAN (like Class::MethodmakerK, which simplifies declaring classes). He also discusses performance issues and the trade-off between programming convenience and speed often faced by today's Perl developer. Advanced chapters cover a number of techniques for adding persistence and invoking methods using multiple dispatching.
Filled with syntactic tips and tricks, Object Oriented Perl is a sure bet for any programmer who wants to learn how to use Perl objects effectively. --Richard Dragan
Topics covered: Perl language review, CPAN, Perl objects, "blessing" and inheritance, polymorphism, Class: Struct and Class: Method maker modules, Perl ties and closures, operator overloading, encapsulation, multiple dispatch, Class: Multimethods, coarse-grained and fine-grained object persistence techniques, performance issues.
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Top Customer Reviews
As a bonus, not only does the book cover a very useful and interesting subject, but it is also extremely well written and easy to understand. Everyone who is serious about writing Perl programs should buy this book.
As an introduction to object oriented programming, and how to do it in Perl, this is one of the best sources you could learn from. Neither The Alpaca nor The Camel do such a good job.
And it's not just objects that are well covered. You'll also find lucid explanations of closures, type globs, the symbol table and tied variables, all of which can be considered advanced Perl.
Elsewhere, though, the material has not aged so well, superseded by the author's own Perl Best Practices, where some of the recommendations have been reversed, or improved upon ('inside out' classes, for example, as implemented in Class::Std, is a superior development of the flyweight approach mentioned in this book). Some of the material, which concentrates on CPAN modules, and the experimental pseudohashes is not so useful in the light of this - the latter are on course to be removed in Perl 5.10. The sections on building objects using references to things other than hashes (e.g. arrays, regular expressions and subroutines) is clever, but this reader was unconvinced of their utility.
There's also coverage of generics, although in Perl this is not much like generics in C# or Java, basically passing around Perl code as uninterpolated text strings and then evaling it inside a subroutine, where any lexical values are interpolated.
Finally, there are chapters on multimethods (no more elegant or manageable in Perl than other languages that support this feature, alas) and persistence.
The principles discussed remain relevant, and the book is a pleasure to read. However, if you already familiar with OOP and just want to get going as fast as possible, the relevant chapters of Intermediate Perl and Perl Best Practices might be better places to look.
This one doesn't , Damian Conway has perfected the art of explaining quite a complex subject in an easy to understand and concise way, with a touch of subtle humour along the way.
I'd give it more stars , only Amazon limit me to 5.
This book should be at the top of anyone's shopping list who is serious about learning Perl, especially if you want to use Perl for more than just hacking out disposable scripts.
Perl can be a highly scalable language , if you use the principles in this book and Damian Conway's other book "Perl Best Practices".
Perl programming can also be a dog's dinner when left in the hand's of hackers, but then this book (along with "Perl Best Practices") will take you from being a Perl Hacker to a Perl Developer of scalable solutions. It did with me , Thank you Damian !