Writing Perl Modules for CPAN (Expert's Voice) Paperback – 10 Oct 2008
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About the Author
Sam Tregar has been creating open source software for six years, four of which have been focused on coding in Perl. He is employed as a Perl programmer for About.com, where he spends his days designing and implementing content management systems. An active participant in the Perl development community, Sam is the author of a number of popular CPAN modules including HTML::Template, HTML::Pager, Inline::Guile, and Devel::Profiler. He holds a bachelor's degree in computer science from New York University. When not programming, Sam enjoys black-and-white photography, playing Go, reading, and maintaining the small private zoo curated by his wife.
Top Customer Reviews
I considered myself a fairly skilled Perl programmer writing code for in-house use in a demanding financial trading environment. Although I never got to actually writing and public releasing a CPAN module, (Perl's ecosphere for building and sharing add-on utility libraries), I still found it took me to a new level in writing maintainable, bug free code.
Another important thing to note is that it is also two books in one. The author devotes several chapters to writing or converting code in to C when you need high performance. Worth buying just for that, which is in fact what I did.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
It's amazing how much this book covers: Not only does Sam Tregar show how object-oriented Perl modules are architected, how to write regression test suites, how to extend Perl modules with C code, but he gets also the community aspects right -- how does your module get really popular? You can tell that Sam is a successful Perl module author himself.
Now, on every single one of these topics one could have written another 300-page book, of course. But the charming aspect of the book is that, while it doesn't go into each and every detail, it provides an excellent overview to future module authors. The printing is quite anarchic, though, with low-budget drawings and some typos which could have been caught easily by a thorough proof-reader, but it's tolerable, it's like watching a low-budget film by a very talented young director.
If that's not enough, I found the last chapter of the book invaluable, covering the CGI::Application module, which enables authors to share popular CGI-flows (e.g. bulletin boards) on CPAN.
I can whole-heartedly recommend this book to every prospective CPAN author -- there's hardly any coverage of this topic anywhere in the Perl literature besides the somewhat scattered online documentation. Buy it today!
1. Not everything is completely clear as written. Perhaps he has tried to idiot-proof some of his advice and I was just the improved idiot but some additional examples would have been more helpful. This is especially with his "another way of doing things" sections; I could always follow the first method and had trouble following subsequent methods to accomplish the same goal.
2. It could use an update. It was published in 2002 and the CPAN pages do not look quite the same in 2011 as they did in 2002. Close but different enough to plant some confusion.
Still, I highly recommend this book for all Perl programmers, even if you have no aspirations to publish on CPAN. It is an excellent way to package your, er... packages for internal use.
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