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Programming Perl (3rd Edition)

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Spotlight Customer Reviews

Average Customer Rating: 4.13

Customer Rating: 5
Summary: Who said ....
Comment: The book is definetely written for those who at least have some (or maybe a little more than just "some") programming background, and willing to learn Perl from the author of the language.

I read the first edition of the book, which was about 200 pages, or something in that range, which filled my mind with nothing but questions. Current edition, however, could answer to all of those questions (well, almost). Of course, to make it answer them I had to re-read the book four times. But none of the books I currently own (and I own quite a few) could've taken me to the innards of the language so deep no matter how many times I had read them. So the book is of value.

The Camel book, especially, does a great job on Regular Expressions and pattern matching. If you want to learn RegEx of perl in very details, you definitely need listen to the author of Perl. "Mastering Regular Expressions" by Jeffrey Friedl is also a good choise, but doesn't include the latest updates.

Formats aren't covered very well though. So you might consider "The Lama book" for that ("Learning Perl"). Still, none of the books can tell you about the innards of the Perl in so much detail overall than "Programming Perl".

OOP is also toched upon in the book. Since purpose of the author is not to preach you OO lingo (but plain Perl), you'll treat that part just as an intorduction to OOP and consider "Object Oriented perl" by Damian Convey as the next text book.

I found chpater 14, "Tied variables" very helpfull though. It might remind you of DBM/Berkley DB, through the syntax

tie my %db, 'AnyDBM_File', 'my_file', O_CREAT|O_RDWR, 0664;

but unfortunately it's not about DBM at all. It is about how the "tie" function works, and teaches you how to create your own classes for implementing with "tie". After that chapter, I even had to update some of my classes and saved lots of time for their updates.

"Compiling", chapter 18 ,is a must read chapter for those who "live & breath" with Perl (like me, may be ?).

I don't want you to buy the book unless you have a good understanding of Programming or/and have knowledge of some programming languages. Otherwise, it won't help at all.

If your purpose is just to get started with Web applications, go for "CGI progamming 101" by Jacqueline Hamilton. It is a good start. But if you want to go even deeper, "Learning Perl" and "Perl Coookbook" is the next choise. Keep the "The Camel" book as the next (but definitely, not the last).

Customer Rating: 5
Summary: A great book for mastering a great language - Perl
Comment: It's said I am one of the few people who've gone through this book among my friends. Yes. I do enjoy it very much in the past months. It's a long poem, which shows the wisdom of this language from time to time.

We may have to admit that the so-called 'value' is indeed the preference of people. Thus I'll free free to comment this book with my favor. I think this book is great because I like this well-designed language so much and ...

Because it covers everything you need or want to know about Perl - a perfect reference book.

Because it explains the thinking underlying the language - a philosophical book toward a perfect language.

Because it is so concise, saving my time, but provides sufficient hints to help experienced programmers master this language - a poem.

I like the apropos humor appearing everywhere in the book. It's essential to programmers' life - a good old friend.

And we, Chinese, think "Fish acquired, fishnet thrown away." If you do master Perl, no treasuring the Perl books. I believe this book would be the last Perl book I throw away.

Customer Rating: 5
Summary: Don't Believe the (Sp|C)urious Negative Reviews
Comment: If you're like me, and you're shopping for a book, you immediately start reading the negative reviews and work upwards. So I started reading the reviews and read through them all, bought the book despite the many negative, and frankly, snippish comments made by many reviewers and decided that I need to respond.

Many say that the examples are convoluted, or that he focuses on obscure language references. One says the book starts quickly with a discussion of the splice function. The first mention of splice is on page 355, which I certainly don't define as 'quickly'....

Others say that there are no examples, or they are not explained clearly, but there's a short sample program right on page 18, and then 4 pages are devoted to analyzing the program and how it works. Further review through the book shows many small examples, especially in the sections that outline the core functions of Perl, and the core modules of Perl.

Others come here and criticize Perl the language, and use this as a platform for their own advocacy of other languages. This is just silly. If you're interested in Perl, or you've been using Perl and you want to know more, buy this book. In the universe of computer programming, every language choice you make is controversial, and subject to debate, and just because some reviewers do not like Perl the language, it does not mitigate the quality of this book.

That all being said, and debunking the frankly lousy reviews, I'll caution that this is NOT for beginning programmers, or people with limited technical knowledge. O'Reilly knows this, and anyone who has read this book should know this too. There is a book called 'Beginning Perl', also from O'Reilly, and written by one of the other top minds in Perl. It is easy to follow, provides many concrete examples and is where a beginning programer should begin. If you have a technical background, you will probably be able to start with this book, though Learning Perl is still worth reading.

What this book provides is not only an exhaustive guide to the language of Perl, and it's abilities, but also insight into it's design, the decisions of the creator of the language (Larry Wall, the main author of the book created Perl), and the major philosophy behind Perl.

This is a valuable reference and worth having.

This is the book that I turn to when I have Perl questions.

And this book is worth every penny I spent to get it.