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Perl & XML (O'Reilly Perl)

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Spotlight Customer Reviews

Average Customer Rating: 4.25

Customer Rating: 4
Summary: Good Overview Of XML And Supporting Perl Modules
Comment: I have wanted to learn about XML, but I found the pure XML books dry and too theoretical. However, putting XML in the context of something familiar, i.e. Perl, made it much more accessible. This book gives a nice overview of XML parsing using event based and tree based parsers that are available as Perl modules. The book presents SAX and DOM standards compliant modules as well as modules with more Perlish interfaces, e.g. XML::Grove and XML::Twig. It discusses the pros and cons of event vs. tree parsing of XML as well as a few advanced technologies such as database integration and SOAP. The only knock I have on the book is that the examples are a bit contrived and do not show how to solve meaningful problems.

Customer Rating: 3
Summary: Nice overview but lacks in useful examples
Comment: Unfortunately, this book suffers from the same affliction that most programming books suffer from. There are absolutely no useful code examples in the book. Yes, as an experienced engineer, I can substitute my own code where the book prints to the screen or searches for monkeys, but hey, I paid for my ticket, sometimes I'd like to be told exactly what to do. If I wanted to figure out everything on my own, I wouldn't have purchased a book in the first place.

Customer Rating: 5
Summary: What you don't get with this book
Comment: I read the first review of this book, and I think it's great. In addition, however, I feel compelled to let people know what they are missing.

Specifically, for those of us that do not have a connection to the internet and/or cannot readily download software onto their pc's, this book is only a primer for what resources you will need with XML. I have yet to find a resource that will provide me with a summary of all of the perl modules and library files that are needed by the individual modules mentioned within this book.

For instance, the book provides an example on how to use XML::LibXML and XML::LibXSLT. Unfortunately, the book does not let you know that XML::LibXSLT can only be used if you have XML::LibXML. And the requirements for XML::LibXML include downloading and installing a Gnome library - which may give you trouble on a windows platform. I realize this gripe may be a bit environment specific, but with so many Windows users out there along with an inability to just download anything off CPAN and/or Gnome, I know that I will still have quite a bit of trouble getting the book's examples to 'work'.

Although this book does provide examples for every module covered, it typically only provides a single example. So those of you who are hacker/leaners may be disappointed to find that not many examples are presented for cannabalization.