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Games Diversions & Perl Culture: Best of the Perl Journal

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List Price: $39.95
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Spotlight Customer Reviews

Average Customer Rating: 3.67

Customer Rating: 4
Summary: Some jewels and a lot of fluff
Comment: This is a tome at 600 pages. But at 48 chapters each one is really small. This is because the book is actually a set of articles. Some of the articles are fantastic and very helpful. Specifically between 18 and 23, which cover text handling for stuff like smart searching and internationalization. Other chapters, like 37, which is about Perl Haikus, are really for the hardcore Perl lover.

For the average Perl user, check it out to make sure that you are getting the content you need. For the hardcore, you were going to by this book anyway, so why are you reading reviews. ;-)

Customer Rating: 5
Summary: Casual & fun
Comment: This book is a grab bag of fun Perl uses. The obfuscated Perl contests are completely mind-bending - it's amazing what people can do with this language. The games material is a little light, but overall a good read.

Customer Rating: 2
Summary: High on "Diversions", Low on "Games"
Comment: First let me state that, as with most O'Reilly books, there is nothing wrong with the writing in here. Topic coverage at least goes deep enough on each article to let you decide if you want to go any further on your own. Some articles mearly cover CPAN module and there are better places to get that kind of material, I think. Coverage of Obfuscation is pretty substantial, if you enjoy that sort of thing (I don't). Still the articles themselves are solid.

Unfortunately, I didn't really enjoy the book, in spite of the above. Honestly, I think it's the title. I'm a big gamer who plays pretty much everything and I bought this book expecting to get some gaming content for my favorite programming language. (Note the first word of the title, "Games".) If that's what your looking for too, look on, it's not here. The book has four chapters covering game related material. The first mainly covers the game tool modules available from CPAN and that is sadly slim pickins. The second describes a contest the Perl Journal held and was one of my two favorite chapters in the whole book. The third is all about the Perl Z-Machine "rezrov", which is at least a little informative. The fourth is How to Build a TK Card Game. That's it, for gaming material, be warned.

The book mainly focuses on random aspects of linguistic theory, including NPL. If that's what you're after, this is the book for you.