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Perl Template Toolkit

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Spotlight Customer Reviews

Average Customer Rating: 4

Customer Rating: 4
Summary: good book for several audiences
Comment: I picked up this book because I want to use a templateing system to produce web pages and I grok Perl pretty well. This book seems designed for at least two audiences, people who want to create something like a website using the TT and people who want to hack/extend the template toolkit.

The book is a very gentle and seemingly thorough introduction and explanation. The authors write with clarity and humor. I must admit that the authors write with such thoroughness and gentleness that I sometimes grew impatient. One addition I would have liked is more examples. Chapter 2 carefully explains a complete, but very simple example and Chapters 11 and 12 contain much richer examples. However, I find that I never learn unless I *do* and for such a long book, I was surprised that there wasn't more directly about the application of the TT.

You can use this book and the toolkit without knowing any Perl. The authors explain things well and clearly. However, you will get maximum value from the TT (and grok the syntax most quickly) if you know some Perl. The material on filters and plugins (there is a chapter on each, parts of another chapter about writing your own, plus entire chapters dealing with DBI and XML plugins... it's a good chunk of the book) is wonderfully detailed and probably justifies the book.

I skimmed most of the material on hacking and extending the toolkit. It seemed pretty thorough, even explaining how to alter or replace the TT syntax (right down to a quick tutorial on Yapp/yacc). I learned a lot from the little bit I read. I suspect this would be very helpful to Perl hackers and others as an example.

A note about the toolkit itself. It's very powerful. In many ways, it's like Perl itself (e.g., it has a Perl-like syntax). It has exceptions but scoping seems weak and there appears not to be anything like 'use strict'.

In summary, this is a good book for a variety of audiences. It is very well written and you should leave it's pages with enough know-how to use it for something like web page generation. I learned a lot about Perl and available CPAN modules (in addition to learning a lot about the TT). But I wish there was more direct practical application as examples, exercises, recipes, etc.