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Perl Debugger Pocket Reference

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Average Customer Rating: 4

Customer Rating: 4
Summary: Cool Perl Debugger book for experienced programmers
Comment: "Perl Debugger Pocket Reference" is a relativly short introduction into the command line Perl Debugger (perl -d option). You will find the following main chapters in this book:

- Introductory chapters (partly meta chapters not about the debugger but about good programming)
- Debugger Commands
- Debugger Variables
- Debugging Options
- Debugger Internals, Quick reference, rest

When I bought this book I had hoped for a "...Pocket Guide" and not a "...Pocket Reference" (deeper coverage). I consider this not an extreme "...Pocket Reference" (like e.g. "Perl Pocket Reference") because this book contains examples for each of the commands and options that it describes. For me examples are the most important part in technical books.

The language, the printing and the index (there is an alphabetic index) are of the usual high O'Reilly standard).

I think that "Perl Debugger Pocket Reference" might be a bit heavy if you never used a command line debugger like gdb or xdb before. This book assumes that you already know what and why you want to do with the debugger, you will be explained WHO to do this with the debugger. PDPR is missing the process model when using a debugger. Personally I would have wished for even more examples and a bit more about when to use a certain feature of the debugger.

For all those poor souls like me that still have to use Perl 5.5, you will not like this book because it explains the cool new features of the Perl 5.8 debugger (differences to Perl 5.6 covered as well) that are missing in Perl 5.5. I hope that I can convince my customer to upgrade to Perl 5.8 to be able to use cool new debugger (especially the w watchpoints will be great).

I will keep this booklet next to my keyboard when I am Perl programming from now on to be able to lookup the Debugger functions that I will need. If you are a Perl programmer like me that does not produce flawless code, I really recommend this book. I will use it again right after finishing this review. Perl debugging will be more fun (for me) from now on.