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Spotlight Customer ReviewsAverage Customer Rating: 3.5
Customer Rating: 2
Summary: Incomplete and redundant
Comment: This book is heavily redundant to Learning Perl/Tk. I would say about 1/3 of the book is new content, of which the majority is poorly organized.
Textual content is written in a teaching context.
In the examples there are a lot of things being done implicitly, and comments are lacking. This defeats much of the teaching functionality of the textual content that references to the examples.
The custom widget section, is some of the most disorganized technical writing I've seen. Things that should be footnotes are left as content. In my copy of chapter 14, if you were to couple the X'd out superfluous language with the pencil notes in the margin used to decipher the remaining text (after referencing _Programming Perl_, the POD and usenet) you would nearly equal the content of the author.
They appear to have been stretching for length like a freshman year term paper, Noted by the 75 pages of options tables in the rear that are redundant to the core widget option tables in the front, or otherwise straight out of the POD.
This book leaves a lot of room for a competing title. There is however none at this time to my knowledge. Therefore buy it anyway, if you plan on working heavily in Perl/Tk.
To use the word "Mastering" in the title is begging criticism. If you are looking for a definative work, this isn't it. But it is available, and will get you through the first half of your head scratching while developing with Perk/Tk.
Customer Rating: 3
Summary: Tries to be all things
Comment: This book tries to be all things to all people. "Learning Perl/Tk" needs to be reworked to be more of a tutorial in the same spirit as "Learning Perl." "Mastering Perl/Tk" needs to be split into two works--one like "Programming Perl" and another like "Perl in a Nutshell." It's hard to master Perl/Tk when you have to try to swallow it all in one gulp. It can be done, but you may suffer with a case of indigestion for a while.
Customer Rating: 4
Summary: A nice introduction, but not a reference
Comment: I picked this book up and learned enough from it to write (in a few weeks) a nice little GUI-based data display program that's being used to monitor train schedule adherence at the US's second-largest subway system. So obviously the book is useful.
But it's also a bit frustrating. The index is almost completely useless; 90% of the time I do not find anything remotely related to the word on the page that it's supposed to be on. Sometimes if I go back and forth a dozen pages I think I find the actual page. There are a fair number of typos that I discovered (most of which are, admittedly, corrected on O'Reilly's web site.) There's this bizarre example of having two MainWindows in the same application, something that mislead *me* into trying the same thing before I discovered how awfully awkward it was.
So while the book was excellent for getting me "jump-started" into the world of Perl/Tk, I do not use it much as a reference anymore. Now that I know the ropes, the man pages get me to the information much more quickly than this book.