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good perl book

by JFarr (Sexton)
on Nov 08, 2005 at 19:38 UTC ( #506856=perlquestion: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??
JFarr has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

Hello Monks, I have the o'rielly Programming Perl book. Is there a better reference to cod ein Perl-ese? Some of the responses I've received are very compressed, from a C++ standpoint and I would like to code in a Perl fashion, instead of Perl in a C++ fashion. What about a good Perl ide? Thanks for your recommendations.

Comment on good perl book
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Re: good perl book
by xdg (Monsignor) on Nov 08, 2005 at 20:02 UTC

    To learn to code in a more Perlish way (as opposed to a C-ish way), I highly recommend Effective Perl Programming. It's a great book to come back to again after a few months of practice, too.


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Re: good perl book
by pboin (Deacon) on Nov 08, 2005 at 19:53 UTC

    I'd recommend both Perl Cookbook, and Perl Best Practices. If you get most of what's in those two, you should be in very good shape.

Re: good perl book
by merlyn (Sage) on Nov 08, 2005 at 20:56 UTC
      Wow merlyn. These should come in handy! Thanks!
Re: good perl book
by philcrow (Priest) on Nov 08, 2005 at 19:49 UTC
    When I was starting out, I used the Perl Cookbook to gain understanding about the idioms and culture of Perl.


Re: good perl book
by sauoq (Abbot) on Nov 08, 2005 at 20:34 UTC

    If Programming Perl is proving to be too much for you, you might try working your way through Learning Perl first. It is a gentler introduction.

    "My two cents aren't worth a dime.";
Re: good perl book
by GrandFather (Sage) on Nov 08, 2005 at 20:54 UTC

    I found Programming Perl a really good read, but a poor reference. In fact none of the Perl books that I have found seem to work as a reference for me. The far and away best reference I have is the "Perl Pocket Reference". I can find what I want in it quickly and it gives enough information to either answer the immediate question, or hints at the right jargon so I can then look in "Programming Perl" or perldocs for a fuller explanation.

    It's also worth having a look through the Tutorials here for a leg up in getting to grips with Perl.

    The main thing though is to look at the questions and answers in SoPW. You get exposed to a vast variety of different techniques at different levels and in different application domains. If you want to broarden your Perl knowledge, Seekers of Perl Wisdom is the place to do it.

    Perl is Huffman encoded by design.
Re: good perl book
by halley (Prior) on Nov 08, 2005 at 19:45 UTC
    Question strategy:
    • formulate question in your head
    • think of some keywords related to that question
    • search the web, or search a specific forum for answers or opinions that have already been written
    • THEN, if still not satisfied, ask a novel question with some specifics
    How to ask questions the smart way. You may find tons of other O'Reilly and non-O'Reilly titles which mention Perl. You might find specific reviews of these books. You might even find those reviews on this site.

    [ e d @ h a l l e y . c c ]

Re: good perl book
by wazoox (Prior) on Nov 08, 2005 at 21:27 UTC

    There are some good books reviews on this site, check them. There are also a lot of nice free perl books on various websites, check for instance ; particularly "extreme perl" and "beginning perl" which are very nice.

    About the IDE : it all depends the platform you're using. Open Perl IDE (on for Windows is really great (integrated debugger and documentation). On Linux and Mac OS X I use exclusively NEdit with tons of macros I wrote, but many will tell you about Emacs, Eclipse, etc.

Re: good perl book
by eyepopslikeamosquito (Chancellor) on Nov 08, 2005 at 21:27 UTC

    If you're interested in Perl books, have a look at, originally developed by the late Koschei.

      Yet another great site that will now have me reading for months on end.
Re: good perl book
by planetscape (Chancellor) on Nov 09, 2005 at 00:52 UTC
Re: good perl book
by mikeock (Hermit) on Nov 08, 2005 at 20:19 UTC
    The other place that offers great information that will be on all systems with perl is the, perldoc.

    I end up re-reading this more than anything whenever I cannot figure out how to get a problem solved.

Re: good perl book
by tirwhan (Abbot) on Nov 08, 2005 at 21:51 UTC

    If you're looking for perl books in general, the O'Reilly Safari service may be for you. It allows you to subscribe to a bookshelf of books on a monthly basis, so you can check out the books that seem most interesting to you, and maybe buy the ones you like in dead-tree form later.

    Debugging is twice as hard as writing the code in the first place. Therefore, if you write the code as cleverly as possible, you are, by definition, not smart enough to debug it. -- Brian W. Kernighan
Re: good perl book
by gawatkins (Monsignor) on Nov 08, 2005 at 22:16 UTC

    I find that I use the Perl Little Black Book quite often. Although I use several of the books listed above, I primarily carry this book with me when I am having difficulty with syntax. It is for the most part a condensed listing of functions/concepts and a simple example for each.

    Greg W
Re: good perl book
by spiritway (Vicar) on Nov 09, 2005 at 08:42 UTC

    I can't add to the excellent recommendations for books. As for IDE's, I've used a couple. One is Open Perl IDE, which apparently is written only for Windows. Another is ActiveState's Komodo. You have to pay for Komodo, but there is a "personal" version that is fairly inexpensive. Komodo has versions for Linux and Windows. ActiveState issues per-user licenses, meaning you can put their products on as many computers as you want, as long as you're the only one using them. This is handy in case you've got a Windows and a Linux box, for example.

Re: good perl book
by duff (Vicar) on Nov 08, 2005 at 22:52 UTC
Re: good perl book
by chanio (Priest) on Nov 09, 2005 at 05:08 UTC
    My theory is just starting at home: use LINUX and you'll have the main idea of what is going on. Then, try perldoc at any platform.

    I should mention an excellent multiplatform Graphical Pod Viewer that installs as a module: Tk::Pod. Despite you have to previously install some CPAN's dependencies (like perlindex Text::English that let's you search every pod in your system after feeding it well) it is worth the effort. It works, at least like win32 ActivePerl's pod, but this one scans all your system for any pod that it could show, hyperlinks it all, and is a bit clearer in the tree classification (uses colors to show the origin, shows repeated modules at the command line, etc.). Yet, it hasn't arrived to version 1! But you can just call tkpod to see it all screen.

    I found that it is easier to learn with a physical book: mine, was the great Perl 5 by Example.

    IDEs: allthough I prefer one multiplatform, I found this one for windows that is very programer friendly (simple and organized): . SCIte is multiplatform and very popular (big comunity of users and SF.versions- see and solid (never breaks).

Re: good perl book
by chas (Priest) on Nov 09, 2005 at 05:58 UTC
    I learned a huge amount from the book "Professional Perl Programming" by Peter Wainwright et al (WROX Publ.) It has some typos but with over 1000 pages that's to be expected. The book contains a lot of "idiomatic" Perl. I have seen some negative comments about WROX books here on PM, but I have a few, and they seem quite good. (I bought several rather cheaply at Half Price Books. I liked Professional Perl Programming so much I bought a second copy so I could have one at home and one in my office at school.) (Programming Perl is, of course, the "bible", but sometimes seems a bit brief on certain topics; it does seem to be the most well written of the Perl books I have looked at in terms of accuracy and lack of typos.)
    As far as IDEs, I tried some free ones and never found one that worked as well as just a text editor such as Vim or Emacs. I tend to use Vim and bind the key combination Cntrl-P to save the current buffer, run perl on it and put the output in a new window; one could do the same thing in Emacs.

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