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Effective Perl Programming

by arturo (Vicar)
on Sep 15, 2000 at 19:22 UTC ( #32681=bookreview: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

Order Effective Perl Programming

Item Description: see the title ...

Review Synopsis: A useful book for the beginner-intermediate Perl hacker

Authors: Joseph N. Hall and Randal L. Schwartz
Paper: 288pp.
Published by : Addison-Wesley <p style="font-weight: bold'>Note : this review has been modified from its original form, not in terms of content but to remove redundancies.

Summary
This book seems designed for the beginning to intermediate Perl programmer who wants to expand his or her bag of Perl tricks. The book is well named, once you master the material inside you will be an effective Perl hacker.

My favorite Perl book not from O'Reilly =)

The good
The authors keep their focus on getting the job done, but they also exemplify the 'TMTOWTDI' aspect of Perl culture. It's not a telephone-directory sized book, but it packs in enough useful knowledge to make you a better hacker. Hall's "PEGS" system, in particular, is particularly helpful in explaining how data structures work in Perl, and I learned more from this book about constructing complex data structures in Perl than I did from any other.
The bad
Just to have something to say here, don't get this book if you're looking for a Perl reference (that ain't what it's about!) Just to be absoutely clear I can't think of anything bad about this book =)
Structure of the Book
Apart from chapters on wide-ranging topics (e.g. regexes), each chapter is subdivided into 'tips', each of which focuses on the use of a function or group of related functions. For example, one tip concerns the map and grep functions, what they do, and when it's appropriate to use one rather than the other. The chapter on regular expressions has a nice balance of the theory behind DFAs and NFAs (different kind of regular expression engines). The structure is thus somewhat like that of the Perl Cookbook but the individual tips focus more on giving you general knowledge that will allow you to solve a range of problems rather than (as the Cookbook does) showing you how to solve particular problems. (that said, ++ to 'the Ram' as well =)
Who Should Buy It
Preferably, you would go to a brick-and-mortar establishment and flip through a copy to make the decision to buy this book or not, but for those of you too lazy to do that or who just want to see what my take is on it, here goes: this book is somewhat more advanced than Learning Perl, but also intentionally less advanced than Advanced Perl Programming. This book would be appropriate for those who have a good Perl reference handy, but a little difficulty in putting the information contained therein into practice.

Comment on Effective Perl Programming
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Re: Effective Perl Programming
by Hanamaki (Chaplain) on Sep 06, 2001 at 19:40 UTC
    Additional Information:
    A lot of pdf Sample chapters including the full index of the book you will find at the books Homepage.

    A Japanese translation was published in March 1999 by ASCII. The 40 Pages of Chapter 1 and 2 are downloadable from the Japanese Product Page.

    Hanamaki

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