|Problems? Is your data what you think it is?|
I don't have the first edition, but after reading the second edition, I'm not sure how highly I'd recommend it. Much of the book tends to wander into the territory of showcasing how to use various CPAN modules. If you've never heard of them, then it's kind of useful or interesting. The practical code examples are pretty good. But is it really "advanced Perl"? I'm not sure. Maybe it's "advanced uses of Perl".
That said, the introductory chapter with preparatory concepts is one of the best treatments of the material in a brief way that I've seen (globs, closures, attributes, Hook::Lexwrap, B, operator overloading, phases). If many of these concepts had been dealt with more fully in their own chapters, I think it would have handily qualified as "Advanced Perl". As it was, it just skimmed the surface.
The chapter on Unicode was excellent and maybe worth the price of the book if you have to deal with it. Likewise excellent was the explanation of Parse::RecDescent, which had always intimidated me. The templating chapter, the database chapter and the testing chapter were pretty redundant to other stuff I've seen, read, or already knew. (Does every Perl book lately have to reintroduce Test::More?)
The natural language chapter was a blizzard of modules -- good if you didn't know about them. The POE chapter and Inline::C (and friends) chapters were reasonably good and thought provoking, though again, they just skimmed the surface of topics that really needed deeper coverage.
So, I liked it, but I've got mixed feelings recommending it. Check it out at a bookstore if you can before buying it.
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