Sure, the DBI-book is still relevant, but if you go only by the book and not read the docs, you will miss all the nice extras which have been added to DBI
since a decade ago.
If you really want to know what makes DBI tick, there is no subsitute for the docs ...
And when you really want to move forward, why not taking some extra time and study an ORM (Object Relation Mapper), which is a translation of your database into an Object-system. DBIx::Class is fast becoming the standard here, but there are others, such as Rose::DB and Rose::DB::Object
A program should be light and agile, its subroutines connected like a string of pearls. The spirit and intent of the program should be retained throughout. There should be neither too little or too much, neither needless loops nor useless variables, neither lack of structure nor overwhelming rigidity." - The Tao of Programming, 4.1 - Geoffrey James
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