Item Description: "The Camel Book" --- The best perl book out there (except maybe the 3rd ed)
Review Synopsis: If you don't have some edition of this book in your personal library, go buy it. Order it through PerlMonks.
The point has been made that Programming Perl (by the one and only Larry Wall + Tom Christiansen and our own Randal L. Schwartz) has not been reviewed. Well I'm certainly not qualified to pass judgement on what may well be the most important Perl book out there, so instead I will give praise, and point out some of the more important aspects.
This book was written by Larry Wall... the creator of Perl. I think that gives him credentials. The book starts with a section intended to introduce the beginner to Perl. It includes documentation for every core function. (Actually, that documentation is a printed version of perldoc.) There are also sections on writing modules, tieing variables, using the standard library of modules, and working with the debugger. The book also contains pages and pages of common errors and style suggestions. Both well worth reading.
Ok, so the book is not perfect. The section entitled "The Gory Details" is not really very Gory (S.Srinivasan goes deeper into the PerlGuts in "Advanced Perl Programming"... another book I recommend you buy.) The chapter on tie is not really sufficient. (Although that plus the source code from a few modules that use tie aught to be.) And the page on Perl Poetry is cursory. (Oh no!)
Ok, so I've covered the good, the bad, now the ugly: I don't have the 3rd edition wherein the whole book was re-structured, re-organized, and re-drafted. (And I believe that Randal Schwartz was dropped as a contributing author) So I can't tell you if the new edition is any good. But I can tell you that between the 2nd edition and PerlMonks.org you will find almost everything you ever wanted or needed to know about Perl. So I suspect the 3rd edition is also worthwhile. Find out... buy a copy and report back to us!