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Object Oriented Perl by Damian Conway
ISBN 1884777791
Copyright 1999 Manning Publications Co.

Capsule Review

Excellent book. 5 stars out of 5.

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Full Review

I picked up Object Oriented Perl at the 1999 Perl Conference and immediately fell in love with it.

Damian Conway, a lecturer at Monash University in Australia, brought all his formidable teaching skills to bear when writing this book. It's probably the most entertaining and readable technical book I've ever come across.

And, better yet, the technical content is excellent. The book starts with a gentle introduction to object oriented programming in general, and quickly progresses to objects in Perl, where you learn that any Perl datatype can be used as an object. Even regular expressions, filehandles, or entire typeglobs! Inheritance and polymorphism are then explained with a clarity that should be the goal of OOP authors everywhere..

After covering the basics, Dr. Conway progresses into more advanced subjects, such as operator overloading, the tie mechanism, multiple dispatch, and object persistence. Given that my exposure to OOP had been minimal up to buying this book, I really expected to get lost in the more advanced material, but the presentation was so clear and the examples so good that I hardly even had to reread any of the advanced material. The information just made sense.

Finally, as icing on the cake, Dr. Conway includes an appendix titled, "What you may know instead". In these pages, readers familiar with Java, C++, Smalltalk, or Eiffel will find a conversion chart of sorts to translate their terms into Perl terms.

Of course, the real test of any technical book is the quality of the example code. I am happy to say that the examples in Object Oriented Perl are as clear and correct as you could hope for in any book. And, to his great credit, Dr. Conway broke with tradition by providing examples that DON'T deal with Person, Employee, and Manager classes. Dr. Conway chose instead to use an example near and dear to the hearts of all civilized people -- organizing his CD collection.

In summary, if you're already comfortable with Perl and are looking to stretch your wings, you should pick up a copy of Object Oriented Perl. Excellent information presented by a natural teacher.


Replies are listed 'Best First'.
RE: Object Oriented Perl
by Nooks (Monk) on Sep 05, 2000 at 04:28 UTC

    I bought a copy of Object Oriented Perl about a week ago and have been working my way through it ever since. I find it much easier to learn things from than Programming Perl (I remember reading the section on objects in PP at least a dozen times before I understood it) as well as being well-written and fairly concise.

    It's a small shame the first two chapters are used up explaining perl and OO, and chapter 3 is something of a no-brainer if you've used perl objects before, but from there on in it's pretty much all news. The sections on tie and overloaded operators are espescially good.

    I felt the content ramped up fairly quickly (I still don't understand the last three chapters) but builds in a logical manner, making it easy reading. The Quick Reference Guide (Appendix A) is good, but I found Appendix B less useful. (Any book whose index has an entry for Real World wins *my* vote.)

RE: Object Oriented Perl
by a (Friar) on Oct 29, 2000 at 09:06 UTC
    Yes, for what it worth, I've been recommending this book to folks for 3 reasons; you learn more perl, more OOProgramming and more OOPerl than any other book I've read since, well, since the first Camel. Manning publications has a link to Dr. Conway's OOP forum (you need to have the book to get in) where he answers OOPerl and questions about the book on a regular basis.
    Its the sort of book you can finish and then start again to try and get the next level of understanding out of it.
Re: Object Oriented Perl
by nite_man (Deacon) on Oct 06, 2003 at 07:39 UTC

    I've already used this book for 1,5 years. And I'd like to say that it's the BEST book which describes principes and hooks of OOP on Perl. It's very-very useful book and I'd like to recommend this book to all Perl programmers who want to apply power of OOP in the them applications.

    _ _ _ _ _ _
      M i c h a e l

Re: Object Oriented Perl
by John M. Dlugosz (Monsignor) on May 16, 2001 at 23:10 UTC
    I'm mentioned on the last line of page xviii. It's a rather enigmatic comment <g>


      What it says sounds like a compliment to you.