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Programming Perl (2nd Ed)

by Adam (Vicar)
on Oct 11, 2000 at 04:44 UTC ( #36169=bookreview: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??
Order Programming Perl (2nd Ed)

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 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!

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
RE: Programming Perl (2nd Ed)
by IoaPetra (Novice) on Nov 04, 2000 at 19:28 UTC
    The 3rd addition is well worth the upgrade. It expands on many topics that were a bit lacking in the 2nd addtion (such as tie and threads). At 1100 pages it is quite the tome. Goes over the new unicode as well, which will become more important in the future.

    Ioa Aqualine Petra'ka

      Damn right. I just got it and this thing, in my opinion is the BIBLE for perl programmers (except maybe for merlyn, he has enough knowledge of perl as it is).
Re: Programming Perl (2nd Ed)
by TStanley (Canon) on Mar 01, 2001 at 03:30 UTC
    I just purchased the 3rd edition, and have already read through it once,and
    I am reviewing it for a second time as well. This book has already helped me
    answer several questions that I had concerning modules, and other general
    functions within Perl. This book is a MUST HAVE!!

    In the end, there can be only one!
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