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Re^2: Perl books I'd like to have

by merlyn (Sage)
on May 17, 2005 at 05:22 UTC ( #457668=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re: Perl books I'd like to have
in thread Perl books I'd like to have.

I'd like to see someone start a whole series of Perl "cookbooks" devoted to whole modules and applications.
You mean, besides me?

-- Randal L. Schwartz, Perl hacker
Be sure to read my standard disclaimer if this is a reply.

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re^3: Perl books I'd like to have
by tlm (Prior) on May 17, 2005 at 09:16 UTC

    By definition the applications I have in mind are bigger and/or described at a greater level of detail than could reasonably fit into a magazine article. By "greater level of detail" I mean full source code, in which every module, subroutine, and variable is described. I don't think there is anything like this in the market at the moment, in any language, but years ago I saw a book that described, at this level of detail, how to implement an RDBMS in C. The typical chapter described a module of the program: the specs, the important design options and tradeoffs that had to be considered, and finally the gory details of the implementation, function by function and struct by struct. One could think of it as the programming equivalent of a kit for the weekend hobbyist to build a working car or airplane, providing every nut and bolt for it, and a diagram of where each goes.

    the lowliest monk

      Ahh, I'm actually thinking of a book like that for a typical 10-page web-based application, using CGI::Prototype, Template::Toolkit, and Class::DBI. Well, not exactly thinking of it... more like being encouraged strongly by my clients to write such a book to give a broader overview than all the details that are out there so far.

      The problem with books is that unless your book is wildly successful, you end up getting paid roughly minimum wage to write it. And no, I'm not kidding. I could make more money flinging hamburgers than writing some of the books I've written. {grin}

      So, the purpose of writing a book is to act as a credential, or to be done as a labor of love, or to support a class as a textbook. I already spend time here (and everywhere else) as a labor of love, so I'm sort of labored out there. And I really don't need another credential.

      The third option is intriguing, but I'm not sure what the classroom sales would be of a course that covers the "small web app" market. The problem isn't that there aren't a lot of people doing it: there are! The problem is getting 10 to 20 of them in the same room for a week. Ugh.

      -- Randal L. Schwartz, Perl hacker
      Be sure to read my standard disclaimer if this is a reply.

        And no, I'm not kidding. I could make more money flinging hamburgers than writing some of the books I've written. {grin}

        Why not self-publish? I know of one person who makes a good bit of money by selling his own books online as PDF files. Certainly, he sells much fewer copies than even a weak O'Reilly title, but his profit margin is almost 100%. And yes, the final product isn't as polished as an O'Reilly book, but who cares? Your audience is used to slogging through man pages and source code. They won't miss the fancy graphics and the cutesy bear-trap icons.

        the lowliest monk

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