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Perlbooks with animals pictures

by greatshots (Pilgrim)
on Nov 17, 2006 at 10:15 UTC ( #584694=perlquestion: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

greatshots has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:


I am asking this question just on my own Interest. I have seen most of the perl book's cover page ( not always book's cover alone, sometimes I have seen the contents of book too ) and noticed some animal pictures in it. Is there any specific reason behind this, addding an animal in book's cover page ? ( Ex: Camel,Panther.... ). I could have asked this question to the author of the book, unfortunately I have not yet met the perl books authors.

If you monks ( Perl book's author also might be a member of this community ), have any idea on this please explain me.

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: Perlbooks with animals pictures
by davorg (Chancellor) on Nov 17, 2006 at 10:27 UTC

    It's not Perl books that have animals on the cover, it's O'Reilly books (and, actually, only certain kinds of O'Reilly books). Not all O'Reilly books are Perl books and not all Perl books are O'Reilly books :-)

    In the case of the Badger book, Andy Wardley (creator of TT and co-author of the book) was sure from the start that he wanted a badger on the front cover (badgers look friendly but are actually very powerful and tenacious) and the editor and the designers were happy to accomodate his request. The colophon of the book contains far more information about badgers.


    "The first rule of Perl club is you do not talk about Perl club."
    -- Chip Salzenberg

      Encouraged by the whiff of Acme widgets emanating from this thread, I would like to point out that badgers can be deceptive, too. Cheers.
Re: Perlbooks with animals pictures
by Callum (Chaplain) on Nov 17, 2006 at 10:27 UTC
      Why do you think O'Reilly chose the Spot Bill Toucanet for the cover?
Re: Perlbooks with animals pictures
by Hofmator (Curate) on Nov 17, 2006 at 10:24 UTC
    Well, the books you mention are probably all published by O'Reilly. O'Reilly has published a significant number of (good and well-known) Perl books and O'Reilly likes putting animals on the covers of their books (not only the Perl books).

    -- Hofmator

    Code written by Hofmator and posted on PerlMonks is public domain. It is provided as is with no warranties, express or implied, of any kind. Posted code may not have been tested. Use of posted code is at your own risk.

Re: Perlbooks with animals pictures
by jonadab (Parson) on Nov 17, 2006 at 12:42 UTC

    For historical reasons, most of the best Perl books are published by O'Reilly. I suspect this is at least partly because the Camel book (Programming Perl) was one of the really early Perl books and, because of who wrote it, also very good. Since that one was published by O'Reilly, which worked out very well for all concerned, some of the other people in the Perl community, when they wrote Perl books, knew about this and chose the same publisher. (O'Reilly is also well regarded in technical circles anyway, but IMO this is especially so in the Perl community.)

    There _are_ other Perl books, of course. But the O'Reilly ones tend to be the better ones. For one thing they tend to be written by people whose names are already known in Perl circles, people who know Perl inside and out. (Although, some of those people have also gone on occasion with other publishers, e.g., Effective Perl Programming is published by Addison-Wesley, and MJD published with a company called Morgan Kaufmann, whoever they are, so O'Reilly doesn't have a total monopoly on good Perl books, just the majority of them.)

    Sanity? Oh, yeah, I've got all kinds of sanity. In fact, I've developed whole new kinds of sanity. You can just call me "Mister Sanity". Why, I've got so much sanity it's driving me crazy.
      Speaking of other publishers of books on Perl, I recently stumbled upon Onyx Neon, which looks promising.
      I suspect this is at least partly because the Camel book (Programming Perl) was one of the really early Perl books and, because of who wrote it, also very good.
      Thank you. It was a great project, and I'm glad to have helped make it a historical event, although at the time, it was just a way to get some more instructions down for Perl users, using my combined skills as an award-winning technical writer and editor as well as being a programmer from nearly birth. {grin}

      But truly, O'Reilly was (is still?) the only publisher run by people who started as technical writers, so they're much more inclined to let the smart authors do their thing and concentrate on all the rest of the stuff an author needs to be successful.

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

Re: Perlbooks with animals pictures
by Anonymous Monk on Nov 17, 2006 at 10:22 UTC
    It's an O'Reilly convention.
Re: Perlbooks with animals pictures
by j3 (Friar) on Nov 17, 2006 at 18:36 UTC
    Is there any specific reason behind this, addding an animal in book's cover page ?

    Well, it makes for interesting dialog when talking to your buddies about what you're reading. Ex.: "I just got through the Llama, and was having a look at the Alpaca. The Camel referred me to the Owl, but I think I'll spend more time with the Ram first." ;)

Re: Perlbooks with animals pictures
by chromatic (Archbishop) on Nov 17, 2006 at 20:49 UTC

    I have a particular fondness for the coffee stain book and the sturdy pair book.

      Thank you (and Ian), for not using a coaster, chromatic -- your notebook is accessible and has what one needs to start building a manageable large project.
Re: Perlbooks with animals pictures
by swampyankee (Parson) on Nov 17, 2006 at 16:35 UTC

    As others have explained, it's one of O'Reilly's ways of branding their books.

    As side issue, in US publishing, the authors of a book may be responsible for the content, but the authors usually do not have much control over packaging issues such as cover design or type of binding: these are the purview of the publishers. In turn, publishers do not normally print the books; that's done by a printer.


    At that time [1909] the chief engineer was almost always the chief test pilot as well. That had the fortunate result of eliminating poor engineering early in aviation.

    —Igor Sikorsky, reported in AOPA Pilot magazine February 2003.

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