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"Second Edition"? Should be "Volume 2"!
on December 2, 2005
Review: Advanced Perl Programming
The First Edition of this book is one of my favorite books. For an example of why, it explained anonymous structures clearer than anyplace else I had seen. I have re-read it several times, learning something new with each reading. If you have gotten through "Learning Perl", and want to become an advanced Perl programmer, get yourself a copy of the First Edition.
Why is this book is the "Second Edition" of anything? It bears no resemblance at all to the First Edition. It has a different author, which is the first red flag. Looking inside, we find that all the chapters have different titles, and there is no topic discussed in one book that is discussed in the other. Most of what is in the First Edition is still valid Perl, and important information for a Perl programmer to know. Within a few minutes of learning this Second Edition had been published, I ordered it, based on my love of the First Edition. If I had spent any time looking through it, I probably wouldn't have bought it.
This book covers advanced Perl constructs and topics, but those much less useful to the average "another Perl hacker". It is interesting to know some of the stuff in the 2E, perhaps from an academic perspective, but there is none of the, "Wow, I'm going to use this every day" feeling that I got with the 1E.
To be fair, this book is well written, and clearly explains some things I've "always wondered about". There are several topics covered that I wish had been covered in more depth. For example, there is exactly one sentence about Inline::Java. But, I am glad that I bought it, and will put it on my shelf next to the First Edition. In thinking about it, I would say that this book should have been called, "Advanced Perl Programming, Volume 2" (with two panthers on the front?) Meanwhile, it is true that Sriram's First Edition could use some updating. After Perl 6 is released?