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Learning Perl Objects, References, and Modules 1st Edition

15 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 063-6920004783
ISBN-10: 0596004788
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Editorial Reviews


"Here we have a typical O'Reilly book, with all the humor that makes them so popular. The book is littered with examples trying to bring a lighter side to what is often a pretty heavy subject." - Linux Magazine

About the Author

Tom Phoenix has been working in the field of education since 1982. After more than thirteen years of dissections, explosions, work with interesting animals, and high-voltage sparks during his work at a science museum, he started teaching Perl classes for Stonehenge Consulting Services, where he's worked since 1996. Since then, he has traveled to many interesting locations, so you might see him soon at a Perl Mongers' meeting. When he has time, he answers questions on Usenet's comp.lang.perl.misc and comp.lang.perl.moderated newsgroups, and contributes to the development and usefulness of Perl. Besides his work with Perl, Perl hackers, and related topics, Tom spends his time on amateur cryptography and speaking Esperanto. His home is in Portland, Oregon.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (June 19, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596004788
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596004781
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,627,675 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 55 people found the following review helpful By A Williams on September 3, 2003
Format: Paperback
In the world of Perl there was once only the 'camel book,' held in perhaps as much reverence as 'K & R' among C programmers. It certainly appealed to roughly the same audience, those who wanted a short, sharp introduction to a programming language. It was with a problem that needed solving and a copy of the camel book that I started as a Perl programmer.
Then for those that wanted a introduction to Perl and programming Randal L. Schwartz wrote Learning Perl, a book that has arguably become the definitive textbook for teaching Perl. The one weakness was that it left off before really getting to the guts of building large, complex projects in Perl. It did not cover classes, objects, breaking your code up into pieces or the more arcane aspects of variables, references. For this we had to resort to the last few chapters of the 'camel book' and I, for one, have never really been totally comfortable at this end of the language; when I'm reading someone else's code it might take a couple of reads to fully understand the process.
Now this weakness has been well and truly addressed. Schwartz, with Tom Phoenix, has written "Learning Perl Objects, References & Modules", a volume that takes the same steady approach to teaching you the more advanced topics as the earlier 'Learning Perl'. Schwartz has spent the years since writing 'Learning Perl' teaching and writing. You can tell, this is a superbly written book, not that 'Learning Perl' wasn't well written; it's just that this volume is far better.
The Guts
The book starts with a chapter on building larger programs that covers @INC, eval, do and require before discussing packages and scope.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Gregor Theis on June 23, 2003
Format: Paperback
"Learning Perl Objects, References and Modules " is the sequel to "Learning Perl". It starts of where "Learning Perl" finished. In "Learning Perl" I learned how to write Perl programs. In "Learning Perl Objects" I learned how to write better and bigger Perl programs. The audience of this book is the advanced Perl Programmer that wants to improve his Perl knowledge in the area of OO programming.
If you want to use Perl's OO functions, you have to know a lot about references and modules / packages (an OO package is just a normal package that is called in OO fashion). The first couple of chapters (chapter 1-7) talk about these basics of Perl OO programming that can (and should) be used even without using OO. I love chapter 5 about complex data structures. The chapters 8-11 describe the Perl OO implementation. Further Meta information about how to program packages, CPAN and testing is provided in the chapters 12-15.
The setup of the book is didactically very good and the nicely "incremental". You can see that the authors developed this book out of courses that they have held and improved for a long time. Because the book provides a nice stepwise introduction into the subject, one should read it from beginning to end. To really practice the newly learned skills, Tom and Randal provide some example exercises (with solutions in the appendix) at the end of every chapter.
Although I am not a native English speaker, I found the book very readable and humorous. Again this is another O'Reilly book that presents a possibly dry subject in a very accessible way. Even though the explanations are very good, be prepared to read some chapters twice (or more) to get your "aha" moment.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Heusser on July 17, 2003
Format: Paperback
To me, this book seemed like two books:

1) Shared Libraries, References, Data Structures, Scoping, and other things in perl. -- For internmediate programmers.

2) OO Perl, Distributions, and Testing in Perl - Step-by-Step - For advanced perl programmers who aspire to be wizards.

For me, part 1 was mostly review. Part 2 is good stuff, but it's not very deep. You could call it "a gentle introduction to OO"

My conclusion: The earlier in your career you read this book, the better. If the topics in #1 or #2 are "new" to you, go buy the book. Seriously. The comments on h2xs and the design patterns that schwartz sets up -alone- make it worth the price.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Joshua Wait on September 29, 2004
Format: Paperback
Last Fall I attended a session on object oriented programming with Objective-C. When discussing various languages with object oriented capabilities, the speaker remarked, "Don't even talk to me about Perl." Many people feel that way about Perl without even having to talk about object oriented programming.

Randall Schwartz and Tom Phoenix, the authors of the Perl primer "Learning Perl", take on the task of talking about Perl and object oriented programming. Since Perl does not have object orientation as its principal structure, they have a significant task to pull off.

In the Foreword of "Learning Perl Objects, References and Modules" Damian Conway draws attention to Perl's particular magic in implementing object oriented programming: "[Perl] takes a collection of Perl's existing non-OO features...and then--with nothing up its sleeve--manages to conjure up fully functional objects, classes and methods."

This particular nature of Perl shows up in the nature of the book's content. "Learning Perl Objects, References and Modules" is not about why or when to use object oriented programming in Perl. It is about how to magically turn references and anonymous data structures into object oriented programming. In that way, it is more of a tactical book than a strategic book. The history and concepts behind object oriented programming are touched on only lightly in its 180 pages; however, the book follows a steady progression to the goal of making and distributing Perl modules.

Eagerly anticipating the publication of the book, I bought it as soon as it was available. I reaped immediate benefit from the first few chapters as they demonstrated how to accomplish the goals I had for a project that I was working on. I lost interest shortly after chapter 4.
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