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Mastering Algorithms with Perl Paperback – August 28, 1999

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 706 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1st edition (August 28, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1565923987
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565923980
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #558,668 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

Written for readers with at least some Perl programming experience, Mastering Algorithms in Perl delivers a solid library of algorithms written in Perl for business and mathematical computing. From data structures to cryptography and more advanced mathematical algorithms, this book provides a worthwhile guide to extending Perl's coding capabilities.

The best thing about Mastering Algorithms in Perl is the scope at which it covers the universe of algorithms while refraining from getting bogged down in academic detail. Besides basic data structures--a lynchpin of books on algorithms--the authors provide dozens and dozens of algorithms for sorting, searching, and doing mathematical computations of all kinds. While they discuss "Big-O" notation and assume a general familiarity with math, they don't overwhelm the reader. (You can even borrow the code without needing a math degree to understand it.) The focus is on efficient, reusable Perl subroutines written and compiled by three Perl experts.

Standout chapters include extending Perl's already powerful string processing abilities, game programming, and cryptography. Generally, the authors achieve a good mix of more advanced (and less well-known) algorithms, along with the basics. Chances are you won't need to use all the dozen or so sorting algorithms presented here, but the authors include them all, just in case. As a reference and tutorial, readers can pick and choose what they need for real-world Perl development.

There hasn't been a book dedicated exclusively to Perl algorithms prior to the publication of this one. In all, Mastering Algorithms in Perl fills a useful niche by compiling a powerful library of Perl algorithms that will be useful for anyone who works with this programming language, whether in business or academic computing. --Richard Dragan

Topics covered: Perl data types, Big-O notation, data structures, queues, deques, linked lists, binary trees, sorting and searching algorithms, game and dynamic programming, sets and multisets, matrices and graphs, string matching and parsing, 2-D geometry, number systems, cryptography (including DES and RSA), probability, statistics, and numerical analysis.

From Library Journal

Perl is very similar to C in syntax, and while Perl doesn't have the speed of complied C, it has been getting much faster. It also is one of the most portable languages, available for most hardware with no changes in code. It is free, which makes it very attractive to developers. This guide covers everything from data structures, sorting and searching, to sets and matrices, to cryptography, probability, and statistics. Readers must already know Perl, so this is recommended for advanced programming collections.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

If you are relatively new to Perl programming, then you have probably already read "Learning Perl".
The clearly written text contains the usual light, easy-reading tone and occasional humorous elements found in most O'Reilly books.
Ryan A. Dibble
It's certainly more accessible for the interested Perl-savvy amateur than the pseudocode in Introduction to Algorithms.
Thing with a hook

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 18, 1999
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After reading rave reviews about this book all over the net, I decided to check it out. I found it a bit disappointing for several reasons. First, there appear to be type setting errors that are distracting. For example, there are sections with example code with text that follows, only the text that follows appears to be introducing the next code snippet, but is actually describing the snippet above (off by 1 error?) Indeed the final code snippet in a section has no following explanatory text.
This is only a problem early on though because as the book progresses, the authors stop describing the code examples! In fact, I found myself trying to figure out what the text was doing in the chapters since all of the concepts were explained in code (without full explanations in the text). <this is a minor exaggeration>
In addition, I found the unrelated annecdotes and allusions and obscure literary quotes a further distraction. I'm sure there is a certain academic audience that would appreciate this, but I hate having to look up words only to find out I didn't really need to look them up ;-).
Some other things I disliked were the absence of hashes in the data structures section (perl has built in hashes, so you'd think a discussion on what a hash is, and hashing algorithms would be included in a perl algorithms book), and the description of algorithm analysis was too short.
On the up side, the sorting and searching sections are very thorough (the perl code implementing them, not the text explaining the code), as are the other sections. If its perl your after, this book has some of the best perl code in print (save for Joseph Hall's "Effective Perl").
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Lee D. Carlson HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on May 9, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book ia fairly good introduction to the use of PERL in developing and implementing various algorithms, including scientific and cryptographic ones. Fortunately, source is included, setting the book apart from the usual books on computer algorithms.
The first few chapters outline PERL data structures, with the built-in data structures discussed, along with a discussion of how to create new ones. The dynamic nature of arrays in PERL is emphasized, and this is a feature that sets PERL way above other languages, such as C and C++. Linked lists are given a detailed treatment along with garbage collection in PERL. The authors are careful to point out that reference counting in PERL will fail when one is dealing with a circle of reference values.
A discussion of sorting follows, with radix and hybrid sorts being the most useful of the algorithms discussed. The authors give a useful comparison study of the running time of the sorting algorithms. This is followed by a discussion of searching algorithms, which unfortunately omits any details of dynamic programming, which is useful in applying PERL to areas such as computational biology.
The authors give a very interesting treatment of how to do set operations using PERL in the next chapter. They did not treat the case of fuzzy sets in detail though, unfortunately.
Matrix algorithms are discussed next, with the PERL modules MatrixRead and PDL integrated into the discussion. I have only used PDL and its graphic library PGPLOT and have had varying degress of success with it. PERL still has a long way to go before it is accepted as a language suitable for numerical computations.
Graph algorithms are the subject of the next chapter.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Ryan A. Dibble on October 28, 1999
Format: Paperback
When I heard that O'Reilly was publishing a book on Algorithms in Perl I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. Well last month I did and it was great!

The clearly written text contains the usual light, easy-reading tone and occasional humorous elements found in most O'Reilly books. The authors include plenty of pictures and diagrams for those who learn visually (rather then by reciting words out loud). The Perl code within is concise, with comments when necessary, and makes use of the objects when possible. If you plan to read this book you should know Perl because the more advanced level of the code could cause problems for the non-Perl or beginning Perl Programmer. However, to a Perl programmer who is comfortable with the language the code reads clean and understandably - sometimes it's even more clear then pseudocode.

The text covers a broad range of topics (with varying levels of complexity). When I was reading I recalled things I learned in college classes such as: Data Structures, Algorithm Analysis, Discrete Math, Calculous, Linear Algebra, Statistics, Compiler Design, Signal Processing, and even some good old fashion high school geometry. I found this extremely helpful because the broad nature of the book doesn't allow the authors to cover a topic in great detail. They do review each topic area giving the proper terminology used along with background of how the field developed.

Within the different chapters the authors present various code segments. For some segments the authors have written there own code to implement the algorithms. In other cases, as is Perl custom, the authors have searched CPAN for the modules that implement the algorithm. Then the example code demonstrates the proper use of that module.
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