Top positive review
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Several years of experience in several hundred pages
on December 12, 1999
Sometimes I think either Tim O'Reilly or Tom Christiansen knows what I am thinking.
In the past week alone, I can count half a dozen times I have wondered about ways to do things in Perl, and never once have I failed to get either a full solution or a running start from the information in this book. If you have read Learning Perl by Christiansen and Schwartz (and if you haven't, you probably should before tackling this one), then this is your next step on the road to Perl.
This book contains hundreds of examples of solutions to "How do I..." type problems using Perl. Ranging from core language topics like hashes, sorting, and string and array processing, to files, database access, IPC, and brief but useful sections on Web and CGI usage, there is something here for everyone who does things with Perl.
Each chapter contains at least a dozen 'recipes' for solving a particular problem in a particular context. Each recipe is neatly laid out with a brief description of the problem, a proposed solution, and a follow-up discussion section. I especially appreciated the discussions, as they maintain the plurality of Perl--the proposed solutions work, but the discussion area almost invariably also includes alternate approaches or techniques. That's the beauty of Perl (and its motto)--There's More Than One Way To Do It. This book offers the intermediate programmer years of experience in solving real world problems using Perl in a few hundred, easy to read pages.
If you have learned enough about Perl to get started, the next thing you should do is get this book. So get cooking!