Perl ranks among hackers' favorite languages--there's always another approach to a problem, always optimization to be done, and forever new techniques to try. Perl's a hoot. But the culture of tinkering that surrounds Perl has resulted in a large body of hard-to-understand legacy code. That legacy code has to be maintained, extended, and adapted to new conditions--often without the help of the person who originally created it. Perl Medic
considers Perl from the perspective of a programmer looking at code written by someone else and trying to answer the ancient question: "What were they thinking?"
It's a creative approach, and one that makes good reading for someone well-versed in Perl programming (author Peter Scott makes the analogy of becoming fluent in a human language, such as French, then studying its various accents and dialects). He shows, for example, a kludgy piece of code that's meant to catch CGI form uploads, then indicates that the obvious replacement is the CGI.pm module. Elsewhere, Scott shows why symbolic references are bad, and how to avoid them by means of hashes. Some of the value in this book is in the form of documentation of the differences among Perl versions; other useful coverage deals with warnings and strictness control as debugging tools. Read this straight through to improve your own code; use the index to help decipher and improve what someone else has written. --David Wall
Topics covered: How to write good Perl code, read bad Perl code, and convert bad Perl code into good in less time that would be required to write an equivalent replacement program from scratch. Testing, debugging, documenting, replacing custom code with CPAN modules, and embracing features that became available in later versions of Perl are all covered. Overall, the author endorses and generally explains the principles of Extreme Programming (XP) for Perl work.
From the Back Cover
- Cure whatever ails your Perl code!
- Maintain, optimize, and scale any Perl software... whether you wrote it or not
- Perl software engineering best practices for enterprise environments
- Includes case studies and code in a fun-to-read format
If you code in Perl, you need to read this book.—Adam Turoff, Technical Editor, The Perl Review.
Scott's explanations of complex material are smooth and deceptively simple. He knows his subject matter and his craft-he makes it look easy. Scott remains relentless practical-even the 'Analysis' chapter is filled with code and tests to run.—Dan Livingston, author of several computer books including Advanced Flash 5: Actionscript in Action
Bring new power, performance, and scalability to your existing Perl code!
Today's Perl developers spend 60-80% of their time working with existing Perl code. Now, there's a start-to-finish guide to understanding that code, maintaining it, updating it, and refactoring it for maximum performance and reliability. Peter J. Scott, lead author of Perl Debugged, has written the first systematic guide to Perl software engineering. Through extensive examples, he shows how to bring powerful discipline, consistency, and structure to any Perl program-new or old. You'll discover how to:
- Scale existing Perl code to serve larger network, Web, enterprise, or e-commerce applications
- Rewrite, restructure, and upgrade any Perl program for improved performance
- Bring standards and best practices to your entire library of Perl software
- Organize Perl code into modules and components that are easier to reuse
- Upgrade code written for earlier versions of Perl
- Write and execute better tests for your software...or anyone else's
- Use Perl in team-based, methodology-driven environments
- Document your Perl code more effectively and efficiently
If you've ever inherited Perl code that's hard to maintain, if you write Perl code others will read, if you want to write code that'll be easier for you to maintain, the book that comes to your rescue is Perl Medic. On the Web Site
Download all of the book's sample code from <www.perlmedic.com>.