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Perl Pocket Reference [Paperback]

Johan Vromans
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

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Book Description

August 2, 2011 1449303706 978-1449303709 Fifth Edition

If you have a Perl programming question, you'll find the answer quickly in this handy, easy-to-use quick reference. The Perl Pocket Reference condenses and organizes stacks of documentation down to the most essential facts, so you can find what you need in a heartbeat.

Updated for Perl 5.14, the 5th edition provides a summary of Perl syntax rules and a complete list of operators, built-in functions, and other features. It's the perfect companion to O'Reilly's authoritative and in-depth Perl programming books, including Learning Perl, Programming Perl, and the Perl Cookbook..

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Perl Pocket Reference + Learning Perl + Programming Perl: Unmatched power for text processing and scripting
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Johan Vromans has engaged in software engineering research since 1975. Convinced of the importance of a good programming environment, he became an expert in using GNU Emacs and the Perl programming language. Recently he was instrumental in bringing the Internet to the Netherlands as a commercial activity. He currently owns his own typesetting and consulting business called Squirrel Consultancy. He can be reached at

Product Details

  • Series: Pocket Reference
  • Paperback: 104 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; Fifth Edition edition (August 2, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1449303706
  • ISBN-13: 978-1449303709
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.2 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #389,521 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
41 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just right April 10, 2003
"Perl Pocket Reference" has the dense information content of "Perl in a nutshell" with extra readability and decreased size. However, in it's subject matter it more closely resembles "programming perl" (aka: camel), because it only covers the language itself. I own all three of these books, and even when they are all within arms reach, I still use this pocket reference more than the other two books, for two reasons:
1)As a beginner (in Perl), many of my questions can be answered with a small book such as "Perl Pocket Reference".
2)I don't have to sift through a lot of extraneous information to get answers quickly.
This pocket reference is no substitute for the Camel, (or for a more complete reference such as "Perl in a nutshell") but it's a great solution for
-finding succinct answers quickly
-reminding yourself of the basics of some feature that you don't use much
-serving as a beginner's reference, or
-bringing to an open-book exam. ;-)
Buy this book if you have another perl book and you want to get answers more efficiently.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't program Perl without this cool reference book February 10, 2003
If you are not one of the great Perl Wizards that know the syntax for every commands by heart, you should by this very handy book. This booklet is a reference book. Do not expect to learn Perl from scratch with this booklet (although I learned a lot of details :-). If you do not know Perl I recommend "Learning Perl" first.
The 4th edition of "Perl Pocket Reference" has been enhanced to cover Perl 5.8. It adds some small enhancements for the new IO libraries, regular expressions and Unicode handling. The basics are still as good as in the 3rd edition (although a bit more cleaned up).
I love this book because it is without any useless overhead. The information density is very high so make sure that you read this book slowly.
This book covers "only" the Perl language (which is quite big compared to e.g. "C") It does not cover your favourite Perl module (e.g. DBI, LWP and so on). There are almost no examples in this book. If you look for examples I recommend e.g. "Perl Cookbook" from O'Reilly.
I really like this book. What it tries to do, it does very well (small reference book of the Perl language). I have it always on my desk at work and I already gave away more than 20 copies (German and English versions) to my coworkers.
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22 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy a clue, Gerald August 25, 2005
Gerald W. Irmler writes in his review "I also have two very large Perl books that are also almost useless, so maybe it's a Perl problem." Well yes, Perl is not an easy language, but I suspect that the main problem here is an Irmler problem. This book does a very good job of doing what it intends to. Another clue that Irmler is lacking a clue is the baffling comment that "The author seemed more interested in being clever and funny, then (sic) imparting information." Huh? The book is comprised entirely of very succinct facts about the language. There is no style here to speak of, due to the nature of the book.

I rate this book 5 stars, Irmler -5 stars.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Out of 5 Perl books, my most-used reference September 15, 2008
By Bill Ng
Out of my fairly extensive Perl library, this is the book that sits next to my keyboard - the one that I keep "at-hand". Simple, concise, easy to find the data you are looking for .... it just "works" as a reference book.

No, you're not going to find the syntax for building and manipulating a hash of hashes, but you've got the full list of special variables, a good list of common functions, and great starting points for things like Network programming, Win32 programming, regular expressions, and more.

Definitely worth the price of entry if you are a beginner to moderate Perl programmer who doesn't code every day and frequently needs a reference.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
You buy these books to have a quick way of finding the right syntax in a specific language. They are less helpful as a teaching guide or a cookbook of solutions ... so you need a different book for that. But these pocket guides definitely help a little and they don't sot much. For what it is, I give it 4 stars. It would be 5 if the info was a little less dense with more short examples for context.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hits Nail on Head May 8, 2012
Perl Pocket Reference is exactly that, and no more - or less however!

This 5th Edition is a venerable update to one of the web's most
transformative programming languages. Perl's regex have become endemic
(some would say advisedly so) in every language since, and it pioneered
coming to terms with internationalisation and unicode in the browsable

The format hasn't changed much but the coverage brings it up to date with
5.14 again, and is a great value addition to your indispensable Llama and
Camel books that you've no doubt already got. While much of the material
is arguably available from terminal via perldoc, or,
you can't beat flicking through this even from the keyboard. It's
terse style leads you straight to the information you need, without frills.

Overall: If you are not a full-time perl developer, or have intermediate
skills, you'll find yourself flicking through this time & time again to
confirm just how that specific function does work. The electronic versions
are conveniently supported with relevant links to forums and online docs
meaning you are never far away from further information if you need it.
It's greatest challenge is the ubiquitous search engine, but at this price
it's arguably great value.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Muy bonita guía rápida de consulta
Having a guide of this size on hand, it is very useful for quick reference and consultation in the office. I like the publisher.
Published 15 days ago by PABLO ZURITA CACERES
5.0 out of 5 stars A great reference, when all you want to know is "How does this work?"
This book has been an invaluable reference.
When I just need to know how a function or statement works, this is the book I reach for. :-)
Published 2 months ago by NPG
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, Just as I expected
The reference book is good in size and content without too much required reading. Just as I expected from a pocket reference book from O-Reilly.
Published 5 months ago by Mr Matix
5.0 out of 5 stars Great reference
I used this book in conjunction with Learning Perl book. Often books you learn from aren't great reference books and this book certainly fills that gap.
Published 7 months ago by Wendell M. Gulick Jr.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great pocket guide
This little book has saved me more times than I can count.

It's a very hand refrence for those commands that are rarely used or have many options. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Thomas P. Ulrick
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic
I bought this as a gift for a co-worker. It is a great language reference for anyone that is going to be looking at a lot of perl
Published 18 months ago by Bruce Lowther
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you
I wanted to add Perl to my skillets in my resume.
Knowing a couple of other programming languages like Java and C++, I thought it was easy to catch up on Perl. Read more
Published 19 months ago by prefersAnon
5.0 out of 5 stars Helpful to a novice
A someone new to Perl, this book comes in very handy as a quick reference. I would recommend this to anyone.
Published on December 10, 2011 by cyherm
5.0 out of 5 stars I was new to Perl
This was neat as I was learning scripting. Still a nub at it but great for me who doesnt use it daily.
Published on November 17, 2009 by Mr.
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Quick Reference
This book is a good quick reference. If I can't find previous code I always reach for this book when I need to get a quick syntax reference.
Published on November 19, 2007 by Justin Jones
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