Customer Reviews: Perl Pocket Reference (Pocket Reference (O'Reilly))
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on 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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on 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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on June 1, 2013
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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on 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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on September 15, 2008
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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on May 20, 2013
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.

I highly reccomend this book to anyone. I own a well worn copy that sits on my desk and then a copy on my kindle for when out and about and need to do some programming.

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on December 7, 2012
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.
Thanks for the book.
I give it 5 stars
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on November 19, 2007
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.
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on 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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on December 10, 2011
A someone new to Perl, this book comes in very handy as a quick reference. I would recommend this to anyone.
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