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Programming Perl [Kindle Edition]

Larry Wall , Tom Christiansen , Jon Orwant
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (136 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Perl is a powerful programming language that has grown in popularity since it first appeared in 1988. The first edition of this book, Programming Perl, hit the shelves in 1990, and was quickly adopted as the undisputed bible of the language. Since then, Perl has grown with the times, and so has this book.


Programming Perl is not just a book about Perl. It is also a unique introduction to the language and its culture, as one might expect only from its authors. Larry Wall is the inventor of Perl, and provides a unique perspective on the evolution of Perl and its future direction. Tom Christiansen was one of the first champions of the language, and lives and breathes the complexities of Perl internals as few other mortals do. Jon Orwant is the editor of
The Perl Journal, which has brought together the Perl community as a common forum for new developments in Perl.


Any Perl book can show the syntax of Perl's functions, but only this one is a comprehensive guide to all the nooks and crannies of the language. Any Perl book can explain typeglobs, pseudohashes, and closures, but only this one shows how they really work. Any Perl book can say that my is faster than local, but only this one explains why. Any Perl book can have a title, but only this book is affectionately known by all Perl programmers as "The Camel."


This third edition of Programming Perl has been expanded to cover version 5.6 of this maturing language. New topics include threading, the compiler, Unicode, and other new features that have been added since the previous edition.


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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Larry Wall wrote Perl and he wrote Programming Perl. Better yet, he writes amusingly and well--all of which comes across in this latest edition of the definitive guide to the language.

Like Topsy, Perl just grew, and as a result the need for a third edition came about. It's now over 1,000 pages, which it needs to be, as it performs several different duties. First, it's an introduction to the Perl language for those who are new to programming; also, it's a guide for those who are coming from other languages; and, finally, it's a Perl language reference.

Among Larry Wall's other pursuits is being a linguist, and it's perhaps for this reason that Perl is a peculiarly flexible language with many routes to achieving the same ends, as the authors ably demonstrate. It's also extensible in several ways, designed to work with many other languages. Also, as it's largely interpreted, programs written in Perl tend to run unmodified on a variety of platforms--although platform-specific Perl modules and programming practices are also discussed.

A major strength of Programming Perl is the way subject areas are approached from several directions. This constant shift of viewpoint eliminates blind spots in the reader's understanding and provides a pleasing echo of the way Perl itself can take many routes from here to there.

Because the Perl community is both knowledgeable and active, the language covers much more ground here than in the previous edition. Even if you have both previous editions, you'll want this latest version--if only for the new jokes. --Steve Patient, amazon.co.uk

About the Author

Larry Wall originally created Perl while a programmer at Unisys. He now works full time guiding the future development of the language as a researcher and developer at O'Reilly & Associates. Larry is known for his idiosyncratic and thought-provoking approach to programming, as well as for his groundbreaking contributions to the culture of free software programming. He is the principal author of the bestselling Programming Perl, known colloquially as "the Camel book."

Tom Christiansen is a freelance consultant specializing in Perl training and writing. After working for several years for TSR Hobbies (of Dungeons and Dragons fame), he set off for college where he spent a year in Spain and five in America, dabbling in music, linguistics, programming, and some half-dozen different spoken languages. Tom finally escaped UW-Madison with B.A.s in Spanish and computer science and an M.S. in computer science. He then spent five years at Convex as a jack-of-all-trades working on everything from system administration to utility and kernel development, with customer support and training thrown in for good measure. Tom also served two terms on the USENIX Association Board of directors. With over fifteen years' experience in UNIX system administration and programming, Tom presents seminars internationally. Living in the foothills above Boulder, Colorado, surrounded by mule deer, skunks, and the occasional mountain lion and black bear, Tom takes summers off for hiking, hacking, birding, music making, and gaming.

Jon Orwant, a well-known member of the Perl community, founded The Perl Journal and co-authored OReillys bestseller, Programming Perl, 3rd Edition.


Product Details

  • File Size: 2231 KB
  • Print Length: 1104 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 3 edition (June 30, 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0043D2DOQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #367,815 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
89 of 90 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't Believe the (Sp|C)urious Negative Reviews January 10, 2002
Format:Paperback
If you're like me, and you're shopping for a book, you immediately start reading the negative reviews and work upwards. So I started reading the reviews and read through them all, bought the book despite the many negative, and frankly, snippish comments made by many reviewers and decided that I need to respond.
Many say that the examples are convoluted, or that he focuses on obscure language references. One says the book starts quickly with a discussion of the splice function. The first mention of splice is on page 355, which I certainly don't define as 'quickly'....
Others say that there are no examples, or they are not explained clearly, but there's a short sample program right on page 18, and then 4 pages are devoted to analyzing the program and how it works. Further review through the book shows many small examples, especially in the sections that outline the core functions of Perl, and the core modules of Perl.
Others come here and criticize Perl the language, and use this as a platform for their own advocacy of other languages. This is just silly. If you're interested in Perl, or you've been using Perl and you want to know more, buy this book. In the universe of computer programming, every language choice you make is controversial, and subject to debate, and just because some reviewers do not like Perl the language, it does not mitigate the quality of this book.
That all being said, and debunking the frankly lousy reviews, I'll caution that this is NOT for beginning programmers, or people with limited technical knowledge. O'Reilly knows this, and anyone who has read this book should know this too. There is a book called 'Beginning Perl', also from O'Reilly, and written by one of the other top minds in Perl.
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169 of 185 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars From a Perl novice September 29, 2000
Format:Paperback
I grew up teething on the trusty C=64, then went on to Q-Basic,Fortran-77 (I'm a mechanical engineer by schooling), and eventuallydabbled quite a bit with ANSI C. Except for a quarter of Fortran incollege, I've always been self-taught for computers and programming.I thought that this book would be the place to start my 'career' inPerl. Since it is the 'hot new thing' (although not that new) and Iam interested in Linux and the Apache web server, learning Perl seemedto be the natural extension. And on almost every FAQ, web site, etcetera about Perl, all speak of 'THE CAMEL' as being the bible.
BOYWAS I WRONG! I am not NEARLY smart enough to learn Perl straightfrom the Camel's mouth. But that doesn't mean that this is a terriblebook by any means, not at all. But I quickly jumped back on line hereat Amazon and picked up 'the Llama', aka Learning Perl, 2d Edition.Here's my path to success, being that I wasn't smart enough to learnfrom this book by itself! hahaha...
(1) Read 'Learning Perl'straight through at a leisurely pace. Just get a feel for thelanguage and syntax. (2) Download and install Perl... (3) Read'Learning Perl' a second time, this time not continuing until yousuccessfully complete the exercises at the end of each chapter. (4)Read 'Programming Perl', and when you get to a part that you havetrouble with, refer back to the lessons and examples in theLlama.
This worked quite well for me, and using the Llama before ANDin conjunction with the Camel seemed to enhance the meaning for me ofboth. My newest endeavor is to work through 'CGI Programming withPerl', another O'Reilly animal book ('the Mouse'? ).
Overall, thisis what I would term a 'readable reference'.
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137 of 165 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who said .... May 9, 2001
Format:Paperback
The book is definetely written for those who at least have some (or maybe a little more than just "some") programming background, and willing to learn Perl from the author of the language.
I read the first edition of the book, which was about 200 pages, or something in that range, which filled my mind with nothing but questions. Current edition, however, could answer to all of those questions (well, almost). Of course, to make it answer them I had to re-read the book four times. But none of the books I currently own (and I own quite a few) could've taken me to the innards of the language so deep no matter how many times I had read them. So the book is of value.
The Camel book, especially, does a great job on Regular Expressions and pattern matching. If you want to learn RegEx of perl in very details, you definitely need listen to the author of Perl. "Mastering Regular Expressions" by Jeffrey Friedl is also a good choise, but doesn't include the latest updates.
Formats aren't covered very well though. So you might consider "The Lama book" for that ("Learning Perl"). Still, none of the books can tell you about the innards of the Perl in so much detail overall than "Programming Perl".
OOP is also toched upon in the book. Since purpose of the author is not to preach you OO lingo (but plain Perl), you'll treat that part just as an intorduction to OOP and consider "Object Oriented perl" by Damian Convey as the next text book.
I found chpater 14, "Tied variables" very helpfull though. It might remind you of DBM/Berkley DB, through the syntax
tie my %db, 'AnyDBM_File', 'my_file', O_CREAT|O_RDWR, 0664;
but unfortunately it's not about DBM at all.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read if your a Perl programmer
A great read if your a Perl programmer, I highly recommend this book to anyone learning Perl, Larry Wall is the original creator of Perl and this book really helped me with the... Read more
Published 1 month ago by grizzlysmit
5.0 out of 5 stars Still the best
Outstanding reference. Even though it does not cover the most recent addition to Perl, this reference is so good, it's still the go-to. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Linda
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book
Larry Wall is the Perl Master. I used this book to learn Perl. With another programmer, we created a website that we used to secure and report on the security of a fortune 500... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Kenneth W. Bell
5.0 out of 5 stars Perl bible, not for casual reading
This thing is massive, but also massively useful!

I hesitated buying this book for a long time. Once I had it in my hands, I realized what I had been missing.
Published 7 months ago by Rainer Åhlfors
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as informative as you might think
Despite being written by the language's creator, this book is not as informative as you might think. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Ronald Rahaman
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it
Bought the Kindle versión and really enjoy reading this book, not only because of its instructional value, but also for the author's great sense of humor, which makes the... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Pen Name
4.0 out of 5 stars Good to read after being familiar with basic Perl
I would recommend reading other introductory books on Perl before starting this one.
The break down of the chapters is excellent.
Published 23 months ago by Paul
5.0 out of 5 stars This is an excellent book
O Reilly books are great, to the point and precise. This is not a small book. Like a reference. If you are into scripting and want to learn in and out of Perl, this is the book for... Read more
Published on February 24, 2012 by rpv
5.0 out of 5 stars Great reference book
When I was first learning Perl, this book was a great help. While you can find a lot of Perl guides and references online, I felt like this book did a great job of organizing... Read more
Published on January 23, 2012 by Sam G
4.0 out of 5 stars The definitive book on perl
Every Perl programmer should have this book. It covers all the gory details regarding Perl. Oddities, unexpected behavior, gotchas and explanation of behavior across a broad... Read more
Published on October 19, 2011 by Raymond
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