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Mastering Perl 1st Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0596527242
ISBN-10: 0596527241
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Editorial Reviews

Book Description

Creating professional programs with Perl

About the Author

brian d foy is a prolific Perl trainer and writer, and runs The Perl Review to help people use and understand Perl through educational, consulting, code review, and more. He's a frequent speaker at Perl conferences. He's the co-author of Learning Perl and Intermediate Perl and the author of Mastering Perl. He was been an instructor and author for Stonehenge Consulting Services from 1998 to 2009, a Perl user since he was a physics graduate student, and a die-hard Mac user since he first owned a computer. He founded the first Perl user group, the New York Perl Mongers, as well as the Perl advocacy nonprofit Perl Mongers, Inc., which helped form more than 200 Perl user groups across the globe. He maintains the perlfaq portions of the core Perl documentation, several modules on CPAN, and some stand-alone scripts.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 346 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (July 23, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596527241
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596527242
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,617,328 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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By Ricardo Signes on July 30, 2007
Format: Paperback
Mastering Perl is a toolbox full of very sharp tools. I can imagine myself presenting it to a junior co-worker, very somberly informing him, "It is time."

More likely, actually, I'd present him a few chapters ripped out of the book and rebound. It's not that there are chapters I object to, or that don't matter. It's that some of the chapters are about safety and responsibility, while others are about wielding deadly weapons. I want up-and-coming Perl programmers to know about taint mode, debugging, profiling, and good code formatting long before typeglobs, ties, or AutoSplit. I'd divide the chapters into "things you must learn to become a master of the language" and "things you had better know if you want to be considered a good professional."

The chapters are not particularly cumulative, and can be read out of order. If you're ready for the book in general -- which basically only means understanding the basics of packages, references, regex, objects, and closures -- you're ready for any chapter at any time. I read the chapters in order, and I was glad to switch between technical and procedural topics. It let my brain rest a little between bouts of dense code.

My main concern is the lack of warning given on a number of tools discussed. brian begins, in the first chapter, by saying that coverage does not mean endorsement, but I don't think that's quite strong enough in some cases. The first chapter discusses some regular expression techniques, and casually mentions using $&, with no mention of the long-standing performance bug this introduces. Maybe I'm being silly, but it seems like such an easy and worthwhile thing to mention -- especially since the section in which $& is discussed is actually about @-, which can be used to efficiently replace $&.
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Format: Paperback
If you've made it through Learning Perl and Intermediate Perl, you've probably been waiting with no small impatience for a book like this to round off the trilogy and your basic Perl education. If you're interested in Perl as a complete programming language, or want to be able to read and understand the rest of the Perl literature, then you need this.

Note that the thrust of the book is about providing the information you need to use Perl to build applications, so there's nothing about Perl internals, or embedding Perl or dropping down to C to speed things up. For that sort of thing, you might want to look at the various editions of Advanced Perl Programming.

Stylistically, Mastering Perl is a bit of a departure from the previous two books in the series. Gone is the tutorial feel, and there's no overarching pop culture theme to the examples. Instead, you're assumed to be competent and ready to develop your own code, and brian d foy's style treats the reader as an equal.

There are two types of material covered in the book. The first rounds off the rest of the Perl language not covered in the first two books. These are all things which are not exactly necessary for every day programming, but which anyone motivated sufficiently to learn enough Perl to be interested in this book will just want to know. Typeglobs, the symbol table and tied variables top this list.
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Format: Paperback
I work with the language on a daily basis, and the information that I learned from this book has helped me to become an even better programmer. The chapter covering regular expressions was the most helpful, as it broke down all of the various assertions and explained them in a simple and easy to understand manner.

brian's writing is clear and easy to read, making this book an invaluable reference for me.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I purchased the Digital version so that I can read the book, work out the examples and invent my own perl projects, using this book and the other Perl Books from O'Reilly. Mastering Perl is the 3rd book of the series for learning perl. Learning Perl, Intermediate Perl and Mastering Perl.
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Format: Paperback
This book is not essential, if you already have several years of experience with Perl, if you know who are Damian Conway, Randal Schwartz and Abigail, and if you know the meaning of weird words like CPAN, Perl Monks and "zero-width positive look-ahead assertion".

If you don't know what these things are, then with a little motivation you can find everything about them using Google without the need for this book. If this would be any other book about programming, i'd give it no more than 3 stars.

However, brian d foy's first-person writing style is very readable and enjoyable, which awards this book an extra star, and does make this book a good buy for people who learned the basics from Learning Perl or Programming Perl. Furthermore, as great and relevant as The Camel Book is, its last edition was published in 2000, and it is already a little dated, in terms of both the technology and the culture of Perl, so Mastering Perl is a pretty good way to get up-to-date.

To sum up - while this book is not as essential as Programming Perl, Perl Cookbook or Perl Best Practices, it is certainly up to the high standards set by those O'Reilly titles.
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