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Professional Perl Programming Paperback – February, 2001
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Perl is one of the most important and powerful languages available today, and Professional Perl Programming offers an in-depth guide to exploiting some of its best features. With a densely packed tutorial straight from the experts, it is suitable for any experienced developer who wants to get more from this language.
Weighing in at over 1,200 pages, the text is dedicated to the principle that more is more, yet in covering the breadth of today's Perl, it doesn't ever lose sight of the practical details. One of the best feautures is its attention to running Perl in multiple environments. Early sections look at installing and running Perl on Unix, Windows, and the Mac. There is plenty of advice on how to run and deploy scripts, including excellent sections on the internals of Perl, autoloading modules, and creating installable modules for distribution.
A practical, hands-on focus is the rule throughout this text, which features short code excerpts rather than full-length scripts. Early sections cover pretty much the entire Perl language in significant detail, from data types (including scalars, arrays, and hashes, which help give Perl its distinctive personality) to flow control statements and their scoping rules. An important chapter presents object-oriented Perl, including common class design constructs like inheritance.
The emphasis of much of this book is on detailing the use of key Perl modules to perform basic and important tasks like file I/O, working with files and directories, process control, and networking. One notable section covers regular expressions with a clearly presented (yet sophisticated) tutorial to this essential Perl feature. (Besides the fundamentals, the book examines optimizing your regular expressions for better performance.) Later sections show you how to do networking in Perl, as well as how to get Perl to interoperate with C and even Java. The book closes with a concise listing of available Perl functions, as well as the most important Perl modules.
Professional Perl Programming doesn't dumb the subject down. Perl is infinitely rich and sometimes difficult, and this book is up to the task. It succeeds at presenting a wide-ranging tour of today's Perl with enough information to please even experienced Perl programmers. It contains much to mine in the way of basic and expert material that any intermediate to advanced developer can use to do more with Perl in everyday programming projects. --Richard Dragan
- Introduction to Perl distributions and modules
- Running Perl on Unix, Windows, and other platforms
- Intensive programming tutorial for Perl
- Numbers and strings
- Perl operators in detail
- Using scalars, lists, arrays, and hashes
- Complex data structures and typeglobs
- Statements and blocks
- Flow control and loops
- Scope and visibility rules in Perl
- Including and using Perl modules
- Autoloading modules
- Creating installable modules
- In-depth tutorial for regular expressions (including performance tips)
- Perl file I/O and file handles (including working with files and directories)
- Command-line handling and shells
- Terminal I/O
- Warnings and errors in Perl
- Using the Perl debugger
- Automated testing and profiling
- Text processing and reporting in Perl
- Object-oriented Perl (including basic object-oriented class design features like inheritance)
- Perl internals
- Integrating Perl with C, Java, and COM
- Creating and managing processes in Perl (including signals, IPC, and threads)
- Perl networking (from sockets to higher-level Internet protocols)
- Techniques for writing portable Perl code
- Unicode support
- Locale and internationalization techniques in Perl
- Function reference for Perl 5.6
- Listing of standard Perl modules
From the Publisher
Both aspiring and experienced Perl programmers will benefit from the expertise in this book, whether they are looking to develop serious applications, improve their productivity, or simply learn a more powerful and portable replacement for shell scripts. Whatever the task at hand, this book is an invaluable, detailed resource of the Perl language.
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Top Customer Reviews
When I finally got around to reading it, it was actually a nice read too.
So far this has been my experience with all the Wrox books I've gotten. They cover well what they cover, but don't always cover everything.
The book manages what many others fail to do: It might be the only Perl book you ever need. If you worked through this book, additional information is readily available on the Internet. This book is comprehensive enough to cover everything you need to know about the Perl language to write large scale 'mission critical' applications.
Admitted, if you already own the O'Reillys 'Learning Perl', 'Perl' and 'Perl Cookbook' this book will not contain many news. However, it is written very well and it is understandable, something I cannot always say about the 'original' Perl books or documentation.
If you do web programming, a logical addition to this book is 'Professional Perl Development' which offers lots of good information on how to design sophisiticated web applications.
Until now, I was an o'reilly zealot, clinging to my camel book and my CD bookshelf as the Only True Word.
Finally, here is the first real competitor to that series of books, with a fresh approach to the language that shows that the authors really know what they are doing.
So far, the book has done a great job covering all my industrial-strength perl questions with _examples that work_ and clear, concise explanations of the methods and the context. I find that the examples are really applicable to my professional needs as a contract perl programmer.
There's a great section on object-oriented perl, as well as a good debugging section.
IMHO, This is the best perl book out in a while.
Still, in all fairness, this is a very comprehensive book with lots of topics not covered in other books. Also the paper is of good quality. Probably every advanced user should go through the book to pick up on things other books leave out.
I am, however, not a fan of Wrox. It has become cliche with me to peruse their works and find typos, gramatical errors, and faulty code. Just because Wrox puts out a heavy, red book doesn't mean they are doing the topic a service. Here is no exception.
So, how to learn Perl? To glibly say 'code' would be too little. The O'Reilley books do a better job, and they are written by the core elite of the Perl culture. However, just because they can be called Perl elite doesn't mean they can't write resources that make sense. (However, I confess to finding a few typos and a missing parenthesis or two in their code as well . . . so nobody's perfect.)
As a developer, I lean on Perl to handle things that don't need the strength of a systems language (e.g. C, C++, Java). The O'Reilley books are an excellent resource that have gotten better with age. But, let me let you in on a secret. Little of what you'll find in the "Camel books" isn't already available to you free. Perl's own 'man' pages form the core of the books . . . if you've got the time to print, then you've got a top-rate document on your computer.
I can't give a book a one-star when it relates to Perl, unfortunately.