- Paperback: 1092 pages
- Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 3rd edition (July 24, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0596000278
- ISBN-13: 978-0596000271
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 2.4 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.8 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 141 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #335,790 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Programming Perl (3rd Edition) 3rd Edition
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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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If you are a casual programmer though, I must caution you that this book is pretty intense reading. I found it helps to read this book while reading the "Perl Cookbook". The chapters for each book correlate to each other. This book explains how everything works, while the Cookbook shows you how to apply these concepts in real life situations.
One complaint I had about this book were the unclear examples. Other books by O'Reilly such as "Learning Perl" and "Perl Cookbook" will label each line of code in their examples so that there is no ambiguity. However the example scripts in this book are sparsely labled, so it is not always clear what the author's intent is.
However, if you feel up to the challenge, I would definitely recommend this book. After reading this book, your understanding of Perl will improve dramatically. In addition, the last few chapters will provide a very useful reference regarding Perl's many modules, functions and such. For serious programmers, you will thank yourself for buying this book.
But after you've spent some time writing simple Perl scripts, this is an excellent choice for your SECOND Perl book. Don't be alarmed if you don't understand everything; this can also be your fourth, sixth, eighth and tenth Perl book. As your experience grows, this is the book you'll keep coming back to -- and not just for the reference material. You'll learn more each time you read it, but only the parts you're ready for NOW will stick with you.
Challenging and rewarding.
It should be noted that this book assumes a working knowledge of Unix, in addition to some previous programming experience. If you are new to programming, or just new to Perl, you should check out Learning Perl, Fourth Edition instead. It is a much easier read, and ranks in my mind among the most well written technical books. Programming Perl makes for a great second book, as well as a desktop reference.