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Programming Perl (3rd Edition) 3rd Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 315 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0596000271
ISBN-10: 0596000278
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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.


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Product Details

  • 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: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (315 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #363,424 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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By Dan on 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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Format: Paperback
The book itself, used as a Reference and for mastering Perl, is a five star book. But there are a quite a few disadvantages:
1. The book is not intended to the ones who have no programming experience at all. The read should be at least an intermediate programmer, because the basic programming concepts of the language (Variables, Subs and etc..) are badly explained.
2. Because of Perl's C Like Syntax, it is recommended that the reader will know C, Awk, or Grep and Some experience in the Unix Environment.
3. The Book itself is badly organized, certain complicated things are shown in examples and explanations, and those things are taught many pages afterwards. For Example: An Example of a perl program is shown on page 10, and that example contains subs and pattern matching, which are taught 100 Pages later!
These are the 3 Main Disadvantages. For Conclusion, if you're new to programming, or want to learn Perl easliy, buy "Learning Perl", but if you're a somewhat experienced programmer, and want to master Perl, this book is the best one you'll find for that purpose.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an excellent companion to the Learing Perl book (also by O'Reilly). If you are new to Perl like I was not too long ago, then start with the Learning Perl book first before you touch this one.
This book is intended to serve as a reference as it tackles the more complicated aspects of Perl. If you start learning Perl with this book, then you will find it a very difficult language to graps. However, I do not want to take anything away from this book. This book is fantastic for those who want to dive into Perl a bit more and have passed the beginners level. I purchased both the books and once I had finished reading the Learning Perl book, I started turning to this book to get a better understanding of things, especially regular expressions.
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