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Effective Perl Programming: Ways to Write Better, More Idiomatic Perl (2nd Edition) Paperback – Apr 19 2010
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From the Back Cover
The Classic Guide to Solving Real-World Problems with Perl—Now Fully Updated for Today's Best Idioms!
For years, experienced programmers have relied onEffective Perl Programmingto discover better ways to solve problems with Perl. Now, in this long-awaited second edition, three renowned Perl programmers bring together today's best idioms, techniques, and examples: everything you need to write more powerful, fluent, expressive, and succinct code with Perl.
Nearly twice the size of the first edition,Effective Perl Programming, Second Edition,offers everything from rules of thumb to avoid common pitfalls to the latest wisdom for using Perl modules. You won't just learn the right ways to use Perl: You'll learn why these approaches work so well.
New coverage in this edition includes
- Reorganized and expanded material spanning twelve years of Perl evolution
- Eight new chapters on CPAN, databases, distributions, files and filehandles, production Perl, testing, Unicode, and warnings
- Updates for Perl 5.12, the latest version of Perl
- Systematically updated examples reflecting today's best idioms
You'll learn how to work with strings, numbers, lists, arrays, strictures, namespaces, regular expressions, subroutines, references, distributions, inline code, warnings, Perl::Tidy, data munging, Perl one-liners, and a whole lot more. Every technique is organized in the same Items format that helped make the first edition so convenient and popular.
About the Author
Joseph N. Hall has programmed for a living since 1984, taught his first computer class at age fourteen, and has worked with Perl since 1993. Joshua A. McAdams, a programmer at Google, is the voice of Perlcast. He has hosted two Perl conferences, conducts meetings for Chicago Perl Mongers, has spoken about Perl at events worldwide, and is a CPAN author. brian d foy is coauthor of Learning Perl, Fifth Edition (O’Reilly Media, 2008), and Intermediate Perl (O’Reilly Media, 2006), and author of Mastering Perl (O’Reilly Media, 2007). He established the first Perl user group, the New York Perl Mongers; publishes The Perl Review; maintains parts of the core Perl documentation; and has more than ten years of Perl training experience.
Inside This Book(Learn More)
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The book doesn't cover what has already been covered elsewhere, so the material is all fresh and the space is used to investigate topics in reasonable detail.
The focus on idiomatic Perl - the authors say: "Although Perl's motto may be "There's More Than One Way To Do It," the corollary is, "But Most of Them Are Wrong," or "Some Ways Are Better Than Others."" The book illustrates how to write idiomatic Perl from the choice of language construct through to testing code and using CPAN (the Comprehensive Perl Archive) effectively.
The authors demonstrate a deep understanding of Perl, and have clearly honed their examples and explanations. Well explained areas include: list vs. array, context, local vs. my, Unicode and utf8 handling, and which language constructs are appropriate where. Their experience with Perl in the real world shows in the explanations.
The writing and examples are clear and concise. The book's web site has an errata section which is kept up to date so I could mark up the known errors.
Effective Perl Programming revealed some of the features of recent Perl and new modules which I hadn't noticed or had time to internalize. Sometimes it is time to unlearn old habits and get up to date!
The authors have clearly carefully selected which material to cover, and covered it well. Part of writing idiomatic Perl is to improve the way I think of writing in Perl, and the topics selected by the authors cover about 90% of the things I need to do in my software development using Perl.
The book uses colour in the code examples to highlight the important bits. The quality of the book as a physical artifact seemed better than most "mass market" technical books I buy these days.
The time I spent reading the book has already been handsomely rewarded. All in all the book is well written, accurate, and a delight to read. The authors know their stuff and provide pointers to resources which cover other aspects of Perl well.
The authors love affair with idioms is a little bit unfortunate, because that is a dangerous path, but most recipes are solid and do not abuse Perl just in order to look clever. Still, what I hate about Perl and Perl book authors is that it looks like Perl attracts special type of people who love complexity for the sake of complexity: complexity junkers. And some pages of the book raised red flags for me.
You need clearly understand that there is a danger with some of those idioms, and shorter is not always better. You better be clear then idiomatic ;-). Again, most of the book contains excellent recipes, but sometimes the authors lose the sense of reality as happened when they try to disprove valid recommendations by David Tiler: "Many Perl programmers write programs that have references to $_ running like an invisible thread through their programs. Programs that overuse $_ are hard to read and are easier to break than programs that explicitly reference scalar variables you have named yourself.")
All-in-all this is a good collection of Perl recipes tuned to Perl version 5.10 and later. Some recipes are extremely valuable as they explain or clarify some less well known but useful Perl features or constructs introduced in version 5.10. The authors provide (mostly ;-) useful advice.