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Programming Perl: Unmatched power for text processing and scripting [Paperback]

Tom Christiansen , brian d foy , Larry Wall , Jon Orwant

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Book Description

March 9 2012 0596004923 978-0596004927 Fourth Edition

Adopted as the undisputed Perl bible soon after the first edition appeared in 1991, Programming Perl is still the go-to guide for this highly practical language. Perl began life as a super-fueled text processing utility, but quickly evolved into a general purpose programming language that’s helped hundreds of thousands of programmers, system administrators, and enthusiasts, like you, get your job done.

In this much-anticipated update to "the Camel," three renowned Perl authors cover the language up to its current version, Perl 5.14, with a preview of features in the upcoming 5.16. In a world where Unicode is increasingly essential for text processing, Perl offers the best and least painful support of any major language, smoothly integrating Unicode everywhere—including in Perl’s most popular feature: regular expressions.

Important features covered by this update include:

  • New keywords and syntax
  • I/O layers and encodings
  • New backslash escapes
  • Unicode 6.0
  • Unicode grapheme clusters and properties
  • Named captures in regexes
  • Recursive and grammatical patterns
  • Expanded coverage of CPAN
  • Current best practices

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Programming Perl: Unmatched power for text processing and scripting + Learning Perl + Intermediate Perl
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Book Description

Unmatched power for text processing and scripting

About the Author

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 differentspoken languages. Tom finally escaped UW-Madison with undergraduate degrees in Spanish and computer science and a graduate degree 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, withcustomer support and training thrown in for good measure. Tom also served two terms on the USENIX Association Board of directors. With over thirty years' experience in Unix systems programming, Tom presents seminars internationally. Living in the foothills above Boulder, Colorado, Tom takes summers off for hiking, hacking, birding, music making, and gaming.

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 coauthor of Learning Perl, Intermediate Perl, and Effective Perl Programming, and the author of Mastering Perl. He was 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 standalone scripts.

Larry Wall originally created Perl while a programmer at Unisys. He now works full time guiding the future development of the language. 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.

Jon Orwant founded The Perl Journal and received the White Camel lifetime achievement award for contributions to Perl in 2004. He's Engineering Manager at Google, where he leads Patent Search, visualizations, and digital humanities teams. For most of his tenure at Google, Jon worked on Book Search, and he developed the widely used Google Books Ngram Viewer. Prior to Google, he wasCTO of O'Reilly, Director of Research at France Telecom, and a Lecturer at MIT. Orwant received his doctorate from MIT's Electronic Publishing Group in 1999.


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Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  161 reviews
55 of 63 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Badly Organized, but a Great Reference Feb. 3 2000
By Yaron Budowski - Published on Amazon.com
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.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Reference Book Feb. 4 2000
By Rak - Published on Amazon.com
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.
30 of 35 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A "don't have to" read May 30 2000
By joe_n_bloe - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The official reference for the Perl language did not improve in its second generation. The original "purple Camel" is, in my opinion, a true classic where books about programming and programming languages are concerned--I rank it right there with The C Programming Language, Anatomy of Lisp, Algorithms + Data Structures = Programs, and so forth. It was a classic because it was filled with lucid expressions of the thoughts of Perl's quintessentially pragmatic creator, Larry Wall. It was a classic because it provided a literate and thoroughly reasoned counterpoint to arguments in favor of more formally based languages and programming styles.
But ... somewhere in the extensive revisions, additions, extensions, and deletions that transformed the first Camel book into this, the second Camel book, the magic went away. And some very suspicious stuff went in. The book lost its digressive, essayic feel and became more of a perfunctory reference work. Additionally, some of the completely new material turned out to be just a little ... strange. The discussion of object-oriented programming based around the term "thingy" just doesn't do it for me. (Ignore all that and read Damian Conway's book instead.)
Preferences of style and tone aside, an unavoidable flaw of an infrequently-updated book like this one is that it inevitably refers to an obsolescent version of Perl. If you want current Perl documentation, you need to read the man(ual) pages that came with that version of Perl. What's in this book is generally but not completely accurate for newer versions of Perl. And because it's intended to be a more or less complete reference covering even small details, it can't help but be dead wrong on some points as the language continues to evolve. Bear in mind, also, that much of the material in this book comes STRAIGHT from the man pages. (Just not the up-to-date versions.)
A third edition is in the works, which will no doubt be at least a temporary improvement. If the newer version restores the insight and charm of the original, it will certainly deserve a place on your programming bookshelf. But as a reference work intended to cover a constantly-evolving language, Programming Perl will always suffer by being out of date.
If you are the type who dislikes reading electronic documentation, by all means, buy a copy of this book. But you'll find that you have to use the online documentation anyway.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You need this book if you're rolling with Perl April 7 2012
By Adrian Pomilio - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
First of all, I have tried to avoid Perl for a long time. I always thought the syntax was horrendous and could not imagine wanting to use the language. But then, my opinion didn't matter anymore. I had to learn Perl and use it in a production environment. Oh boy. A friend recommended the Programming Perl book by Christiansen, foy & Wall. Luckily the newest version came out, 4th edition.

To make a long story short, the book is excellent. Going from overview to the gory details (actual section name) with clear examples. The book serves two main goals in my opinion: 1- Introduce the Perl language and eco system, 2- act as a quick reference.

If you are starting off with Perl, or thrown into it like me, you cannot go wrong with this book. It will save you a lot of time searching around the web. Buy this book.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An Encyclopedic Reference -- or a Baptism by Fire March 22 2006
By Bob - Published on Amazon.com
"Programming Perl" simply has everything about Perl you will ever need to know. If it's in Perl, it's in this book, as far as I can tell. Finding what you're looking for will be another matter. The organization of this volume leaves much to be desired. But the index is pretty helpful so searching through this book is a little like looking for a needle in a hay stack, but with a magnet in hand.

But don't let the name fool you: This book is not the place to learn Perl, as I found the hard way. It just simply assumes too much knowledge on the part of the reader, and has a horrendous paucity of example code. If Perl is something you are going to explore and use to a great extent, "Programming Perl" will eventually become indispensible to you, I am certain. But if you are new to the language: DANGER! DANGER! ABUNAI!

All things considered, I would give it four stars -- five for its breadth of coverage minus one for its poor organization. But the book's title implies that it is meant as an introduction to Perl, but an introduction it just ain't! The authors say as much themselves in their introduction, but I think the unsuspecting novice deserves to see it on the front cover too. So I am taking away one more star for a total of three.

"Programming Perl": a great reference, a horrid learning tool.
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