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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Perl programming bible
This is the Perl programming bible. It's all in here. However there is a caveat, it's a bible so it has some religion in it. The style is somewhat ambling at times and occasionally obtuse. So if you are trying to learn Perl from scratch, read the aptly named "Learning Perl" book first (as I did). This book will then serve as an excellent guide to the more...
Published on July 6 2004 by Mike

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Hard to read
I am a foreigner, please bear my grammer.
I read all chapters of learning perl before I read this book. I know C and some C++ and I am engineer and not programmer but I program by myself sometimes. This book is still hard to read for me. However, if you take the time and pain to read it, it will give a much better insight than any other perl book I have read.
I...
Published on March 15 2003


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Perl programming bible, July 6 2004
This review is from: Programming Perl (Paperback)
This is the Perl programming bible. It's all in here. However there is a caveat, it's a bible so it has some religion in it. The style is somewhat ambling at times and occasionally obtuse. So if you are trying to learn Perl from scratch, read the aptly named "Learning Perl" book first (as I did). This book will then serve as an excellent guide to the more advanced features and and a reference.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good introduction, July 2 2004
By 
wiredweird "wiredweird" (Earth, or somewhere nearby) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Programming Perl (Paperback)
This isn't the book for a first-time programmer. Outside of that, it's a great reference. Maybe the more advanced language features need more clarification, but it's plenty to get you going on your first few Perl programs.
Perl is a pleasant oddity among programming langauges. It has lots of features that make it great as a "glue" language, for holding other programs together and for doing those irksome little translations between incompatible formats. Those are the things that shell scripts used to do: setting up files, command lines, and environment variables, checking results, preparing reports. Perl does all that, better, and gives you the full power of a programming language on top of it all. That means the transformations aren't at the mercy of available filters, and don't count on the dozen different syntaxes of the dozen different filter programs. It's a great language for all those little one-off tasks that crop up, especially in system and web admin.
That's my problem with Perl, though - the free-wheeling, never-look-back, whatever-works spirit of the people who use Perl. I know there are disciplined, competent software engineers who develop and use Perl, and I don't mean to disparage them at all. Still, the gonzo style that's so common and the revival tent spirit of books like this put me off a bit.
The language is very useful, and make lots of hard jobs easy. This book, despite its true-believer style, gives a thorough introduction to the language and its core APIs.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Not for beginners, but an absolute necessity!, Feb. 2 2004
By 
David M. Roberts (Pickens, South Carolina) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Programming Perl (Paperback)
I read the first edition of this book.
After reading some of the reviews here, I am reminded of when I first picked up this book and didn't have the background to fully appreciate it.
After using Perl for several years doing Internet programming, and being exposed to all the languages it's possible to use, I still remain devoted to the work of this man, Larry Wall for what I believe to be the greatest contribution of all to humanity and to computer science.
I stopped here to reaffirm that the third edition will cover Object Oriented programming. Although nobody mentions this, I'm sure he will, and another book I have said it would.
Before brushing up on Object Oriented programming for Perl, I decided to re-read Learning Perl and Programming Perl (though I only had the first editions). Unlike the first times I attempted to read these two books, this time I was dumbfounded at how much info they (Larry and Randal) could cram into such a short place. One thing builds upon another. Everything written, the examples and all, took on new meaning. This was exciting reading because all the problems that it took me years to even identify were spelled out before me with examples I could immediately understand. There are many ways to do things in Perl, and my way, the obvious way, usually turns out to be the long way. Reading these books and adopting some new techniques they mention could literally save me years of time!
It's a lot like learning music. Unless someone tells you why you have to learn scales, you won't enjoy doing it and unless you stick with it long enough, you'll never learn why you need to know them.
I guess I'd have to say that sooner or later you will need these two books to be truly effective as a Perl programmer, but if you are a beginner, you won't know enough about Perl to realize why these are really great books. If you have several years of Perl experience, then these books will show you how to be incredibly effective, incredibly organized, and best of all, incredibly lazy!
One thing that makes Perl so strong, is that anything that has ever been done with Unix can be done with Perl. If you're operating equipment with Microsoft software, you're missing half the fun.
This book really shines if you already love Perl and worship those who spent enormous amounts of time making their priceless contributions.
This is probably not a good book if you're new to Perl, in a hurry, and are trying to debug some broken code.
I found "Teach Yourself Perl in 21 Days" by Sams Publishing to be all I needed in my early days. I only wish I had the ability to appreciate the information in these other two books then.
I am convinced that Perl is the highest level programming language there is and there is absolutely nothing that can't be done with it in less time and with less code than any other language.
Now I'm going to buy a brand new Programming Perl 3rd edition and I think I'll even have it shipped overnight!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Hard to read, March 15 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Programming Perl (Paperback)
I am a foreigner, please bear my grammer.
I read all chapters of learning perl before I read this book. I know C and some C++ and I am engineer and not programmer but I program by myself sometimes. This book is still hard to read for me. However, if you take the time and pain to read it, it will give a much better insight than any other perl book I have read.
I really want the author to focus on one topic (not jumping around or even jumping ahead something couple chapters later. The examples are hard to read unless you know most perl 'in advance' (remember Perl is kind of 'magic', there is not much 'structure' like C or C++' and lot of implications make the examples hard to understand, especially the authors try to code the 'cool' or 'shorthand' way.) When I read it again second time, I can follow the book. When I read the first time, it was not easy (spent a lot of time to think what the author tries to say.
All the important concepts are there. Instead of 'paragraphs after paragraphs' to talk about the concept, the author can just give one or two examples to illustrate the concept. It will be far better to write hundred words to talk about 'a few concepts'.
We all have 'limited time.' I think if the author can make it easier to read, more people will buy this book. Anyway, it is a 'good book'. But it is 'not easy to read'.
If you read through this book, you will get a much better insight.
I strongly believe the author can make this book much easier to read. If he do so, he will reward with more audiences and more 'income'.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Horrible Book, Dec 12 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Programming Perl (Paperback)
I own the 2nd Edition of this book. I am surprised by the number of good reviews I see here. Unless the 3rd edition is vastly improved, I cannot see how this book can be so highly regarded.
I have many years of programming experience, yet I find this book difficult to read. In fact this book will actually impede someone from learning Perl! Many computer subjects are harder, yet it is easier to learn those than to learn Perl from this book. The book is poorly organized. The author talks about this and that, rather than keeping focus, giving clear outlines and demonstrating with good examples in a methodical way. Too much detail is given in disoriented fashion before a reader gets to become familiar with a topic. At times something is mentioned that is not covered until much later.
There's no question the author is knowledgeable, but my time is valuable; it's just not worth it to have to read a sentence 3 times before comprehending it. A good book makes a difficult subject easy. A lousy book makes an easy subject seem hard. As a teaching tool this book doesn't cut it. Maybe this is why O'Reilly decided to publish another book on Perl.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Overrated..., Sept. 29 2002
This review is from: Programming Perl (Paperback)
Ok this is the book on Perl. Or so people say. I don't know what they are thinking, because the book is not organized enough to be usable as a reference, and it lacks the easy progression of a good tutorial. However, it is the standard reference on Perl, and if you are serious about learning it, you should read it from cover to cover, once, hopefully never to touch it again.
Perl is incredibly arcane, and carries a lot of mistakes from the past,. This book will explain each of them in detail. Read it, once, never to use those features again. There are CPAN modules to solve most problems with Perl, but this book won't tell you about them. It will, however, tell you why the exist. And it will give you an idea of how those CPAN modules work.
Yes, it is badly written, yes it is hard to follow the authors enthusiasm for his own mistakes, but if you really want to know, it's here you'll find it. Sadly, this book is actually needed. You are better of with it than without it. But don't expect it to be the inspirational read people tell you it is.
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5.0 out of 5 stars a computer language book with humor, what else can I say ?, July 22 2002
By 
Jaime Regalado Garza (Saltillo, Coah. Mexico) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Programming Perl (Paperback)
true, this book is not for everyone, if this is your first exposure to Perl go for another book, like Learning Perl, the so called Llama book, or if you're interested on programming server side web applications then almost any of the 100+ titles on web programming with perl/CGI will be fine. If you're just interested on getting your hands dirty righ away with Perl for writing a CGI script, then don't buy this book now or you we'll be complainig loudly like others have done here about how bad this book is, it's bad for their taste, that is.
You can even find some humorous paragraphs, geek humor if you want, but anyway how many programming books can you find like this one ?
Almost everything about Perl can be found on this book and you have a reference on the last pages about every Perl function, much more practical for me than online references.
I have used Perl successfully for programming general purpose scripts, network monitoring applications, XML processing backends and the all ever popular de rigeur CGI scripts, all with the knowledge gained for this book.
So if you want to use perl for more than CGI, please make room in your bookshelf ...
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1.0 out of 5 stars The most overrated Perl book in existence, July 14 2002
This review is from: Programming Perl (Paperback)
I am a programmer and web developer, so I bought this book based on a million people's recommendation. After months of trying to learn ANYTHING from it, I finally sold it back.
This book is great if you have a BS/MS in computer science and really care about how a language works. However, if your goal is to learn a language to DO THINGS WITH IT, this book is so impenetrable as to be completely useless. It joins the ranks of books written by the creators of a particular language and belong in the "inexplicable cult status" section of most geeks' libraries.
My main gripe is possibly that this book is completely mistitled. Had it been titled "The Guts of Perl", I would never have bought it and I would not be writing this review. As such, however, this is the last book that will teach you how to do anything with Perl. Try "Teach Yourself Perl in 21 Days" and "Perl: The Complete Reference" -- those are the two essential Perl books to have to get started and carry you along for a while.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not for the weak of mind!, May 30 2002
By 
Amy "dio" (Fairfax, VA, United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Programming Perl (Paperback)
I bought this book because it was recommended to me for learning Perl. I have never used Perl before, and started reading from the beginning. It is well written and quite readable, but I started to get lost after 60 or so pages. (Note that I do have plenty of experience in other languages, but that was not really helpful to me in deciphering the terminology in this book.) It was getting into complicated stuff without really showing how to write simple test programs, which is what I really needed. In fact, it gives rather few code examples, and those that are given are usually no more than 3 lines, so the reader doesn't get a good idea of how to put together a whole program.
However, as I said, it is quite readable, and very informative. It may be better suited to someone who already knows how to program in Perl and wants to learn more. In summary, my recommendation:
Buy this book if you:
-are fanatical about Perl and need to know everything about it
-are very smart/experienced in programming, particularly with prior experience in Perl
-know how to code in Perl already but want a handy reference to the minute details in it
Do not buy this book if you:
-are not very good/experienced at programming
-only need to know the basics
-will only be using Perl for a short time
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but could be better, May 22 2002
By 
Mat R. Diehl (Pearl City, IL United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Programming Perl (Paperback)
The book definitely is EVERYTHING you need to know about Perl. But that's as much of a weakness as it is a strength. Don't get me wrong, I think being comprehensive is a good thing. However, by being comprehensive, sometimes the "basics" get lost in the shuffle.
Also, I believe one of the authors must have a PHD in Linguistics. They go into painstaking detail to compare the perl programming language to the english language, which takes away from learning the programming language (the intent of the book). They also use very uncommon (large) words that aren't known to the majority of the target audience which also complicates learning.
Another criticism is they don't explore the windows piece of programming perl enough. I believe windows probably has 90% of the desktop OS market share so I would think they should include a little more info for that segment of the population.
One last criticism is that they introduce topics without explaining them. For instance, they use code for some "sample" programs and in that code is reserved words that haven't been explained yet which makes understanding the sample code very difficult.
I'm not saying it's a bad book, I'm just saying it has some areas it could definitely improve.
Have I found a better book? Not yet, but I'm still looking.
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