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Advanced Perl Programming Paperback – Jul 8 2005

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 2 edition (July 8 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596004567
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596004569
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 1.8 x 23.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 499 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #496,181 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Book Description

The Worlds Most Highly Developed Perl Tutorial

About the Author

Simon Cozens is an Open Source programmer and author. He has released over a hundred Perl modules including Email::Simple, Mail::Audit, Maypole, Plucene, and B::Generate. He's the co-author of Beginning Perl (Wrox) and Extending and Embedding Perl (Manning) and was the managing editor of from 2001 to 2004. A graduate in Japanese from Oxford University, he now lives in Wales and enjoys Japanese and Greek food, bizarre music and fine typography.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars more a guide to CPAN than to the Perl language Aug. 5 2007
By Ricardo Signes - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In his preface to Advanced Perl Programming, 2nd Edition, Simon Cozens says that the focus in Perl programming has shifted, since the first edition, from techniques to resources. Rather than write really good new code, authors rely on the CPAN to find existing code and use that to solve the unoriginal parts of their problems. To cater to the discerning Perl programmer, then, the book has been completely rewritten. Instead of covering the parts of the Perl programming language that are often unexploited by more novice hackers, APP2 focuses on providing an overview of some of the major solved problems in Perl, and the modules that provide some of the solutions.

Only Chapter 1, "Advanced Techniques," bears much resemblance to the previous edition of APP. It covers subject matter closer to the language than to the modules involved: globs, CORE::, objects, B, and compilation. Each subsequent chapters discusses a common programming problem, shows off a few existing solutions (in the form of code on the CPAN), and sometimes demonstrates how to put those existing solutions to use. Among the topics covered are parsing, templating, serialization, unicode, and testing. POE, Inline, and Acme also get a chapter each.

Simon's writing is, as always, lucid and easy to follow. He provides good example problems, and he builds solutions that tend to do a good job of selling the modules on display. I must admit to feeling compelled to go do more with POE and some of the Lingua:: tools, after finishing their respective chapters.

In the end, though, I felt unfulfilled. While APP1 was not one of O'Reilly's best Perl books, it delivered what it promised: advanced techniques for writing Perl code. What APP2 delivers is a guide to avoiding the need for advanced techniques. It will save you from needing to use the strangest bits of Perl, not show you how. (The back cover quotes Andy Wardley as saying, "This book of spells goes a long way to unlocking those secrets [of advanced Perl code.]" I think, rather, that it just teaches the incantations.)

Perhaps my disappointment is predicated entirely on my incorrect expectations. If this book had been called "Leveraging the CPAN," I'd probably consider it a great success. You may, instead, be interested in Intermediate Perl or Mastering Perl.
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing Feb. 3 2007
By David DelGreco - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was slated to come out for a long time before it actually did, and I naturally assumed that Simon was working on something ambitious and that it was taking him longer than he planned. I bought it sight-unseen, but quickly discovered it was more of a tour of CPAN than an in-depth book deserving of the title Advanced Perl Programming. I know from his blog that Simon was wrapping up his life to go be a missionary in Japan, so now I think the book was late because he was working on *that* project after he had agreed to write this book. Just speculation.

It reads more like an article on or in the Perl Journal, and could easily have been several articles spread out over a few months. I have to wonder if he started the book with the idea that "advanced" means "knowing about useful modules on CPAN" or if the idea came to him sometime after it was clear the book was running late.

Regardless, consider looking at it if you see it in the store. It's not without its value, but I can't see paying for a book that mostly says, "Here's someone else's work to check out." An advanced book ought to be getting into -- well -- advanced techniques, useful info that's hard to come by, something that isn't ALREADY AVAILABLE ELSEWHERE.
6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok, I get it now Aug. 27 2005
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book will grow on you after a while.

I liked the first edition a lot. It took me a while to catch up to that one and now, the same experience with this one. It has taken me a while to catch up to it.

Get both editions of this, they are different authors and different books, you can learn from each. Read them, let it settle, and read them again.
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Second Edition"? Should be "Volume 2"! Dec 2 2005
By Steve Vance - Published on
Format: Paperback
Review: Advanced Perl Programming

The First Edition of this book is one of my favorite books. For an example of why, it explained anonymous structures clearer than anyplace else I had seen. I have re-read it several times, learning something new with each reading. If you have gotten through "Learning Perl", and want to become an advanced Perl programmer, get yourself a copy of the First Edition.

Why is this book is the "Second Edition" of anything? It bears no resemblance at all to the First Edition. It has a different author, which is the first red flag. Looking inside, we find that all the chapters have different titles, and there is no topic discussed in one book that is discussed in the other. Most of what is in the First Edition is still valid Perl, and important information for a Perl programmer to know. Within a few minutes of learning this Second Edition had been published, I ordered it, based on my love of the First Edition. If I had spent any time looking through it, I probably wouldn't have bought it.

This book covers advanced Perl constructs and topics, but those much less useful to the average "another Perl hacker". It is interesting to know some of the stuff in the 2E, perhaps from an academic perspective, but there is none of the, "Wow, I'm going to use this every day" feeling that I got with the 1E.

To be fair, this book is well written, and clearly explains some things I've "always wondered about". There are several topics covered that I wish had been covered in more depth. For example, there is exactly one sentence about Inline::Java. But, I am glad that I bought it, and will put it on my shelf next to the First Edition. In thinking about it, I would say that this book should have been called, "Advanced Perl Programming, Volume 2" (with two panthers on the front?) Meanwhile, it is true that Sriram's First Edition could use some updating. After Perl 6 is released?
4.0 out of 5 stars A very different beast to the first edition July 15 2007
By Thing with a hook - Published on
Format: Paperback
As other reviewers have noted, there's not a whole lot in common with the first edition of this book, either in feel or content. It's rather questionable whether this merits being called a second edition. Something like 'Problem solving with CPAN' would be a more accurate title (then again, perhaps it's just as well I don't work in the publishing industry).

It does still cover some of the material of the first edition, such as globs, closures, AUTOLOAD, the Perl class model, and some Perl internals, but it's all been compressed into one chapter.

The other chapters discuss various subjects using CPAN modules and gives some insight into how the material from the first chapter was used to solve these problems. A wide variety of issues are discussed, including serialization and object relational mapping, natural language parsing, templating and unicode. Some superficially similar material could be found in Perl Cookbook, but the discussion here is deeper (and more up to date), there's very little overlap.

Exactly how much you get out of the book will probably be dependent on how well you know the innards of CPAN and how interesting you find the topics. I liked the parsing and natural language processing chapters a lot, and the chapter on inlining code from other languages was diverting; conversely, I can't bring myself to find Unicode even remotely stimulating, and the POE (some sort of event-based framework) chapter didn't do much for me. The testing chapter is a solid addition to the material in Intermediate Perl, and I picked up some pointers to modules to check out, but it didn't feel all that advanced.

This is a book that fits in quite nicely with Intermediate Perl and Programming Perl -- it cleans up a few niggling details not well discussed in the former book, without having the intimidating heft of the latter, and also provides a wide ranging overview of several topics and the CPAN solutions for them. As such, it will bring an intermediate programmer up a few notches.

Already advanced Perl programmers may be disappointed, and those hoping for an updated version of the first edition will definitely be out of luck, but if you know what you're getting, and evaluate it on those terms, rather than what the title suggests, I think you'll enjoy it.