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Data Munging with Perl Paperback – Jan 1 2001

4.2 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Manning Publications (Jan. 1 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1930110006
  • ISBN-13: 978-1930110007
  • Product Dimensions: 18.7 x 1.7 x 23.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 476 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #658,064 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


" . . . well written, informative, thought provoking . . . will be as relevant five years from now as it is today. . . . buy [one]." -- Dr. Dobb’s Journal

"A very good resource for programmers who want to learn more about data parsing, data filters, and data conversion..." -- ACM Computing Reviews

"I found the sample problems and the author's solutions to be very well done. I especially liked the design tips..." -- Pikes Peak Perl Mongers

"Well worth the price, and a good starting point for more advanced forays." --

the chapters are concise, the coverage is comprehensive, and the examples are plentiful and relevant. -- Web Techniques Magazine

About the Author

Cross is the owner and managing director of Magnum Solutions, Ltd., an Internet and database consulting firm.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By John M. Ford TOP 100 REVIEWER on Feb. 23 2013
Format: Paperback
David Cross shows us how to use Perl for "munging" data--"...storing information in databases, extracting it from files, reorganizing rows and columns, converting to and from bizarre formats, summarizing documents, tracking data in real time, creating statistics, doing back-up and recovery, merging and splitting data streams, logging and checkpointing computations." His book is full of techniques for transforming data from dumps into databases.

The book is written for programmers or analysts who transform data as a regular part of their jobs. It assumes a beginning knowledge of Perl programming, as one might gain from reading Learning Perl. Part I introduces data munging as a recurring necessary evil and points out aspects of Perl that recommend it for this task. Part II surveys different types of unstructured and semi-structured data formats and suggests Perl-based strategies for working with them. PART III examines the limitations of simple data formats and discusses parsing strategies and specific techniques for working with HTML, XML and other hierarchical data structures. PART IV extracts some useful lessons from the previous chapters and suggests sources for additional study. The organization is logical and easy to follow.

Cross has written a well-designed book with helpful examples and insights. The accompanying book web site and author web site provide downloadable code and other resources. This book is of course most useful to those working in Perl. But many general concepts and strategies have transferred well to data munging tasks I have done in TextPipe.

One of Perl's mottos is: "There's more than one way to do it." A variety of ways are illustrated and explained in this book. Note that it is over ten years old and does not include the latest evolutions of the Perl language.
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Format: Paperback
It's a guide. David takes you through the different "data munging" tasks ( record oriented data ? binary data ? fixed-width data ? XML ? ) and shows you his proper ways of dealing with them ( or, at least, thinking about them ). It's not an encyclopedia of "data munging", the book is 300 pages and many of them ( too many, may be ) are detailed descriptions of useful CPAN modules ( which I wasn't reading as careful as the rest of the book, since POD was always enough ), so it covers only a usual data processing tasks letting you to go deeper by yourself for more advanced topics. After you'll finish it much less "data sources" will scare you - the solutions and references are inside.
As I said, it may be good for data-processing beginners, but Perl experts will hardly find lot's of new information in it.
P.S. I trust him and therefore follow his advices in every script I start to think of ( especially the one about "UNIX filter model" ).
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Format: Paperback
This book, written by Perlmonk ([...]) David Cross, is an excellent, easy to read, and easy to follow guide into what Perl does best: Data Munging. For those who don't know, Munging Data means taking data from one format and putting it into another. Perl excels at this, and the author shows you the how and the why.
The author gives you enough information, and background to start working with the more advanced Perl functions like map, grep, pack, unpack, etc. It is possible to write Perl without ever having to use these modules, but David Cross shows you how they are more effective, more powerful. This book will expand your Perl vocabulary by leaps and bounds.
I know that some people would say that the book is too thin, and it is thinner than many computer books today, but the thickness of a book does not determine it's merit. Effective Perl Programming by Joseph Hall and Randal Schwartz is often cited as one of the best Perl books ever and it's thinner than this one.
If you are a junior to intermediate level programmer, and you want to improve your Perl skills, pick up this book. You won't be disappointed.
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Format: Paperback
Dave Cross's new book, published by Manning, which means it has a figure from an old guide to native dress of the peoples of the world on the cover instead of some kind of animal, tells everything you need to know about using Perl for what it is most suited for: manipulating data.
Starting with the source/filter/sink theory of data manipulation and demonstrating every tip and technique with clear and efficient examples, without severe digressions into mythological whimsy, this book would make an excellent second text on the Perl language, or a suitable first for someone who is good with programming languages.
Many of the techniques contained in it are of "trade secret" quality; they are the sort of write-the-number-of-gallons-of-paint-it-took-to-paint- the-room-on-the-back-of-the-light-switch-cover practices that until now had to be learned or happened upon by every programmer, alone, or by example, rather than in the context of a coherent theory.
The theoretical side, in which "munging" is defined and most software activity is described in terms of it, is clear enough that the book might be an interesting read for management, to answer the question "Just what is it about Perl that makes those who use it regularly so confoundedly fanatical?"
If you've ever been mystified by a Perl wizard who found it easier to export the records from the fancy GUI database into a comma delimited text file and then sort and display the data with mysterious little programs rather than use the GUI's native report generator, and want to find out why, or if you would like to become such a person yourself, or if you already are such a person but would like to get better at it, this book is for you.
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