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I downloaded a copy of this some while back and have been reading
through the chapters. Published in 2010 this is not another 'how
to' starter book on Perl.
It is a resume of Perl syntax, useage, & programming in almost 'aide
memoire' style, with small code snippets to illustrate the immediate
points. Coverage ranges from Perl Philosophy onwards. The focus is on
doing things using the best modern perl code elements rather than
hangover code from years back - however well that code might still work.
Having read through LEARNING PERL, INTERMEDIATE PERL, and other related
O'Reilly publications, this was perhaps a good moment to chance upon
this. I find that it in a concise, structured, and ordered way it covers
everything that I have sampled in the O'Reilly books (more perhaps
since all of mine are old editions).
It does not replace PROGRAMMING PERL or THE PERL COOKBOOK, neither does
it attempt to teach programming by way of worked examples or by
developing small applications. Rather it puts together in one place the
key points of current practice in a systematic way. It is not just a
bare-bones reference though. Entries are linked to others where needed,
it does not attempt to explain every option in full detail only those
of major importance. It does set out to inculcate perl programming
using modern idioms.
The preface states: (I hope this wraps ok for you)
> Perl turns 23 years old later this year. The language has gone from a
> simple tool for system administration somewhere between
> shell scripting and C programming (Perl 1) to a powerful,
> general-purpose language steeped in a rich heritage (Perl 5) and a
> consistent, coherent, rethinking of programming in general intended
> to last for another 25 years (Perl 6).
> Even so, most Perl 5 programs in the world take far too little
> advantage of the language. You can write Perl 5 programs as if
> they were Perl 4 programs (or Perl 3 or 2 or 1), but programs written
> to take advantage of everything amazing the worldwide
> Perl 5 community has invented, polished, and discovered are shorter,
> faster, more powerful, and easier to maintain than their alternatives.
> Modern Perl is a loose description of how experienced and effective
> Perl 5 programmers work. They use language idioms. They
> take advantage of the CPAN. They’re recognizably Perlish, and they
> show good taste and craftsmanship and a full understandin of Perl.
> You can learn this too.
I haven't got Damian Conway's PERL BEST PRACTICE so I cannot compare it
with that standard work which might be a comparable text.
Perhaps it would be a good reference for an experienced programmer
wanting to fast-track their Perl skills. I like it because I find it a
useful bridge between how I do things and how I should do things and I
expect it to jerk my Perl up a few notches. It collects every thing
together in one source that I might have to locate and synthesise from
many different perl books.
I don't suppose that every one will like it, but for me it has a place
in the scheme of things Perl.
One beef. I have it in .pdf format. The fonts are small and do not
print out well. You cannot highlight or annotate it which would
seem a must for me if electronic texts are to be really useful. I don't
know what if any format supports those actions, none that I have seen
so far. I'll likely get a print copy.
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