Programming Perl (3rd Edition)

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9780596000271: Programming Perl (3rd Edition)

Perl is a powerful programming language that has grown in popularity since it first appeared in 1988. The first edition of this book, Programming Perl, hit the shelves in 1990, and was quickly adopted as the undisputed bible of the language. Since then, Perl has grown with the times, and so has this book.Programming Perl is not just a book about Perl. It is also a unique introduction to the language and its culture, as one might expect only from its authors. Larry Wall is the inventor of Perl, and provides a unique perspective on the evolution of Perl and its future direction. Tom Christiansen was one of the first champions of the language, and lives and breathes the complexities of Perl internals as few other mortals do. Jon Orwant is the editor ofThe Perl Journal, which has brought together the Perl community as a common forum for new developments in Perl.Any Perl book can show the syntax of Perl's functions, but only this one is a comprehensive guide to all the nooks and crannies of the language. Any Perl book can explain typeglobs, pseudohashes, and closures, but only this one shows how they really work. Any Perl book can say that my is faster than local, but only this one explains why. Any Perl book can have a title, but only this book is affectionately known by all Perl programmers as "The Camel."This third edition of Programming Perl has been expanded to cover version 5.6 of this maturing language. New topics include threading, the compiler, Unicode, and other new features that have been added since the previous edition.

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Review:

Larry Wall wrote Perl and he wrote Programming Perl. Better yet, he writes amusingly and well--all of which comes across in this latest edition of the definitive guide to the language.

Like Topsy, Perl just grew, and as a result the need for a third edition came about. It's now over 1,000 pages, which it needs to be, as it performs several different duties. First, it's an introduction to the Perl language for those who are new to programming; also, it's a guide for those who are coming from other languages; and, finally, it's a Perl language reference.

Among Larry Wall's other pursuits is being a linguist, and it's perhaps for this reason that Perl is a peculiarly flexible language with many routes to achieving the same ends, as the authors ably demonstrate. It's also extensible in several ways, designed to work with many other languages. Also, as it's largely interpreted, programs written in Perl tend to run unmodified on a variety of platforms--although platform-specific Perl modules and programming practices are also discussed.

A major strength of Programming Perl is the way subject areas are approached from several directions. This constant shift of viewpoint eliminates blind spots in the reader's understanding and provides a pleasing echo of the way Perl itself can take many routes from here to there.

Because the Perl community is both knowledgeable and active, the language covers much more ground here than in the previous edition. Even if you have both previous editions, you'll want this latest version--if only for the new jokes. --Steve Patient, amazon.co.uk

About the Author:

Larry Wall originally created Perl while a programmer at Unisys. He now works full time guiding the future development of the language as a researcher and developer at O'Reilly & Associates. 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. He is the principal author of the bestselling Programming Perl, known colloquially as "the Camel book."

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 different spoken languages. Tom finally escaped UW-Madison with B.A.s in Spanish and computer science and an M.S. 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, with customer support and training thrown in for good measure. Tom also served two terms on the USENIX Association Board of directors. With over fifteen years' experience in UNIX system administration and programming, Tom presents seminars internationally. Living in the foothills above Boulder, Colorado, surrounded by mule deer, skunks, and the occasional mountain lion and black bear, Tom takes summers off for hiking, hacking, birding, music making, and gaming.

Jon Orwant, a well-known member of the Perl community, founded The Perl Journal and co-authored OReillys bestseller, Programming Perl, 3rd Edition.

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