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Learning Perl and Perl CGI Programming

According to, the official Perl development website:

Perl is a general-purpose programming language originally developed for text manipulation and now used for a wide range of tasks including system administration, web development, network programming, GUI development, and more.

The language is intended to be practical (easy to use, efficient, complete) rather than beautiful (tiny, elegant, minimal). Its major features are that it’s easy to use, supports both procedural and object-oriented (OO) programming, has powerful built-in support for text processing, and has one of the world’s most impressive collections of third-party modules.

The amount of Perl applications on the web are vast – and even more so when third-party modules are considered. Perl is used not only by sys-admins to write Unix scripts, but by web developers to create Internet applications. One of the more common is CGI (Common Gateway Interface). You can find many CGI scripts offered for free as part of your web hosting package and freely available on websites like

Large projects written in Perl include Slash, Bugzilla, RT, TWiki, and Movable Type. Many high-traffic websites use Perl extensively. Examples include,,, Craigslist, IMDb, LiveJournal, Slashdot and Ticketmaster. Perl CGI scripts for normal web sites are quite popular and include applications like email, forms, guestbooks, classifieds, counters and countdowns, banner rotators, click tracking, calculators, ecommerce, error handling, games, polls, traffic analysis, file manipulation, auctions, affiliate programs, content management and much, much more.

The Best “Learning Perl Book”

You can likely find help in your host’s FAQ on installing a Perl or CGI script on your website. You can probably get help from expert forums on how to use or tweak a CGI script. However, the best way to understand how to integrate scripts into your websites or tweak them if necessary (and believe me, you will eventually find it necessary) is to have a basic knowledge of Perl. If you are a web developer, learning Perl is almost a requirement. If you are a non-programming oriented web designer or even an Internet marketer (who doesn’t have outsourced support on call), having a well-written Perl reference book at your side can save you hours of frustration should you be faced with the need to work with a CGI script. This page will show you the best learn Perl books we have found for all levels of experience – from the complete programming beginner to the Perl expert.

Beginning Perl, Second Edition

Beginning Perl Second Edition Review
Title: Beginning Perl, Second Edition
Author: James Lee
Publisher: Apress; 2 edition (August 30, 2004)
ISBN-10: 159059391X
ISBN-13: 978-1590593912
Page Count: 464 Pages

Description: “Originally created as a powerful text processing tool, Perl has since evolved into a multi-purpose, multi-platform language capable of implementing a variety of tasks such as system administration, CGI and network programming, XML processing, and more. Beginning Perl, Second Edition provides valuable insight into Perl’s role regarding all of these tasks and more. Commencing with a comprehensive overview of language basics, you’ll learn all about important concepts such as Perl’s data types and control flow constructs. This material sets the stage for a discussion of more complex topics, such as writing custom functions, using regular expressions, and file input and output. Next, we move on to the advanced topics of object oriented programming, modules, CGI programming, and database administration with Perl’s powerful database interface module, DBI.

The examples and code provided offer you all of the information you need to start writing your own powerful scripts to solve the problems listed above, and many more. Whether you are a complete novice or an experienced programmer, Beginning Perl, Second Edition offers an ideal guide to learning Perl.”

Reader Reviews:

“I use this book to teach Perl in a university course. I feel it does a very good job at exposing just enough of Perl to make it useful without confusing beginning students.” -F.L., AL

“Beginning Perl, 2nd edition, by James Lee, et al., is a splendid introduction to the Perl programming language, version 5.8.3. The flow of the book is logical, straightforward, and highly readable. Text is heavily sprinkled with program examples that the reader can easily try out along the way, as well as exercises at the end of most chapters, with solutions in the appendix. Chapters are short, clear, and engaging.” -T.B., IL

“This book provides the necessary background for a first-time programmer like myself to really understand and begin to make use of the palette of Perl’s powerful features. Code examples fit well with the text, while explanations are clear, concise and illuminating.” -Joe, WA

“Beginning Perl really is an excellent resource for anyone looking to learn the language – novice to expert. Even if you have absolutely no programming experience, the book starts out from the beginning by covering not only things you will need to know to learn Perl, but also good general programming practices.” -Andrei, USA

“I had no idea what Perl was when I bought this book. After a week of reading, I was able to write basic scripts and perform a variety of tasks. I am not a developer, and do not plan to become one. But I am always curious about how to do different things. This book will teach you all the basics and then some.” -James, IL

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Perl Programming for the Absolute Beginner

Perl Programming for the Absolute Beginner Review
Title: Perl Programming for the Absolute Beginner
Author: Jerry Lee Ford, Jr.
Publisher: Course Technology PTR; 1 edition (June 30, 2006)
ISBN-10: 1598632221
ISBN-13: 978-1598632224
Page Count: 400 Pages

Description” “Perl is an enormously popular scripting language that runs on many different operating systems, including Windows, Linux, Unix, and Mac OS X, and provides programmers with a robust and powerful programming language that is easy to learn, yet sufficiently complex to tackle just about any job. As such, it’s a perfect programming language for those new to programming to learn. Perl Programming for the Absolute Beginner has been designed to teach you how to develop Perl scripts and to help you become an effective programmer, and teaches concepts through the creation of simple games.

Whether you are an experienced programmer looking to learn another language or you are reading this book as the first step in your programming career, you will find that this book’s games-based teaching approach makes the learning process a lot more enjoyable. You will also find that the knowledge you’ll gain from developing Perl-based games will provide you with a strong foundation from which you can branch out and tackle more complex challenges.”

Reader Reviews:

“This book is great for the beginning programmer who has never programmed before. Young teens around 15 years of age can be a programmer with this book. Perl can be easy to learn if taught the right way and this book does. For instance, I took a Perl online class, after the third week I was lost and just dropped it. It was because of the way it was being taught. The instructor was using upper level math for all the assignments and instructions. This book uses building games as the foundation to learn, same programming language but taught in a way that can be understood so you don’t have to learn calculus at the same time…thumbs up…children as young as 15 and up can and should get this book. Start young bright future… “ -Randall, GA

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Perl for Dummies (Fourth Edition)

Perl for Dummies Review
Title: Perl for Dummies (Fourth Edition)
Author: Paul Hoffman
Publisher: Rockport Publishers (April 1, 2007)
ISBN-10: 0764537504
ISBN-13: 978-0764537509
Page Count: 408 Pages

Description: “If you’re interested in discovering how to program, Perl For Dummies, 4th Edition, is for you. If you already know something about programming (but not about Perl), this book is also for you. If you’re already an expert programmer, you’re still welcome to read this book; you can just skip the basic stuff (you never know what kind of new tips and tricks you’ll pick up).

This reference guide shows you how to use Perl under many different operating systems, such as UNIX, many flavors of Windows, and Macintosh OS 9 and OS X; in fact, Perl runs on many more operating systems than these. Here’s a sampling of what Perl For Dummies, 4th Edition, has to offer:

  • Installing Perl on various platforms
  • Nailing down the basics of building Perl programs
  • Working with text and numbers
  • Constructing lists and working with them
  • Creating conditionals and loops
  • Delving into more advanced features such as operators and functions
  • Reading and writing files and directories
  • Using subroutines for modularity
  • Demystifying Web server programs
  • Creating your own Internet clients

The Perl programming language enables you to write fully working computer programs with just a few steps. It’s particularly good at common programming tasks, such as reading and writing text files, but it also excels at reducing the work that programmers have to do. Perl For Dummies, 4th Edition, shows you how to do all of that and how to modify programs to your heart’s content. After all, one of the common phrases in the world of Perl programmers is, “There’s more than one way to do it.”

Reader Reviews:

“The book is well written and useful. I’ve a need to write scripts and do some coding in my job. I feel that this book will help me get past some of the disconnects, in my way of thinking, when it comes to programming. As a Hardware designer I can understand a piece of logic. But I’ve often struggled with interpreting or writing my own code.” -Robert, USA

“I bought this book to ‘fill in the gaps’ after several years of Perl programming. It is providing valuable insights into new areas as well as being easy to learn from. This is particularly true in the area of databases and what different language versions can do. Highly recommend.” -John, New Zealand

“This really is the best book I know of for learning Perl, and I say that as someone who owns a very large pile of books on the subject. I first bought it when I started a year of full-time Perl programming, and it was the book that let me get up and running. Some years later, I *still* go back to it “ -Kevin, CO

“This book would get you programming in Perl in no-time! It is amazing how easy this book makes even the more advanced features of Perl. WOW! Perl is a wonderful and easy programming language for dealing with files, small and medium communication programs, patches for other software and so on. This book gives you a great start in that field, and it’s fun! “ -Ori, Israel

“I’ve never been a big fan of the “Dummies” line of books because I’ve had some bad experiences with some of them. This book was a pleasant surprise. I wanted to learn Perl for doing CGI on the web, and I wanted to learn it quickly. This book did not disappoint.” -A.C., USA

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Sams Teach Yourself Perl in 24 Hours (3rd Edition)

Sams Teach Yourself Perl in 24 Hours Review
Title: Sams Teach Yourself Perl in 24 Hours (3rd Edition)
Author: Clinton Pierce
Publisher: Sams; 3 edition (June 25, 2005)
ISBN-10: 0672327937
ISBN-13: 978-0672327933
Page Count: 480 Pages

Description: “Even if you’re new to Perl, Sams Teach Yourself Perl in 24 Hours teaches you everything you need to know to begin producing useful CGI programs quickly. This book provides you with a solid foundation in the basics of the Perl language, so you can easily move on to more advanced books and techniques. Special attention is paid to those features that trouble new users. Building on that knowledge, you will begin to interact with your file system, operating system, and network environment. Then move on to creating useful CGI programs, such as data collection, shopping cart, server push, and e-mail forms.

Learn Perl programming quickly and easily with 24 one-hour lessons in Sams Teach Yourself Perl in 24 Hours. The book’s step-by-step lessons teach you the basics of Perl and how to apply it in web development and system administration. Plus, the third edition has been updated to include five chapters on new technologies, information on the latest version of Perl, and a look ahead to Perl 6. Sams Teach Yourself Perl in 24 Hours focuses on real-world development, teaching you how to:

  • Effectively use Perl for large development projects using Perl modules
  • Use Perl for data processing
  • Utilize Perl as a “glue” language with other programming languages
  • Use Perl as a web development language

Reader Reviews:

“For a beginner, it is an excellent book and I would have no problems recommending it to anyone. It does come with it own CD which has the Perl language. Also all the code and examples are on the CD. If you are a beginner, don’t buy the impressive looking 1200 page book, it will just gather dust.” -Duncan, MI

“This was my first introductory programming book. What I like about this book is that it teaches Perl in a logical method. I found that the programs that showed syntax of Perl were very useful for any programming language. Each program was interesting to write and I did learn how to actually accomplish basic programming tasks. The book does not go into more advanced concepts but is a great resource for beginners. It has all the software and instruction to begin designing basic programs.” -Joseph, USA

“Perl is probably one of the best languages to learn if you just want to have a programming language in your toolkit and this book is a great resource for learning Perl. If you’re new to programming Perl introduces many of the concepts that you’ll need to master while allowing a lot of flexibility. I don’t know if 24 hours is quite enough to complete this book, but the short focused lessons make learning fun.” -Jesse, FL

“As someone that knew very little about computer programming bar some Fortran classes about 15 years ago, this is a great book. It takes you step by step through the aspects of Perl and explains the different computer language terminology to idiots like myself (e.g. arrays, scalars, etc.).” -Shyam, NJ

“It introduces Perl in an easy and effective way, with exercises and quizzes at the end of every chapter. It’s not just a reference book, it’s a book to learn by. It touches on Database programming in Perl and CGI programming. There isn’t a better choice for a beginning Perl programmer. “ -Ivy, NY

Can you really learn Perl in 24 hours? Yes!
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Perl by Example (4th Edition)

Perl by Example Review
Title: Perl by Example (4th Edition)
Author: Ellie Quigley
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR; 4 edition (November 15, 2007)
ISBN-10: 0132381826
ISBN-13: 978-0132381826
Page Count: 1008 Pages

Description: “Perl by Example, Fourth Edition, is the easiest, most hands-on way to learn Perl. Legendary Silicon Valley programming instructor Ellie Quigley has thoroughly updated her classic to deliver the skills and information today’s Perl users need most – including all-new coverage of MySQL database programming and a Perl QuickStart designed to get experienced users up and running fast.

Quigley illuminates every technique with focused, classroom-tested code examples, detailed line-by-line explanations, and real program output. This exceptionally clear, easy-to-understand book takes you from your first Perl script to database-driven applications. It’s the only Perl book you’ll ever need!

New in this edition:

  • Perl programming QuickStart: makes first-time Perl programmers productive in just twenty pages
  • All-new chapter on using the Perl DBI with the MySQL database–plus an easy SQL primer to quickly get you started programming any database
  • New introductions to Perl in biology (bioinformatics) and to mod_perl, a Perl interpreter embedded in the Apache server, which allows you to create fast, dynamic content; manage the Apache server; authenticate users; and much more

Completely updated:

  • Includes many new and completely rewritten code examples
  • Contains fully revised CGI coverage for building dynamic Web sites with Perl
  • Covers modern Perl 5.8 concepts and principles–and provides a great foundation for Perl 6

More than 30,000 sysadmins, power users, and developers have used previous editions of Perl by Example to become expert Perl programmers. With Perl by Example, Fourth Edition, you can, too–even if you’re completely new to Perl. After you’ve become an expert, you’ll turn to this book constantly as the best source for reliable answers, solutions, and code. The CD-ROM includes all code and files for this book’s hundreds of example scripts.”

Reader Reviews:

“I bought this book after reading the reviews on Amazon, and I haven’t looked back. I have programmed in different languages for 25 years now, but only in Perl for the last six months. I program in Perl every day, and this is my most thumbed book. I started from scratch, with only a few bits of sample code and taught myself. It’s a professional well-written book with plenty of simple examples.” -Steve, UK

“This book was required for an online course on Perl programming and so far I have to say that it has been pretty easy to read and follow. It has many clear examples and exercises. Not to mention, the book is HUGE and covers a large range of topics. If you are going to learn Perl, this book is a great one to pick up. “ -J.H., USA

“When I was teaching Perl for collegiate newbies, this was my book of choice. The students would actually visualize some program, and this book would show them how the pieces worked. So the students just put them together and away they went. A lot of other Perl books fall very short in this aspect. Of the dozens of Perl books I own, this is one to read if you want to start with Perl.” -Patrick, VA

“Good straight forward examples… most show the input, the code and the output produced by the code. You need only understand the logic of programming… the book fills in the rest you need to know. I have six or seven books on Perl but always reach for this for syntax and examples.” -WBM, AR

“If you are looking for a book that provides Perl script examples, then this is the book for you. Provides numerous examples of Perl scripts in each section, plus then the author breaks down line by line what the script does.” -P.S., AZ

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Learning Perl, 5th Edition

Learning Perl 5th Edition Review
Title: Learning Perl, 5th Edition
Author: Randal Schwartz, Tom Phoenix, Brian D Foy
Publisher: O’Reilly Media; 5th edition (June 27, 2008)
ISBN-10: 0596520107
ISBN-13: 978-0596520106
Page Count: 352 Pages

Description: “Learning Perl, popularly known as “the Llama”, is the book most programmers rely on to get started with Perl. The bestselling Perl tutorial since it was first published in 1993, this new fifth edition covers recent changes to the language up to Perl 5.10. This book reflects the combined experience of its authors, who have taught Perl at Stonehenge Consulting since 1991. Years of classroom testing and experience helped shape the book’s pace and scope, and this edition is packed with exercises that let you practice the concepts while you follow the text. Topics include:

  • Perl data & variable types
  • Subroutines
  • File operations
  • Regular expressions
  • String manipulation
  • Lists & sorting
  • Process management
  • Smart matching
  • Using third party modules

Perl is the language for people who want to get work done. Originally targeted to sysadmins for heavy-duty text processing, Perl is now a full-featured programming language suitable for almost any task on almost any platform-from short fixes on the command line to web applications, bioinformatics, finance, and much more. Other books may teach you to program in Perl, but this book will turn you into a Perl programmer.”

Reader Reviews:

“I was pleased, as I often am with this publisher’s books, with the clarity of the text. Within a few hours I was able to write my first useful perl scripts. This book and a PC (with Perl downloaded, to permit you to execute & test your programs) make for a complete learning environment. “ -J.B., NJ

“This book is a great place to start your programming adventure. It clearly outlines complex concepts in a way beginners can understand. I highly recommend this for anyone interested in systems administration or web development. “ -Jason, USA

“There could not ever be a better book for learning the Perl programming language than this one. The clarity of thought is unbelievable – the authors manage to provide a huge amount of detail while never going off on a tangent about exceptions to rules (something Perl, like English, is abundant with). If you want to get the basics of Perl under your fingertips in a *very* short amount of time, this is the book for you.” -Benjamin, NY

“This is an excellent Perl book for everyone from newbies to experts. Its interesting to read with good examples wherever required & exercises for practice. Will definitely be getting Intermediate Perl once I complete this. “ -P.K., CA

“I have owned this book for a couple of years now and I keep it on a bookshelf an arms reach away. It spends most of the time on my desk anyways. The book is excellent for beginners – I knew nothing of Perl when I bought it. I used it as a textbook and spent about a week reading through the chapters and doing the exercises. I’ve used it as a reference ever since. It really only covers basic Perl topics – there is a brief mention of databases at the end and two mentions of references in the whole book, but as a tutorial I certainly recommend it.” -I.M., USA

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Intermediate Perl

Intermediate Perl Review
Title: Intermediate Perl
Author: Randal Schwartz, Tom Phoenix, Brian D Foy
Publisher: O’Reilly Media; 2nd edition (March 8, 2006)
ISBN-10: 0596102062
ISBN-13: 978-0596102067
Page Count: 288 Pages

Description: “Perl is a versatile, powerful programming language used in a variety of disciplines, ranging from system administration to web programming to database manipulation. One slogan of Perl is that it makes easy things easy and hard things possible. Intermediate Perl is about making the leap from the easy things to the hard ones.

Originally released in 2003 as Learning Perl Objects, References, and Modules and revised and updated for Perl 5.8, this book offers a gentle but thorough introduction to intermediate programming in Perl. Written by the authors of the best-selling Learning Perl, it picks up where that book left off. Topics include:

  • Packages and namespaces
  • References and scoping
  • Manipulating complex data structures
  • Object-oriented programming
  • Writing and using modules
  • Testing Perl code
  • Contributing to CPAN

Following the successful format of Learning Perl, we designed each chapter in the book to be small enough to be read in just an hour or two, ending with a series of exercises to help you practice what you’ve learned. To use the book, you just need to be familiar with the material in Learning Perl and have ambition to go further.

Perl is a different language to different people. It is a quick scripting tool for some, and a fully-featured object-oriented language for others. It is used for everything from performing quick global replacements on text files, to crunching huge, complex sets of scientific data that take weeks to process. Perl is what you make of it. But regardless of what you use Perl for, this book helps you do it more effectively, efficiently, and elegantly.

Intermediate Perl is about learning to use Perl as a programming language, and not just a scripting language. This is the book that turns the Perl dabbler into the Perl programmer.”

Reader Reviews:

“This is a very useful book to progress in Perl, as its “progressive refining method” forces you to a constant mental gymnastic to reach every formulation (the opposite of the “cut and paste” culture). one can easily acquire 2 different perspectives on how to construct (internally) Objects in Perl, shows perhaps that this book allows the reader to begin moving beyond the “intermediate level”.” -Raul, CA

“This book is intended to pick up where Learning Perl left off. Its purpose is to show you how to use Perl to write larger more complex programs. As in Learning Perl, each chapter is small enough to read in an hour or so. Each chapter ends with a series of exercises to help you practice what you’ve just learned, and the answers are in the appendix for your reference. I found this book to be a seamless continuation of “Learning Perl”. Everything is explained very well and there are plenty of examples. It really is ideal for self study. Having the answers at the back of the book was helpful, too. There are not just a bunch of pieces of code as answers, but good explanations as to how and why you would take a particular path in solving an exercise. Highly recommended, especially to the self-taught. “ -Calvin, VA

“This is a great reference book for Perl. Combine this with the Perl Cookbook and you have your tools to tackle your Perl coding tasks. Great book. “ -John, OR

“This book has good Perl examples and good Perl code. It is a good choice if you have an intermediate understanding of the Perl language.” -Gary, USA

“Successors are not always as expected. In this case you do get from this trio of authors, who are classics in their own right, just what you expect. In my own case, I needed to get good at OO Perl and fast. In three days, I covered the major chapters thoroughly, went off to my interview and in the end was told, “hey, you really know your stuff”. This book intends and does indeed follow well the Learning Perl classic. If you finished the meat of the classic, this is the dessert. You’ll recognize the writing style and flavor. There are no surprises. In my opinion, another classic. “ -Joseph, NY

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Mastering Perl

Mastering Perl
Title: Mastering Perl
Author: Brian D. Foy
Publisher: O’Reilly Media; 1 edition (July 16, 2007)
ISBN-10: 0596527241
ISBN-13: 978-0596527242
Page Count: 352 Pages

Description: “This is the third in O’Reilly’s series of landmark Perl tutorials, which started with Learning Perl, the bestselling introduction that taught you the basics of Perl syntax, and Intermediate Perl, which taught you how to create re-usable Perl software. Mastering Perl pulls everything together to show you how to bend Perl to your will. It conveys Perl’s special models and programming idioms.

This book isn’t a collection of clever tricks, but a way of thinking about Perl programming so you can integrate the real-life problems of debugging, maintenance, configuration, and other tasks you encounter as a working programmer. The book explains how to:

  • Use advanced regular expressions, including global matches, lookarounds, readable regexes, and regex debugging
  • Avoid common programming problems with secure programming techniques
  • Profile and benchmark Perl to find out where to focus your improvements
  • Wrangle Perl code to make it more presentable and readable
  • See how Perl keeps track of package variables and how you can use that for some powerful tricks
  • Define subroutines on the fly and turn the tables on normal procedural programming
  • Modify and jury rig modules to fix code without editing the original source
  • Let your users configure your programs without touching the code
  • Learn how you can detect errors Perl doesn’t report, and how to tell users about them
  • Let your Perl program talk back to you by using Log4perl
  • Store data for later use in another program, a later run of the same program, or to send them over a network
  • Write programs as modules to get the benefit of Perl’s distribution and testing tools

Appendices include “Brian’s Guide to Solving Any Perl Problem” to improve your troubleshooting skills, as well as suggested reading to continue your Perl education. Mastering Perl starts you on your path to becoming the person with the answers, and, failing that, the person who knows how to find the answers or discover the problem.”

Reader Reviews:

“Mastering Perl is another gem in the line of O’Reilly Perl books that have continued to set the standard for over a decade now. From the original Perl references that simply discussed the language from the basics of variable declaration to the most complicated ways you can use Perl, O’Reilly has continued to add more and more and more. pick this 300+ page book up today, kick back and become the best Perl developer that you can!! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED “ -Daniel, MA

“MASTERING PERL is third in O’Reilly’s series of Perl tutorials and is a top pick for collections strong in computer programming in general and Perl in particular. This is more than a collection of shortcuts and ‘tricks’: it covers the basics of using advanced expressions, avoiding common programming problems, fixing code without editing the original source, and more, and offers Perl users the tools for getting the most out of the software – and troubleshooting when it doesn’t work right. An excellent survey and a top pick for any Perl reference collection.” -Midwest Book Review, WI

“If you’ve made it through ‘Learning Perl’ and ‘Intermediate Perl’, you’ve probably been waiting with no small impatience for a book like this to round off the trilogy and your basic Perl education. If you’re interested in Perl as a complete programming language, or want to be able to read and understand the rest of the Perl literature, then you need this.” -TWAH, USA

“I work with the language on a daily basis, and the information that I learned from this book has helped me to become an even better programmer. The chapter covering regular expressions was the most helpful, as it broke down all of the various assertions and explained them in a simple and easy to understand manner. Brian’s writing is clear and easy to read, making this book an invaluable reference for me. “ -Thomas, NH

“Mastering Perl is a toolbox full of very sharp tools. I can imagine myself presenting it to a junior co-worker and informing him, ‘It is time.'” -Ricardo, PA

The third book in this classic Perl series – Master Perl programming!
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Perl Cookbook, Second Edition

Perl Cookbook Review
Title: Perl Cookbook, Second Edition
Author: Tom Christiansen, Nathan Torkington
Publisher: O’Reilly Media; 2 edition (August 21, 2003)
ISBN-10: 0596003137
ISBN-13: 978-0596003135
Page Count: 976 Pages

Description: “The second edition of Perl Cookbook has been fully updated for Perl 5.8, with extensive changes for Unicode support, I/O layers, mod_perl, and new technologies that have emerged since the previous edition of the book. Recipes have been updated to include the latest modules. New recipes have been added to every chapter of the book, and some chapters have almost doubled in size. Covered topic areas include:

  • Manipulating strings, numbers, dates, arrays, and hashes
  • Pattern matching and text substitutions
  • References, data structures, objects, and classes
  • Signals and exceptions
  • Screen addressing, menus, and graphical applications
  • Managing other processes
  • Writing secure scripts
  • Client-server programming
  • Internet applications programming with mail, news, ftp, and telnet
  • CGI and mod_perl programming
  • Web programming

Whether you’re a novice or veteran Perl programmer, you’ll find Perl Cookbook, 2nd Edition to be one of the most useful books on Perl available. Its comfortable discussion style and accurate attention to detail cover just about any topic you’d want to know about. You can get by without having this book in your library, but once you’ve tried a few of the recipes, you won’t want to.”

Reader Reviews:

“I liked the book from the minute I started reading. It’s written in an easy and understandable manner, and the “cooking recipes” highlight a lot of common questions a typical programmer has when dealing with Perl.” -Robin, Norway

“This book will not teach you Perl, but it contains a recipe for many possible problems that you will have to solve while coding in Perl. It is a MUST HAVE for any Perl programmer. “ -John, OR

“Much like breaking a huge mirror then taking a picture, each of the falling pieces shows a different angle. This book gives you lots of programming ideas to work with using different ways to do it for many of the Examples. If your a program inventor and if you’re stuck on how to do something, you should get this book!! Then you can spend less time searching the Internet for answers and more time being productive. This book will show you how to use Perl in many ways that you may not have realized, or have had no idea how to do. This book also gives discussions on why the code works the way it does – and then shows another way to do it. The book can be used as a reference but I find my self reading it like a novel” -Mark, CA

“If you are beginner to expert, this helps with simple methods that are tried and true. I find it most helpful in giving me ideas of how to address problems far beyond the scope of the book. Sometimes just simple reminders of cookbook methods stimulates thoughts in orthogonal directions that yield the best solutions to customer problems. “ -William, OH

“I recommend this book for both Perl novices and experts alike. It works well both as a reference for a specific problem as well as reading to brush up on available Perl techniques. “ -C.P., IL

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Perl Hacks: Tips & Tools for Programming, Debugging, and Surviving

Perl Hacks: Tips & Tools for Programming, Debugging, and Surviving Review
Title: Perl Hacks: Tips & Tools for Programming, Debugging, and Surviving
Author: Timothy Samara
Publisher: Rockport Publishers (April 1, 2007)
ISBN-10: 1592532616
ISBN-13: 978-1592532612
Page Count: 272 Pages

Description: “With more than a million dedicated programmers, Perl has proven to be the best computing language for the latest trends in computing and business. While other languages have stagnated, Perl remains fresh, thanks to its community-based development model, which encourages the sharing of information among users. This tradition of knowledge-sharing allows developers to find answers to almost any Perl question they can dream up.

And you can find many of those answers right here in Perl Hacks. Like all books in O’Reilly’s Hacks Series, Perl Hacks appeals to a variety of programmers, whether you’re an experienced developer or a dabbler who simply enjoys exploring technology. Each hack is a short lesson–some are practical exercises that teach you essential skills, while others merely illustrate some of the fun things that Perl can do. Most hacks have two parts: a direct answer to the immediate problem you need to solve right now and a deeper, subtler technique that you can adapt to other situations. Learn how to add CPAN shortcuts to the Firefox web browser, read files backwards, write graphical games in Perl, and much more.

For your convenience, Perl Hacks is divided by topic–not according to any sense of relative difficulty–so you can skip around and stop at any hack you like. Chapters include:

  • Productivity Hacks
  • User Interaction
  • Data Munging
  • Working with Modules
  • Object Hacks
  • Debugging

Whether you’re a newcomer or an expert, you’ll find great value in Perl Hacks, the only Perl guide that offers something useful and fun for everyone.”

Reader Reviews:

“If your a serious Perl programmer or a long-time Perl scripter whose looking to broaden your horizons then this is an excellent book. Surprisingly, this is really a Perl book for professional Perl developers, sys-admins, and scripters. This book avoids parlor-tricks like “Controlling your coffee maker with Perl” and focuses on how best to make writing and testing Perl code quick, easy, and sometimes even fun.” -Devin, NY

“So where does this book fit in to O’Reilly’s Perl canon? I can’t recommend it for beginners. But if you’re a working Perl programmer with a couple of years’ experience then I’d be very surprised if you didn’t pick up something that will be useful to you. And don’t worry about it overlapping with other books in your Perl library – offhand I can’t think of anything in the book that has been covered in any previous Perl book. All in all, this would make a very useful addition to your Perl library.” -David, UK

“The book is filled with lots of small, self-contained gems. I’ve put a few of these ideas into immediate practice. In all I’m very pleased with my purchase and I would recommend it to others. You’re almost certain to find a few ideas that you can put into immediate use and many ideas that you’ll bookmark mentally so you can use them in the future.” -David, USA

“Perl Hacks is a short book, at less than 300 pages, but it’s loaded with incredibly useful information. Much like the “Perl Cookbook” (also from O’Reilly) you’ll find lots of useful items hidden in their pages. Many times I started with one hack, and finished the chapter reading the rest of the hacks because there were just that interesting. Perl Hacks is highly recommended for any Perl programmer to have on their programmer book shelf. Sure, you might be able to find some of the hacks out there on the net, but I think you’ll find as I have that this is more of a go-to reference for finding out some of the more interesting corners of Perl. “ -Craig, MI

“In a time when new computer languages are dime a dozen, Perl unquestionably retains its beauty. Keeping with the philosophy of Perl – there is more than one way to do it – the book shows you ingenious ways to work with this powerful language. This is a true hacks book and meant mostly for the advanced user. Before reading this book, I didn’t even realize what I didn’t know and I rate myself just short of contributing to CPAN. Even if you have read all the popular books – Perl Programming, Perl Best Practices etc. you’ll still find a lot of gems. Simply put if you like Perl, you’ll love this book. Welcome to the next level… “ -Rupesh, CA

Stop wasting hours surfing the web for Perl hacks!
CLICK HERE NOW to get “Perl Hacks: Tips & Tools for Programming, Debugging, and Surviving”



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