Intermediate Perl

Author: Randal L. Schwartz, Brian D Foy,Tom Phoenix
Publisher: O’Reilly, 2006
ISBN: 978-0596102067
Rating: 4 
Aimed at: Perl programmers
Pros: Much useful content
Cons: Occasionally unfocused
Reviewed by: Mike James

As an occasional Perl programmer I was enthusiastic to read Intermediate Perl and I wasn’t disappointed. Perl is a weird language that lives on the edge between high and low level. There is no doubt that you can write tight compact and impenetrable programs in Perl but this isn’t the same as writing good programs. Much of the first part of this book deals with the tricks common to all languages that allow the use of “pointer” or “reference” types – reference, reference to reference, dereferencing and so on. All good stuff but once you know the syntax all very straightforward. Of course if you haven’t been exposed to the same techniques in other languages then it will be new stuff and you will need to take it slow.  The second half of the book is about object-oriented Perl and here I started to wonder if Perl’s approach to the problem wasn’t just a little over the top. I’m not sure I like object-oriented Perl but this isn’t a criticism of the book which does its best to make it all seem very reasonable. Some bits and bobs about modules, testing, closure, functions and so on make the book indispensable. There are lots of places where I feel that a slightly different approach would work better and present a simpler view of the Perl world, overall this is a good book and something you need to read to move beyond the basics.

<Reviewed in VSJ>

Last Updated ( Saturday, 03 July 2010 )