August 28, 2007

Review: Mastering Perl

Author: JT Smith

I guess I was a tad surprised that O'Reilly's "Mastering Perl" is a first edition. After
all,
Learning Perl
is in it's fourth edition and was published over 2 years ago. I was also surprised
(I guess I don't keep up) that O'Reilly had published the first edition of

Intermediate Perl
over a year ago. Usually for a particular programming language, O'Reilly publishes a
"Learning" and a "Mastering" book. I know Perl is no cake walk, but does it really need this much attention? Also, why wait
four editions into "Learning Perl" before publishing more advanced texts on this language?

Even reading the back cover of this book, I got the sense that it might be walking a fine line
between an advanced perl tutorial and a collection of "cookbook" type solutions. That said, the book
does state that its focus is teaching the reader to create reusable Perl software which is an industry
standard procedure. Reusing code would seem to be a no brainer in principle. After all, who wants
to reinvent, or in this case, rewrite the wheel over and over again? The trick is how to pull off
writing reusable code. This book is supposed to be about "a way of thinking aobut Perl programming"
rather than "tips and tricks". That seems more like philosophy than tutorials. Let's see
how this book pulls it off.

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