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Slashdot: The Perl Black Book [Book Review]May 11, 2000, 20:25 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Greg Smith)
"You already know C or BASIC or some other programming language, but there's some work you need to finish that none of these languages are the right tool for. Perhaps you want to create CGI programs. The Perl Black Book is an excellent choice to fill that need. It's a non-nonsense title that's focused on working example code in a form that will be familiar to those stepping from another programming language into Perl."
"While the book is large, the scope of material it attempts to cover is considerably larger. Coriolis labels the book as intended for intermediate to advanced materials, and there's a minimum of introduction to general programming concepts. Non-programmers trying to learn Perl as their first language would be better served starting with a more introductory title and coming back to this book later. And while there are examples of things like object-oriented Perl and CGI, none of that material goes deep enough to really satisfy a serious student of those topics...."
"The Perl Black Book does an excellent job with the kinds of things intermediate programmers in the language are interested in. It's become the first place I turn to when looking for a snippet of Perl code to incorporate into a project. An example of why I like this book should illustrate why that is. I recently found myself writing a program that needed to ping a host and take some corrective action if that ping was unsuccessful. I would expect this is a straightforward request, and looked up "ping" in the index of O'Reilly's Programming Perl. This led to an example using the pingecho library call, which I typed in and found utterly unsuccessful at the task I was trying to accomplish. Looking up the same topic in the Perl Black Book, I found a section about twice as large on the subject. Holzner's example program worked just as I was expecting, and I went back to the rest of the application design without needing to focus for very long on the implementation details of this small piece. I've never liked the code in Programming Perl because the samples are all so terse. The Perl Black Book does a much better job in my view of providing programs long enough to demonstrate the appropriate Perl syntax for filling common needs."
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