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O'Reilly and Associates publishes consistently good books and provides invaluable support to the Perl community.

See PerlBooks for other resources, such as books available for loan through PhoenixPerlMongers members as linked off of the PerlBookResources page, links to freely downloadable books on the FreePerlBooks page, and other fun stuff.

Other Book Review Sites

http://books.perl.org is the official Perl book review site, but it's been known to be down for long periods of time...

It's not about the acid in the paper, its about the Crack in the author writes Michael Schwern, who has put together a litmus test for Perl-book-suck and applied it to numerous books. An amazing number fail. http://magnonel.guild.net/~schwern/litmus_test/index.html

Camel Critiques Book reviews by Tom Christiansen. Not updated since 1998. Tom really knows how to rip apart a bad book - it's funny to read. http://www.perl.com/language/critiques/index.html

TechBookReport Book review site that covers technical and developer books, including a number of Perl titles. Reviews are indexed by topic - with most of the Perl and related books covered in the Programming Index. http://www.techbookreport.com/index.html

About the Book Reviews

Here are some reviews written by PhoenixPerlMongers members and links to reviews written by other PerlMongers chapters and such things.

ISBN number creates a link to that ISBN on http://www.bn.com. Please fill in more information about these books if you've read them. Did you like it, did you hate it, was it useful to you?

Book Reviews

Spidering Hacks is reviewed at http://www.techbookreport.com/tbr0069.html at http://www.techbookreport.com who does a lot of book reviews, most not on Perl. This isn't a synopsis of the review, but they give it good marks and apparently it makes heavy but not exclusive use of Perl. They also say it covers the usual suspects such as Google and Amazon but goes much further with FedEx and banks and such. Sounds spiffy. ISBN 0596005776 but you already knew that ;)

Writing Perl Modules for CPAN ISBN 1-59059-018-X Introduces all aspecs of CPAN, including network topolgy, navigation, searching, module installation, and the Perl Authors Upload Server (PAUSE). Teaches Perl module design and implementation from the group up, offering information on everything from choosing a module name to writing test scripts. Writing C modules using both XS and Inline::C. Reads like a "How to Program" manual for people who already essentially know Perl. The hard part is people that don't know that they don't know they need to know something. I could go blue rattling off the different things this book touches on. It is concise survey of the broad range of topics you need to know to create modules for CPAN. Anyone exposed to Perl but lacking the self confidence to write code and put it on CPAN or intregrate it into a large project will quickly gain the confidence, and skills. Highly recommended.

Learn Perl Objects, References & Modules by Randal L. Schwartz with Tom Phoenix, O'Reilly, ISBN 0-596-00478-8 Randal likes to explain why when exlaining things. I don't think the man has ever said, "and you'll soon enough see why". This book was compiled from his Stonehenge courses, including the questions people tend to ask and where they get hung up. Stonehenge doesn't just bring advanced perlers to the next level, they give crash courses to people who program other language when companies adopt a new direction. There are stories from Stonehenge floating around about COBOL programmers learning Perl, and the ideas we take for granted don't exist in that world. Learn Perl Objects, References & Modules takes the hardest part of Perl (or atleast the part with the most stumbling blocks) and makes a course out of it that doesn't alienate students, no matter what their background. The examples are simple and non-presumptious. It isn't assumed that you want to know every feature of Perl references in no particular order for no particular reason. Rather, each example builds on the next, and gives convincing arguments why a little more complexity simplifies the program. The whole book follows a pattern of making slightly awkward programming situations, well, not awkward. By the time you're done, even complex problems aren't awkward. Reference counting, subrouting references, nested data structures, weak references, writing objects through the basics of creating CPAN distributions are covered, but only after clearing a path through do "", namespaces, references, scopes, and so on.

CGI Programming With Perl ISBN 1-56592-419-3 http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/cgi2 This book teaches CGI programming, not Perl, but you could learn a lot of Perl from it if you're new. Perl isn't the end, it's the means, and this approach works. HTTP is the first thing dicussed in the book. This bites the bullet. Everything else just kind of makes sense when you have an idea of what is really going on. HTTP is concisely illustrated with examples and just the right amount of background. A lesser book would hide a bad version of this in an appendix and leave the reader trying to digest the arbitrary abstraction all the way to the end of the book. This way, abstracts can be treated like exactly what they are - abstracts on top of HTTP. By the time the idea of CGI is mentioned, the reader already knows exactly what it is does and why it's interesting. The book isn't ivory tower, either. When POST is introduced on page 28 the reader is told both what happens and what the natural consequences are: you can't bookmark a POST, and the form parameters don't show up in the access log. The book moves quickly but it is thorough too, with practical explanations, making it a good quick reference. The HTTP headers, CGI environment variables, HTML form tags, CGI.pm interface, and numerous other things have mini references built into the book. Authentication, caching, content type negotiation, character sets are covered in Chapter 2. Locking, taintedness, encryption, templating, email delivery and other important things are given the same treatment. DoS, XML, image generation are touched on. Examples use just-introduced ideas to do things that you might actually really want to do such as blocking off-site links to images. This book contains 90% more information than the head of the average CGI programmer. Best part though is this is an old book that is very well maintained. It feels like an old school O'Reilly title and has fun historical tidbits but is just that much more polished for it. A+ - ScottWalters

"I recently purchased Damian Conway's Latest: Object Oriented Perl. The book opened up my eyes on many issues Perl programmer face in the object oriented environment. I feel it is a must read for anyone writing or about to write a Perl module. I wish I had this book before I wrote most of my initial 'attempts' at module writing and object oriented programming. It would have saved me a lot of time, and I would have better code to boot." ISBN 1884777791 - TimBeavers

Extending and Embedding Perl review by Conway.pm: http://conway.pm.org/bookreviews/eaep_jenness_cozens.txt

Graphics Programming with Perl review by Conway.pm: http://conway.pm.org/bookreviews/gpwp_verbruggen.txt

HTTP: The Definitive Guide review by Oakland.pm: http://oakland.pm.org/reviews/http.html

Essential Blogging review by Oakland.pm: http://oakland.pm.org/reviews/blogging.html

Computer Science and Perl Programming ISBN 0596003102. O'Reilly. Select http://www.tpj.com articles, http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/tpj1/ - on oreilly.com - looks interesting!

Programming WebServices with Perl - ISBN 0-596-00206-8 - http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/pwebserperl/ - SOAP stuff. Considered the future of online applications development. Java has entirely embraced it. I've read the sample chapter and found it very informative, well written, and, well, exciting. - ScottWalters

PERL 5 how-to: The Definitive PERL Programming Problem-Solver ISBN 1571690581, by Reggie David, Ed Weiss, Mike Glover - Sams Publishing - Any good? I don't know! Does anyone have this one?

Advanced Topics in PERL ISBN 0137613059 - Pren Hall - Any good?

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