March 2009 Archives

This review is by Nicola Gigante, a member of "" Thank you for the contribution!

Click here to read this review in Italian language.

Learning Perl (5th edition)
Randal L. Schwartz, Tom Phoenix & brian d foy
O'Reilly Media, 2008
ISBN: 9780596520106
US$ 39.99 (printed) - US$ 31.99 (electronic)

Rating: 4.5/5

Perl is a very flexible language. It has the most complex grammar you can find around,
and a context-dependent semantic, and this makes perl an easy and yet powerful scripting language. The 5th edition of Learning Perl is just about how to write scripts with it. It wonʼt teach you how to write huge and complex software or how to optimize your code to make it fast and yet extensible. After all, this book is just about learning the language. The big work made by Schwartz and co. was to write a book that lets you feel the extremely high level of flexibility you get from the perl syntax. The book is full of examples, and itʼs common to find a way to solve a given problem, just to read how it can be solved with fewer lines of code or in a faster way respect of a previous solution. The book also highlights the most famous perl features. Theyʼre text and list processing tools, such as regular expressions and sort routines. After the first chapters explaining basic language features like numbers, strings, arrays and hashes manipulation, three chapters are dedicated to regular expressions: how to write and understand them, how to use them to match text, and how to use them to replace text. Also, a whole chapter is dedicated to methods and techniques to sort arrays and hashes. The second part of the book is about manipulating files, processes, and other things needed for administrative purpose, a field where perl scripts are used very often. The other two books of the series, Intermediate Perl, and Advanced Perl, complete this book, covering things that you donʼt find here. If you donʼt know the language and want to learn it, or if you know it briefly and want to improve your basic knowledge, this is the right book for you.

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