Book Reviews

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Perl Books

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The Little Black Perl Book
Title:The Little Black Perl Book
Author(s):Steven Holzner

There have been several good reviews from the "Little Black Book" series and this is not going to go against that trend. Essentially a reference book, there is a hefty chunk of the book that acts like a set of mini man pages. However, there is plenty to clarify the more involved side of Perl programming without getting too in depth.

The book is split into very neat chapters, each beginning with an "in brief" section which basically sets the scene with a few examples, before launching into the whys and wherefores. The detailed sections of the chapters are always short and sweet, with just enough information to convey what each is about. There are plenty of code examples so that you can see how a specific concept or routine is used.

The layout is very straightforward, and it's very quick and easy to find the reference you need. Perhaps the handy part of the book is the quick reference card that is attached to the inside of the front cover. When I was learning C and vi I had similar cards, which became invaluable over the years. While this Perl card isn't as comprehensive, to the beginner it could become just as invaluable.

To be fair this is an equal to O'Reilly's Perl in a Nutshell, and choosing between the two would be very difficult. I'm fortunate in that I have both, using one at one home and the other at work.

My Verdict - If you're looking a pretty comprehensive Perl reference book, it's worth the purchase.