Book Reviews

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Perl Books

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mod_perl Developers Cookbook
Title:mod_perl Developers Cookbook
Author(s):Geoffrey Young, Paul Linder, Randy Kobes
Reviewer:Steve Pitchford

The first thing that strikes you about this book is the size. Weighing in an impressive 650 (ish) pages, the shear quantity of material alone implies that you aren't going to get through it on a single visit. The title of the book doesn't quite do it justice, whilst it does provide a vast array of recipes and example code, the authors have managed to structure the book in such a way that it provides a pretty thorough tour of mod_perl, from installation and configuration to some pretty tidy programming techniques that help get the most from Apache with little effort. Despite the books size and depth, Sams recommended retail price is a very reasonable £28.99.

Its probably worth now trying to convey what the book covers. It is aimed squarely at the Apache 1.3.x environment, ( If there is Apache 2.0 material in it, then I couldn't find it ). This is probably not going to be a problem for a lot of developers, as, of time of writing, mod_perl 2.0 is still in development, and unlikely to see wide scale take up on production servers for some time, other than that it's as close to a "The Bible" for mod_perl as you are likely to get. Whilst I could do a chapter by chapter break down, I won't as the excellent companion website provides all this, with sample chapters and more.

The only remaining thing I can add at this point is that the book may not be beneficial to new comers to mod_perl - the O'Reilly book may be more suitable for introducing the technology, which is the last critical insight I can offer - the authors and publishers have done such a good job, finding fault with this book becomes close to splitting hairs. I will bring this review to a close with a simple conclusion - In my humble opinion, if you use mod_perl at work, or to any degree of seriousness outside of work, then your failure to purchase this book requires far more justification than a decision to purchase it, especially given the quality and amount of material on the companion website