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Modern Perl

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In 1987, Perl 1.0 changed the world. In the decades since then, the language has grown from a simple tool for system administration somewhere between shell scripting and C programming to a powerful, general purpose language steeped in a rich heritage.

Even so, most Perl 5 programs in the world take far too little advantage of the language. You can write Perl 5 programs as if they were Perl 4 programs (or Perl 3 or 2 or 1), but programs written to take advantage of everything amazing the worldwide Perl 5 community has invented, polished, and discovered are shorter, faster, more powerful, and easier to maintain than their alternatives.

They solve difficult problems with speed and elegance. They take advantage of the CPAN and its unparalleled library of reusable code. They get things done.

This productivity can be yours, whether you've dabbled with Perl for a decade or someone just handed you this book and said "Fix this code by Friday."

Modern Perl is suitable for programmers of every level. It's more than a Perl tutorial—only Modern Perl focuses on Perl 5.12 and 5.14, to demonstrate the latest and most effective time-saving features. Only Modern Perl explains how and why the language works, to let you unlock the full power of Perl.

Hone your skills. Sharpen your knowledge of the tools and techniques that make Perl so effective. Master everything Perl has to offer.

When you have to solve a problem now, reach for Perl. When you have to solve a problem right, reach for Modern Perl.

396 pages, Kindle Edition

First published October 31, 2010

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5 stars
57 (39%)
4 stars
65 (44%)
3 stars
15 (10%)
2 stars
9 (6%)
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Displaying 1 - 24 of 24 reviews
Profile Image for Philip Hollenback.
436 reviews48 followers
April 20, 2011
This is absolutely a must-read for anyone who has been writing perl scripts for a few years. If you're like me, you've accumulated years and years of dubious perl habits, based on outdated knowledge. This book helps you sort out what the best practices are for modern versions of Perl (5.10 and 5.12).

This is not a book for the perl beginner, it's aimed squarely at the moderate to advanced user. Lots of assumptions are made about your basic knowledge and the beginner would be quickly baffled by the info in this book.

Some of the chapters in this book are certainly slow going. I don't know a lot about object oriented perl, so it took me a while to get through the chapters on that. Also I would have liked to have seen more details on what's new in perl regular expressions. If you've tried to read the perlre man page lately you know how confusing those can be.

All in all this is a fantastic book and absolutely required reading for anyone who is seriously into writing perl.
Profile Image for Ali.
44 reviews5 followers
January 5, 2021
Invaluable tips and tricks for Perlers who are on the way of mastery. This book is a must have for every serious Perl programmer.
6 reviews2 followers
October 10, 2018
This is by far the best Perl book I've come across. It's not too short and it's not the full specifications of the language. It's just enough to get you in and started with examples that are actually useful. I keep this on my desk as a reference point for when I get stuck.
Profile Image for Rainer König.
129 reviews3 followers
August 13, 2021
Ths book is good as a reference to look up things that you know, but can't remember exactly. But it is bad as a book to learn Perl, there are just too many forward references e.g. (see page 123 when you're still on page 65). This makes it very difficult to learn from it.
18 reviews2 followers
November 7, 2019
Easy to digest even for all levels of expertise, even for those coming from other languages.
212 reviews7 followers
January 11, 2014
This was a great book to learn more Perl stuff from. chromatic teaches almost everything about Perl in a single book, supplementing it with pointers to useful modules, discussions, or other types of resources. He also has good advice for code design and organization, and general management.

The entire book is on GitHub, so you can open issues and send pull requests for anything you think should be changed! I decided to read the entire thing in POD format, which was a little cumbersome, but provided 2 years of updates, which was nice.

chromatic is one of the most active bloggers in the Perl community. He is also well-read, and his ideas are very influential. Strangely, the things that seemed most off to me were those items in the chapter on community. For example, he recommends using search.cpan.org instead of metacpan and he has a pointer to gitpan (an interesting but not yet functional project).

I learned a lot of random Perl things from this: how to make a pragma, how to get the prototype of any built-in function, AUTOLOAD and BEGIN are pseudo-subs and there are also UNITCHECK, INIT, and CHECK, and much more. I liked that he explained that strings are either octets or unicode in the beginning explanation of strings; that really made things clear for me. His explanation of context was also helpful, though not the end-all of context explanations.

The reason that I gave this book four stars instead of five was that it didn't seem to be suited towards any particular audience. I thought that he advertised it as a book for teaching Perl, but that it is definitely not! Anyone who reads it should already know Perl and just be trying to improve their knowledge (and if they have never programmed before then definitely look somewhere else). So the book covers both very basic concepts and very advanced concepts. I could have skimmed a lot of it. All I want is the good stuff (like Effective Perl). Perhaps the intended audience was people who hadn't picked up Perl in 10 or more years and wanted a refresher/update.
Profile Image for David.
Author 1 book91 followers
February 10, 2022
UPDATE: Second reading 4.5 years later: I concur with what I said below.

I was big into Perl over a decade ago, but wanted to get back up to speed quickly. This was exactly what I needed: a dense collection of modern Perl 5 practices.

It took me several months to get through Modern Perl, reading and absorbing just a little bit every day. Each page has an average of two new concepts and the book is littered with code examples. As one should always do when reading book about programming, I ran many of the examples and made up some of my own when I needed to better understand a concept.

I'm now exactly at the level I want to be at with Perl: I can write utility programs without reference (manipulating and parsing text, typically) and I understand more advanced Perl idioms when I see them.

Modern Perl works great as a reference. I have several pages of my copy bookmarked for quick access.

Some material from earlier in the book depends on material at the end of the book and vice-versa. There are cross-references, but you can do what I did and just read it straight through. You'll leave with enough knowledge to read (and critique!) just about any Perl code you find in the wild.
Profile Image for Alvaro Tejada Galindo.
176 reviews5 followers
April 4, 2017
Simply woaw! This book is a must have and a must read! If you have never used Perl before...start reading "Beginning Perl"...then...read this book...it's a Perl bible...bundled with lots of examples and simply and easy to understand use of Perl...

I wish every language had a book like this...it's like having a giant cheat sheet -:)

Need to say it again...this book is must read for every Perl developer...
208 reviews43 followers
November 16, 2011
It's been years since I've done anything substantial in Perl. This book provides a great re-introduction to Perl, shows several of the Perl 6 features that were back-ported to Perl 5, and has great tutorials on things such as Moose. Additionally, it has a lot of useful information on various corners of the language.
Profile Image for Miguel.
21 reviews
September 3, 2014
I found this to be a great Perl book. I will keep it nearby when I work on a Perl project, as it will be an invaluable resource. It is written in a concise and incisive style, which is also a quality of some of the best Perl code. It takes you through the latest improvements to the language, and works through through lots of very useful idioms that make use of recent features.
Profile Image for Hilary.
2,005 reviews52 followers
May 13, 2015
This is more for the intermediate Perl programmer, so read this after the Llama book, but do read it for another view on how to use Perl.

(Unrated because I'm not yet good enough to fully understand it, but I can appreciate it already.)
Profile Image for Matt.
119 reviews20 followers
April 20, 2013
Perl is complicated, but chromatic did a pretty good job of showing off its power and presenting the best of Perl.

I wish most Perl developers would read this because it might help me from running away screaming from the Perl scripts that I often see at work.
Profile Image for Gustavo Chaves.
50 reviews4 followers
December 5, 2015
It has several good pieces of advice on current Perl "best practices". But I think it dwells too much on the perils of old idioms and semi-deprecated features, which could be left as a summary in an appendix. I think the core of the book should stress only the good parts.
51 reviews
May 26, 2011
this is a great book -- a lot clearer than the cookbooks i have been using for
November 11, 2012
It is not too big, because it does not repeat what "ancient Perl" has taught you. Moose is not covered very well. Few typos.
Profile Image for Andrey.
19 reviews
January 11, 2016
Обязательная к прочтению книга для всех перлистов. Но начинать с нее точно нельзя – книга рассчитана на знакомого с программированием на перле человека.
Profile Image for Max Duan.
1 review
March 28, 2016
Clear and to the point, got me up and running with perl within a month.
Displaying 1 - 24 of 24 reviews

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