REVIEW - Learning Perl on Win32 Systems

Title:

Learning Perl on Win32 Systems

Author:

Randal L. Schwartz

ISBN:

1565923243

Publisher:

O'Reilly (1997)

Pages:

282pp

Reviewer:

Mark Kuschnir

Reviewed:

August 1998

Rating:

★★★☆☆

This book would be excellent for NT system administrators who need to learn Perl or useful to experienced Unix system administrators who need to use the Win32 Perl extensions on NT.

Perl is a very powerful object oriented scripting language. Its syntax is C like. The language itself is like an amalgamation of Unix utilities (C-shell, AWK, sed, tr, etc.) It is a highly portable scripting language running on a number of diverse platforms - hence its popularity. It was (still is?) the de facto language of CGI programs.

The Perl books from O'Reilly are generally very good. This book is no exception. It is mainly based on the similarly titled Learning Perl (2ed) by the same authors. The book starts off with a description of how to get the Win32 enabled version of Perl. It then presents an overview stroll through Perl. Then the following chapters describe in greater detail the topics introduced by the stroll.

It contains about 85% general Perl content and about 15% Win32 specific content - hence its title. Two of the Win32 specific topics that are discussed in some detail are 'Registry Access' and 'OLE Automation'. The Perl modules that provide this func-tionality make it much easier to do than using C++.

This book would be excellent for NT system administrators who need to learn Perl or useful to experienced Unix system administrators who need to use the Win32 Perl extensions on NT. Perl scripts allow one to overcome the serious deficiencies of batch files!

N.B. If you do use the Win32 extensions in your Perl scripts then they will only work on NT, i.e. you lose the platform independence that makes Perl so useful.


Book cover image courtesy of Open Library.