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The ACCU passes on review copies of computer books to its members for them to review. The result is a large, high quality collection of book reviews by programmers, for programmers. Currently there are 1918 reviews in the database and more every month.
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Title:
The Perl 5 Programmer's Reference
Author:
R Allen Wyke&Luke Duncan
ISBN:
1 56604 750 1
Publisher:
Ventana
Pages:
428pp+CD
Price:
£29-50
Reviewer:
Jon Wilks
Subject:
perl
Appeared in:
10-4
My first thought on this book was to ask the point of it. I have a much-thumbed copy of Larry Wall'sProgramming Perl(affectionately known as the 'camel' book) complete with post-it notes placed at the chapters I refer to most. IsThe Perl 5 Programmer's Referenceworth the money for the same information in an expanded and undoubtedly more accessible form?

Well one thing the book does not have is any tutorial or description to the Perl syntax so I cannot recommend it as a first step to learning Perl. Likewise those looking for advanced instruction to Perl references and objects would be wasting their time. This book then lists all the built in functions, formats and regular expressions; all the things you would typically find in the 'camel' book. This in an easy to find manner, clearly indicating its syntax, usage and compatibility with Perl 4.

The CD contains the source of Perl 5 (release 4.1), some of the modules described in the appendixes and has the ActiveWare version for Windows 95/NT. A nice touch is that the whole book is also available as HTML files on the CD so you can also use your browser to search the book. A downside is that those of us who write for DOS or Windows 3.1 may have trouble accessing some of the directories on the CD that have long names.

My conclusion is that if you are a regular Perl user then the book is a nice addition to your shelf but you could live without it if you had the 'camel' book, a post-it pad and access tohttp://www.perl.com/