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- Posted on
- Re: FAQ 2.11 Perl Books
- David Combs
May 19, 2008, 3:13 am
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My feeling, when first learning Perl, and doing so via PP,
was that *everything* was there, it was all well explained,
one hell of a well-written book, a combination of tutorial and
But it, to me, was like "drinking out of a firehose", to use that
Now, there's a book that I *never* see mentioned here in clpm,
probably because the author maybe never attends eg the summer
conference (yapc), etc, nor (maybe) ever posts to this group,
or whose personality rubs someone the wrong way (just my wild-ass
guesses), but I discovered it in a bookstore (borders), bought
it, and found it really, really good.
It's "Pro Perl", by Peter Wainwright, from Apress, is 1,000pgs long,
covers *lots* of the same stuff that does PP, has many more
examples, excellent explanations, easy to read, and maybe best
of all, is NOT like "drinking from a firehose".
I know that no one here is going to believe me on this --
I mean, who in this clpm/yapc/etc has ever heard of this Wainwright guy
(well, he did write (as one of three authors) the WROX book
"Professional Perl Development", which I have, but have not
read yet, and if maybe (I don't know this) it's not the greatest
thing on Perl, that does NOT take anything from the "Pro Perl"
book (by Wainwright alone).)
And even someone learning Perl from his book -- really ALSO needs
to have PP -- AND the book on references, *anything* by Conway (3
so far, I think), and advanced perl 2nd ed, etc, etc -- there's
so much, and so much to explain, and so many ways of doing things
(hmm, have I maybe heard that before?), etc.
But for a FIRST (and surprisingly complete) perl text, I'd
for sure recommend this "Pro Perl".
Now, maybe at least *one* of you, one whose opinion everyone
trusts, *buys* a copy -- just not that expensive, especially
Hell, maybe *I'll* have to pay for it -- that'd be one of my
few decent contributions to the Perl community.
And, by the way, there's nothing in this for me, I've never
met or talked to either this guy or anyone from the publisher.
I just think that when something decent (well, wonderful)
comes along by someone other than from our local clique of authors,
we owe it to the Perl audience to let them know it exists.
By the way, I have not seen it in any bookstore for several
years. Probably because it never gets recommended by, say,
us, it's sales are so low that no one stocks it.
Anyway, please one *or more* of you guys get a copy
and flip through the pages, and ask yourself "if I had
a programmer-friend who knew no Perl, but wanted to learn
it, would I recommend *this* book."
And also ask that if the book should be listed in this FAQ,
WHERE it should be. I myself would say right up there after
PP -- but you'll have to get the book yourself to understand
why I say that. It's that good.
Well, I've tried. Breaking into a clique is really hard.
Thanks for at least reading what I've written here!
Re: FAQ 2.11 Perl Books
Hey, brian, I wasn't talking about you -- I was simply setting
forth an observation made over some number of years reading
this truly amazing (wonderful) group.
And my follow up wasn't to any particular person -- I just
saw the FAQ post-for-comments, and was responding to
the *subject*, books on perl, and on publicizing their
existance and maybe even a blurb about them.
And if subsconsciously there has developed at least a bit or sense of
clique of authors -- well, no big surprise, would
likely happen to me too.
First of all, so many publish via O'Reilly (thank god for O'Reilly!),
and that might tend to bond, and more importantly, because
of the enormous (thankless) work you guys do here in this
group, and in yapc, and other perl conferences and doings,
all without any pay, just from an innate desire to contribute,
that also bonds together.
Anyway, of all the books on perl (Perl) I've seen in bookstores
(my hobby -- bookstores), this Pro Perl is the only one that's
(in my opinion) is equally really good as the ones we all know
but *isn't* (or sure doesn't seem to be) "known".
Look, Perl has competitors, and listening around I hear
complaints about Perl being hard to read, looks like apl
or teco, etc, etc, and even though all those complaints
are just plain wrong (seems to me), people (and employers!)
listen to them, and it has an effect, maybe a *big* effect.
Perl is really great! And the brainpower behind it, wow,
I can't imagine that any of the competitors have anything like
that idea-and-cs-knowledge base.
Given that lots of Perl users depend on it for their living,
either as employees or as consultants, seems to me that the
easier we make it to learn (and there's a *lot* to learn!),
the better for everyone, including the popularity of the language
All I ask is that a few trustworthy people have a look at
this thing I'm talking about.
And it'd be best it it were Perl AUTHORS who did the
looking, so that if any gave it a thumbs-up, you'd
know, I think, that the opinion wasn't B.S.
My own belief is that this thing would be one of the
candidates for a "first" Perl book to read.
(A "first" Perl book would seem to be to be terribly
difficult to write -- I think this guy has done
a surprisingly good job in a very difficult task.)
Since it was you who responded to my post, and you
have also produced perl texts, how about *you*?
If I had Bookpool send you one, would you spend maybe
30 minutes on it?
Any other author interested? Maybe I could dig real deep
and find enough money to do two or three.
Then, if it seems worth looking at, then take it (them?) to yapc and
pass it around, maybe.
Or maybe I could call the publisher and ask them to
send several out to perl-authors who volunteer the
30 minutes look-see? (Who knows, maybe they'd (publisher) do it.)
Again, whatever tools we can find to make it more likely
for someone to at least *try* perl, the better for
Certainly one person who should see it is Larry -- heck,
maybe he already has?
Sorry if you thought I was attacking *you* in some way.
NO WAY, EVER!
I do hope that more than just you see this response.
Believe it or not, I'm simply trying to help!
Re: FAQ 2.11 Perl Books
Again, what are you acusing me of? I'm the guy that maintains the FAQ,
and I'm a Perl Author. I'm not trustworthy? My opinion is bullshit?
I read all the Perl books that come out. Publishers already send me the
books as they are published (and often before they are published).
I still have nio idea what you are proposing, but it sure looks like
you're trying to say that I have an ethical problem maintaining the
FAQ. If you have a problem or a patch, follow the instructions at the
end of each FAQ posting.
Re: FAQ 2.11 Perl Books
Yes, indeed, without much difficulty at all, you can read what
I say to be an attack on you. Although that is absolutely NOT
I've always had a hard time getting words down on paper, at least
one that reflect what I really think.
What I seem to you to be saying is actually opposite or orthogonal
or something to what I'm *intending* to impart.
Instead of continuing this thread in a one one-way msg per 24-hours,
how about a quick phone conversation? Here's my phone number:
914-632-1883, I work at home, so am usually here.
(Tonight, since I'm now listening to the hacker/ex-phon-phreak "off the hook"
WBAI-radio-program ("2600") until
8pm est, not til then -- or you give me your phone no and a time
Also realize that I access the internet via a "shell account" that I
get into via kermit, modem, and phone line (at least no viruses, etc),
and thus no windows-like pop-up the instant email arrives -- I generally
look at email (likewise for newsgroup posts) only once every day or two -----
Let me close with this: there is NO WAY WHATSOEVER that it pays me
to get on the wrong side of *anyone* in this group! Like most people
here, I very much rely on the info you guys put out in your warnings,
solutions, and suggestions!
And no, I am not accusing you of anything.
Nor until your last post did I know that *you* were the faq maintainer --
I thought it was some kind of group effort, no one person having the
responsibility for doing whatever additions or fixes got made.
Anyway, give me a ring!