[Chicago-talk] Learning Perl Objects review

Shawn C Carroll shawn at owbn.org
Sun Sep 21 19:55:07 CDT 2003

Book Title: Learning Perl Objects, References & Modules
Authors: Randal L. Schwartz with Tom Phoenix
Publisher: O’Reilly
Pages: 205 with Index
Website: http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/lrnperlorm
Reviewer: Shawn C. Carroll

Synopsis: Learning Perl Objects continues your perl education where the
llama book left off.  With clear, easy to follow instruction, the reader
is taught the finer points of perl objects, dealing with references and
the how and why of modules.  Each chapter covers the topic in hand well
and is supplemented by very useful exercises to use what was learned.

The first book you picked up to learn Perl probably had a llama on its
cover.  You then picked up the camel book to continue your education. 
There was a gap though between those two books, an introduction to object
orientated perl was missing.  Well, Randal has now written the prefect
bridging book in Learning Perl Objects, References & Modules(LPORM).  This
book should be on your shelf if your new to perl, or even if you’ve used
perl for the past years only for short scripts.  LPORM will move your perl
from scripts to programs.

After an introductory chapter, Schwartz jumps right into making your perl
programs better.  By using seven castaways from a three hour tour, we
learn the basics of refactoring and module usage.  The next three chapters
gently introduce references and advanced data structures.  The difference
in these five chapters and the same subject matter from the Advanced Perl
Programming (APP) book is the level of the target audience.  Here Schwartz
walks the reader through each topic with code examples, where APP gave the
information in a dryer, more mater of fact-ly format.  Where APP was for
experienced programmers, LPORM is for newer programmers.

The following for four chapters discussed Object Orientated Programming,
perl style.  With the help of a talking horse, the reader is stepped
through basic OOP principles such as inheritance, destruction (a _whole_
chapter on object destruction), and others.  This section of the book is
where many will find benefit.  Schwartz finishes the book sliding into
module creation, testing and distribution via CPAN.  These chapters are
essential for putting a professional shine on your perl.

In all, I think this book is needed by all newer perl programmers and
those that wish to take their perl to the next level.  The price point of
US$35 may seem steep for only 205 pages, but LPORM is packed with
information that will help.  The book was free of glaring technical or
grammatical errors to boot.

Shawn Carroll
shawn at owbn.org
Perl Programmer
Soccer Referee

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