[Kc] Book Review: Perl & XML

Garrett Goebel garrett at scriptpro.com
Thu Jul 10 13:41:40 CDT 2003

Title: Perl & XML
Authors: Erik T. Ray and Jason McIntosh
Publisher: O'Reilly
Published: 2002_04
ISBN: 059600205X
Pages: 216

I was underwhelmed by this text. I like slim books. I particularly look out
for well written short technical books that get right to the meat of a
subject. This is not one of those books. There is simply not enough value
added content in this book above and beyond what is already publicly
available. My advice? Read Kip Hampton's articles at
http://www.xml.com/pub/au/83 and the module documentation on the
Comprehensive Perl Archive Network (http://www.cpan.org), don't read this

P&X assumes that the reader is already intimately familiar with both Perl
and XML, but not the point where they intersect. As such, the authors
frequently punt on XML details. Perhaps it is just me, but I think the
problem is that book targets a small or non-existent segment of the market.
Most people competent in both Perl and XML won't need an overview of Perl
XML modules. They'll already have read the available documentation and be
watching the appropriate mailing lists
(http://listserv.activestate.com/mailman/listinfo/perl-xml). What's needed
is book on XML for Perl programmers.

I'll give the book credit as a compendium of the Perl modules available for
working with XML. Its not particularly bad, but it is not particularly
comprehensive or detailed either. Much of the coverage is dated. And I'll
note, as others have, that the example code isn't very practical or useful.
A little more information comparing and contrasting the modules covered,
where their use is appropriate and the developer communities behind them,
would have gone a long way toward making this a better book. 

Garrett Goebel
IS Development Specialist

ScriptPro                  Direct: 913.403.5261
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www.scriptpro.com          garrett at scriptpro dot com

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