Title:Perl 5 How To - the Definitive Perl Programming Problem-Solver
Author:Aidan Humphreys, Mike Glover, Ed Weiss
Publisher:The Waite Group
Price:US $49.99, Can. $67.99 (soft-bound, w/ CD-ROM)
Audience:anyone using perl

Lots of publishers today produce huge books. Many of these are just wasting shelf space. The Waite Group, on the other hand, produces huge books for a much better reason - they try to cover each topic as thoroughly as possible. This hefty volume provides a wealth of cookie cutter solutions to common problems addressable with perl.

While not quite what I would consider "the definitive Perl programming problem solver", this book covers far more ground than most. Sample solutions and code are provided for a vast array of both topical and task-oriented problems, from adding large groups of accounts to automating ftp, from setting environment variables to writing perl extensions. The brief, whirlwind introduction to perl is adequate, but you will still most likely need another perl book. CGI programming (for the World Wide Web) and the tk extensions for perl are also covered, but not in depth.

I know a number of people who've been thrown in over their heads in perl code this past year - a webamatrix (her chosen title), an intranet designer, programmers and SAs - all of whom would have benefited from this book.

Problems are ranked by difficulty (Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced) and Compatibility (perl4, perl5, UNIX, and DOS); this is well done and extremely helpful.

Some of the problems have very innovative solutions.

A little (apparently unintentional) humor occurs with the occasional directions to "input this sample data" (some data sets would fill a terminal screen in both dimensions). Fortunately the sample data is also provided on CD-ROM, along with the Comprehensive Perl Archive Network (CPAN) archives, including perl binaries for a number of common platforms.

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Copyright 1998 Miles O'Neal, Austin, TX. All rights reserved.