Intermediate Perl
Beyond The Basics of Learning Perl
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: March 2006
Pages: 280

Perl is a versatile, powerful programming language used in a variety of disciplines, ranging from system administration to web programming to database manipulation. One slogan of Perl is that it makes easy things easy and hard things possible. Intermediate Perl is about making the leap from the easy things to the hard ones.

Originally released in 2003 as Learning Perl Objects, References, and Modules and revised and updated for Perl 5.8, this book offers a gentle but thorough introduction to intermediate programming in Perl. Written by the authors of the best-selling Learning Perl, it picks up where that book left off. Topics include:

  • Packages and namespaces
  • References and scoping
  • Manipulating complex data structures
  • Object-oriented programming
  • Writing and using modules
  • Testing Perl code
  • Contributing to CPAN

Following the successful format of Learning Perl, we designed each chapter in the book to be small enough to be read in just an hour or two, ending with a series of exercises to help you practice what you've learned. To use the book, you just need to be familiar with the material in Learning Perl and have ambition to go further.

Perl is a different language to different people. It is a quick scripting tool for some, and a fully-featured object-oriented language for others. It is used for everything from performing quick global replacements on text files, to crunching huge, complex sets of scientific data that take weeks to process. Perl is what you make of it. But regardless of what you use Perl for, this book helps you do it more effectively, efficiently, and elegantly.

Intermediate Perl is about learning to use Perl as a programming language, and not just a scripting language. This is the book that turns the Perl dabbler into the Perl programmer.

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Excellent Reference; Best Perl Series

By jdruin

from Kentucky

About Me Designer, Developer, Educator

Verified Reviewer


  • Easy to understand
  • Helpful examples
  • Well-written


    Best Uses

    • Intermediate
    • Novice
    • Student

    Comments about oreilly Intermediate Perl:

    This series starts with "Learning Perl" (O'Reilly 978-0-596-52010-6). Intermediate Perl is a continuation of "Learning Perl" (O'Reilly 978-0-596-10206-7). The last in the series is "Mastering Perl" (O'Reilly 978-0-596-52724-2).

    The books in the series are at their best when used in combination with the other editions. All three can be used either as tutorials or as desk references. The books are broken up into key subjects which makes them easy to use as a reference but also include numerous examples to help those just learning.

    Learning Perl starts the series by introducing the basic concepts. It begins with numbers, strings and basic operators that are necessary to declare variables and form basic syntax. The first practical example programs cover lists (arrays), the creation of subroutines, getting input from users and files, and hash tables. 3 chapters are dedicated to regular expressions. (Intermediate Perl covers the grep operator and Mastering Perl covers advanced regular expressions.) Decisions (if-then) and looping are next. They are followed by modules that come with Perl or can be added onto perl via packages. The last part of Learning Perl covers file and directory operations, string manipulation, and managing processes. At the end of Learning Perl the reader should be able to create scripts to use with all sorts of everyday problems.

    Intermediate Perl picks up from there. Many of the topics are revisited but in the second book the examples are more complicated and the program snippets go into more depth. It is during these revisits that practical, full-scale applications can be built. The list (array) operators are in chapter to but are combined with the eval statement. Modules and perl packages are include with object oriented explanations and an introduction to the Perl network. References are shown in full examples for the first time, although they are mentioned in Learning Perl. References get 3 chapters although not in order. The first book covers the building blocks of data structures with hashes and lists, but Intermediate Perl shows how to deal with complex data structures. Subroutines, file handling, and packages are all covered in more depth with more complicated examples. The best parts of Intermediate discuss object oriented programming and practical topics to make larger programs such as distributing and testing software.

    Of the 3 books, the first two are the most important; especially to beginners, but the third in the series is invaluable for professional perl programmers or perl web developers.

    Mastering Perl talks about regular expressions again, but in more depth. Security and secure programming are covered early on as well. Both of these chapters are important for web developers. The remainder of the book is dedicated mostly to larger Perl programs or programs that go beyond the hobbiest; including those user Perl in the enterprise. Debugging, profiling, beanch marking, style, symbol tables, dynamic subs, configuration, error reporting, and logging each get there own chapters. The last section covers topics that will come up in complex programs such as persistent data storage and advanced use of modules.

    Overall the series is excellent for use as reference for programmers. The first two books are great for those just learning Perl or those using Perl to build basic scripts to solve everyday problems on the command line.

    The series is definitely recommended as it is the best Perl series available.

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


    Great for learning References and OOP in Perl

    By Michael Gimbel

    from Undisclosed

    Comments about oreilly Intermediate Perl:

    Intermediate Perl is the prefect next step. Having used Perl before, Beginning Perl was a nice refresher. However, it left me pondering the details and how Perl dealt with references and objects. Intermediate Perl introduced these concepts gently, yet with enough detail to give the reader a full understanding.

    Almost every chapter is limited to 10 or 12 pages, yet is still able to cover complete topics. This works great for learning a brand new concept or idea in a single sitting. Each chapter ends with 2 or 3 practice problems, proving quality not quantity is the way to go. Each of these practice problems also state how long it is expected to take. I especially enjoyed the 5-15 minute exercises, which reinforced concepts just read, but weren't overwhelming.

    As with other O'Reilly books, Intermediate Perl teaches through examples. The book builds on similar problems throughout. The examples are quick and concise. Humor and Pop references make parts of the book read like a good novel. If you've used Perl before, and are interested in more advanced concepts and efficient programming, look no further.

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