Programming Perl 4th Edition is a good book, however it is also a book with a lot of history. Huge parts of its contents stem from 1991 and have a very outdated style of Perl. 4th Edition tries to upgrade this somewhat, but did not to so with enough diligence to permit me to recommend it. Some specific issues:

  • strict and warnings are not higlighted at all. In the preface chapter there are two code examples without strict and one is written as if it was not in effect. In fact, strict first occurs on the 14th page of the first chapter on the third page of a sub-chapter at the bottom of a page.
  • On later pages in the book code examples consistently act as if there was no strict present. This was incorrect, $a and $b were being used and are always declared since they're magical variables. I'm leaving this here because i think it presents an issue in itself.
  • given/when and smartmatching are one of the first things highlighted. That is unfortunate since these features are rife with issues, inconsistencies and their future is pretty contentious.
  • The first filehandles encountered are of the bareword kind. Others have written mounds on why this is not a wise choice and i do not think this should be one of the first things a newbie sees.

According to rafl this book is not meant to act as a guide for people to learn Perl, but as a reference for experienced Perl programmers to look up topics they are not entirely clear on. This means that it is not a tutorial and as such misplaced here. Since it does however not indicate this very clearly and people are likely to also make the mistake of assuming it is tutorial, i will leave this entry here.

Corrections and additions are, as everywhere else here, very welcome.