Definitive Perl Books

(See also and PerlBooks)

Some Perl books are not just good; they're the definitive works, the books everyone refers people to. Some of them are:

ISBN 0-59600-027-8 ) The "Blue Camel"; everything you need to know about the language, most of the standard library, the interpreter, and "oddments" such as the debugger.

(ISBN 0596001320 ) The most commonly recommended book for anyone needing a gentler introduction than the Blue Camel.

ISBN 0-596-00478-8 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. This book is about making the leap from the easy things to the hard ones. -- Review

(ISBN 1565922433 ) Solutions and Examples for Perl Programmers Remember all the examples that came with the "Pink Camel" (Programming Perl, first edition, for Perl 4)? They're back, and then some, and updated for Perl 5. In some ways, a collection of Perl idioms and patterns, though as source code. From foreword by LarryWall: "Cooking is perhaps the humblest of the arts, but to me humility is a strength, not a weakness... Cooking is also one of the oldest of the arts... So the essence of a cookbook ... is to pass on various bits ... that have been found useful ... don't be surprised when they in turn cook up some recipes of their own ..."

(ISBN 0596003137 ) The new (August 2003) edition of what is possibly the most useful Perl book out there.

(ISBN 1565924959 ) The equivalent of a tourist's pocket guide to the local language. At 58 pages, small enough to carry with you everywhere. (Updated for Perl 5.005.)

(ISBN 1-56592-257-3 ) The "Perl Way" is to slurp everything into a string, match a regular expression against it, and grab what matches. No other book, not even the Blue Camel, can tell you as much about how to make RegularExpressions reliable, efficient, and (gasp) even readable.

(ISBN 1-56592-220-4 ) A look under the hood. Discussion of Perl internals, extending Perl, embedding Perl, networking. Definitive descriptions of typeglobs, objects. A second course after the Camel book. A less glowing second opinion below. Used to be the only book that had info on extending perl with C/XS; now a better option for those interested in that is (ISBN 1930110820 ).

Hall and Schwartz, EffectivePerlProgramming

may soon join the definitive list.

I've read the Camel and EffectivePerlProgramming, but I'm also getting a lot that I don't think is in the above from SriramSrinivasam?'s AdvancedPerlProgramming. Regrettably full of errata and with a code style that seem ignorant of a lot of EffectivePerlProgramming, it's still a great way to learn about the libraries and guts of Perl. -- PeterMerel

More people should know about Chapman, Perl: The Programmer's Companion

(ISBN 0-47197-563-X ). Pitched at a higher level than Learning Perl, it's the best introduction to Perl I've seen for programmers who are already experienced with other languages. -- DanSchmidt

Perl in a Nutshell

(ISBN 1-56592-286-7 ) is a wonderful reference to the most commonly used modules including the standard modules and CGI, Database, Network, Perl/Tk and even Win32 (not something I use, but many do). It also has a great summary of the language. Of course, you can always grep the manpages... but my eyes get tired looking at the screen for too long, don't yours? -- Cullen O'Neill

Wainwright, et al., Professional Perl Programming

(ISBN 1-861004-49-4 ) would be my choice for a third book after the Blue Camel and Perl Cookbook (well maybe 4th, I treasure the Pocket Reference). It covers a range of topics from the basics through much of what is in Advanced Perl Programming plus still other topics. It is much more readable than Advanced Perl Programming.

Conway, Damian (DamianConway), ObjectOrientedPerl

(ISBN 1-88477-779-1 ) Blurb at If you're not already using Perl Objects,why not? Perhaps a bit light on OO compared to the hard-core usages seen here, but that would double the length of the book. I've written entire server-side web apps in OO Perl. (and now that I do Java I yearn for the powerful tools to manipulate text built into Perl -- StevenNewton

Perl Black Book by Steven Holzner

(ISBN 1-57610-465-6 ) A comprehensive Perl Book, with more than 1000 examples, covering the simplest basic syntax to the most advanced Internet programming. Includes hundreds of pages on CGI programming. Topics are supported by at least one working example. It includes a CDROM. Published By Coriolis

Perl Developer's Guide by EdPeschko?, Michele De Wolfe

(ISBN 0-07212-630-2 ) Billed as "A Complete Resource for Developing Applications in Perl", this book includes a guide to the Perl compiler and core modules, an in-depth regular expression tutorial, a library of syntax and modules, tools and tips for debugging , complete with supporting examples and solutions. Include a CDROM. Published by McGraw?-Hill,

Perl Medic -- Maintaining Inherited Code

ISBN 0201795264 The medical metaphor for this book stems from the rather drastic nature of the work we do as maintenance programmers. Often we must perform triage, deciding what code is worth saving and what is beyond redemption. Frequently we only have time for first aid, applying a field dressing to a ruptured program. We also have a hard time explaining our bills to the client. There may not be a Hippocratic Oath for programming, but it wouldn't hurt to come up with one. -- Amazon review

Network Programming with Perl (1st edition) by LincolnStein

ISBN 0-201-61571-1 Programming with Perl is a comprehensive, example-rich guide to creating network-based applications using the Perl programming language. Among its many capabilities, modern Perl provides a straightforward and powerful interface to TCP/IP, and this book shows you how to leverage these capabilities to create robust, maintainable, and efficient custom client/server applications. -- review is a good place to look for Perl book recommendations. (The top twelve rated books)
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