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Tuesday January 03, 2006
01:12 AM

What should go into Mastering Perl?

[ #28208 ]

Help me write the outline for my next book. This is your big chance to decide what goes into a Perl book that you'll buy.

Since we finished Intermediate Perl, I've been working on a proposal for the next book, tentatively called Mastering Perl, which will be the next in progression from Perl newbie and full practitioner.

I'm going to run the process much like Mark Jason Dominus did for Higher Order Perl. Instead of locking myself in a coffee-shop for six months then showing you the result, everyone can take part at all stages. I don't have more than the page and a mailing list at the moment, but I am working on the book and will add things as I get them going.

I was going to get a lot of work done until the holidays got in the way, but at least I have the Mastering Perl page where you can read the current draft proposal in all its still-being-revised glory and shame. For those of you who don't know what happens at this point in a book'e life, you'll also find a link to O'Reilly's "So You Want to Write a Book" that explains the work that goes into convincing the more business-minded people that not only is your idea a good one, but that enough people will buy it.

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  • If any book then Effective Perl Programming [] was the one that got me a bit closer to "mastering perl".

      - ask

    -- ask bjoern hansen [], !try; do();

    • Good idea... I'll have to look at its table of contents when I get home.

      It used to be online, but I think Joseph let that slip away. I was able to grab parts of it off though. Does anyone have the rest? I'd like to see about hosting it if Joseph will allow it.
  • I like most of your outline, especially the performance chapter, but the chapter about TIE, AUTOLOAD, source filters, symbol tables, and type globs looks like the script of a horror movie to me. These are things that I expect mature coders to understand and almost totally avoid. I suppose they have to learn them somewhere though. I do like the part about error handling. Many perl coders I meet don't have much knowledge about this.

    If I were going to look for a training manual for people I would like

    • I'm not sure what constitutes mastery, and it's something that I have to define. However, getting through the book won't make anyone a Perl master. I want to teach how to master Perl, meaning that once they've gone through the book they should be able to answer their own questions. That's a hard thing to show in the outline because it comes in bits and pieces in all of the other topics.

      I also avoid subjects covered much better in other books (so maybe I should have a chapter on other books). Perl Best Pract
  • Here are two things I think would be interesting: First, while it is a bit far afield, a historical chapter describing Perl 5's roots in Perl 4 and also in C, sed, and awk would be interesting. I think part of mastering Perl is understanding why it is the way it is, and I think an evolutionary account would supply much enlightenment. This seems even more useful for people coming from a non-Unix background, who may lack the natural instinct for small composable scripts and one-liners.

    Second, a chapter sh

  • I second the recommendation for Effective Perl [].

    For the Other Books section, good, you have Damian's PBP [] @ORA []of course. You should add Friedl's Mastering Regular Expressions [] @ORA []; is a 3rd edition planned or needed of that?

    Draft Proposal comments:

    • Perl Context: [] has more varieties of context than the outline.
    • 4 programming models - isn't OO in the list? That would be 5. Surely the OO in Alpaca/Intermediate hasn't finished the discussion of OO. Mastering should discuss the grand matters of tas
    # I had a sig when sigs were cool
    use Sig;