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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • 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 showing off a couple of styles of interaction with another language would be invaluable. Perl is often touted as glue, but it's not always obvious how best to bind to some other program. Should you talk through a pipe? Generate and compile code? Write XS or Inline::* code to interface directly with the other interpreter? If so, which one is in charge, and how do you handle passing data back and forth? This chapter could either be based on one of the existing Inline modules (e.g. Inline::Octave), or build something simple from scratch.

    Anyways, while there's no way I'm part of O'Reilly's target market, these are at least things I think would be valuable to those who are.