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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • 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 to hire, it would emphasize learning the tools (i.e. debugger, profiler, benchmarks, perltidy, testing modules), and learning some of the more difficult but useful things in perl, like some of the regex extensions (negative look-behind, etc.), pack, sprintf, splice, grep, and when to use index or other string functions instead of a regex. This might make it too long, or have too much overlap with Effective Perl though.

    The other thing I expect from someone who has "mastered" Perl is a solid knowledge of CPAN. Everyone says you can't talk about this in a book because CPAN changes, but showing some basics (DBI, a templating module, a config module, etc.) should be possible. Maybe it's tricky to do this without turning the book into a long example app, which is probably not what you want, but some pointers would be good.

    • 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