Where are all the Perl books?

| Perl | 11 Comments

During my lunch break I meandered my way along the canals and through the narrow alleys to the local book-store.

This book-store is pretty big, five floors filled with millions of books. They've got this huge eating area which always smells delicious. My favorite section of course is the computers section (followed by modern literature, and then science, and then psychology).

Several weeks ago, I was there and noticed that there were very few Perl books on the shelves. Only two measly copies of Mastering Regular Expressions and one copy of Learning Perl whose cover had an ugly crease in it.

With a rather disappointed look on my face, I asked the guy how come there were so few Perl books. He shook his head and told me that lately they just weren't that popular. The previous day he had re-ordered some titles, and they'd arrive in about a week or so.

Well there I was three weeks later, and there was not a single Perl book to be found. Just an empty spot becoming ever so cluttered with overflowing JavaScript and ActionScript books which were taking over the section dedicated to Scripts. What a sad day for me.

I believe it is high time to come out with some new titles. If I had more time on my hands maybe I'd try to write a book. There are many talented writers out there and perhaps they are coming up with some creative variations on the subject.

Hopefully with all of the new and exciting Perl-ish happenings on the rise, there will be a new barrage of literature appearing on the shelves some day in the not so distant future.

Until then I'll just have to be patient and scour the Internet looking for interesting tidbits in order to satiate my hunger.


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11 Comments

Some people decided that Perl books wouldn't sell and stopped publishing Perl books. Then they congratulated themselves for not publishing Perl books when they noticed that people weren't buying the books they didn't publish.

My company is working on publishing three new Perl books in the next year.

I'd cheerfully write a Perl book if I had anything to say that wasn't already said better by someone else.

In Lisbon(Portugal), there are Bulhosa, Bertrand, Fnac (the big book stores) and none of them have Perl Books... I have to request them from USA.

The first one is the Modern Perl book; look in my GitHub repo for the work in progress. I welcome any and all reviews and suggestions.

I don't have contracts with the authors for the other two books yet, so I don't want to announce them. I'm sure you can guess a short list of likely subjects though.

It's not like there aren't interesting topics to write about, or authors who want to write -- it's that there aren't publishers who want to buy, or booksellers who want to sell.

chromes, I will buy all three of those Perl books the moment they are available for pre-order, I don't care what the specific topic. I am starving.

I have searched in vain for months looking for juicy new Perl books. By my count, we've only had three this year. And two of them were aimed at sysadmins, rather than developers per se.

There is a lot of pent-up demand, in my opinion.

Ah , Perl books , a good occasion to ask for some recommended reading of the available Perl books. Any suggestions ?

Too many to list, overall, especially regarding niche topics like mod_perl, bioinformatics. Assuming you already have essentials like "Programming Perl" and "The Perl Cookbook", here are some random gems:

"Perl Best Practices" by Damian Conway. The must-read book if you haven't read a Perl book in years.

"Perl Testing: A Developer's Notebook" by Ian Langworth and chromatic. Starts very gently, then gets seriously hardcore. My copy is in tatters.

"Elements of Programming with Perl" by Andrew L. Johnson (best overview / beginner book in my opinion).

"Effective Perl Programming" by Joseph N. Hall and Randal Schwartz (an overlooked classic, pre-dates the Modern Perl movement, but beautifully written).

Stefan - "Higher Order Perl", by Mark-Jason Dominus, is still the best Perl (or, really, programming) book I've read in the last 5 years.

HOP is a _great_ book, and it is now a free pdf. PBP is also great, I like to have it handy while coding since it sort of functions like a cookbook as well, at least it points me on the right path.

I would also like to recommend "Intermediate Perl" by Randall L. Schwartz, brian d. foy and Tom Phoenix, a really clearly written and well organized book.

On very important thing about Modern Perl is that any book that comes from them will be edited by a professional editor who has experience in editing perl books and knows perl intimately, (I mean of course chromatic.) This is important because books still serve as 'touchstones' when one is learning about a programming language and they need to be clear and well written. Some of the stuff I have seen recently in the marketplace has been poorly written and unclear. That is fine for free documentation (well, not really, but you don't get to complain) but for a book where one pays some good money for a recycled tree it is unacceptable.

I too am in line behind rjbond3rd to scoop up anything that comes from Modern Perl Books.

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