Wicked Cool Perl Scripts

by Erica Sadun

As regular readers of this blog know, I'm just getting acquainted with Perl, which is to say that I started programming in Perl in the early '90s but as an occasional thing. Only recently, with my renewed interest in scraping Webpages and using Web APIs have I really started to get my hands dirty with Perl scripts more than a line or two long.

Therefore, I was particularly pleased to be given a chance to review Steve Oualline's new Wicked Cool Perl Scripts book (Feb 2006, No Starch Press). It offers collections of ready-to-use code snippets that raise the abstraction level from the basic "how do I express something in Perl" up to "how do I get a particular coding job done".


Dr. Drang
2006-04-24 11:26:03
I have two other Oualline books and will, therefore, not be reading Wicked Cool Perl Scripts. His writing is dull, repetitive, and poorly organized, and I don't understand how he keeps getting published.

The best book for snippets of Perl organized by topic is the Perl Cookbook, published by that company that puts animals on its covers.

William D. Neumann
2006-04-24 12:05:32
Before buying, I recommend you read through the table of contents.

Gosh. Wouldn't it be nice if O'Reilly allowed us to do that online?
Sadly, their concept of browsing "within the book" is to give us a bigger picture of the cover... Thanks guys.

2006-04-24 13:24:41
"Gosh. Wouldn't it be nice if O'Reilly allowed us to do that online?"

I was going to retort that you can browse the contents (and sample chapters) at O'Reilly's site; but then I went and looked, and that doesn't seem to be possible anymore! It appears the site's been redesigned, with a look and feel suspiciously similar to Amazon's, and there is a whole lot less information available.

I have to chime in: "Thanks guys". What's O'Reilly up to??

Andy Lester
2006-04-24 13:52:50
I love Steve's book on vim, but I wasn't very impressed with what I saw in WCPS, from leafing through it at Borders.

There's an interview with him at perlcast.com, if you're interested.

2006-04-24 20:33:56
Dr Drang mentioned the Perl Cookbook, and from your expectations as per the first paragraph I think you should grab that post-haste (assuming it's not already gracing your shelves). It's great for dipping into once in a while and really helpful when a specific need arises.
Justin Watt
2006-04-25 14:32:01
Granted I don't work for the book side of the company, but "No Starch" is a partner publisher of O'Reilly, which means we only handle things like printing, distribution and some marketing (but don't quote me on that).

It's also means, we don't have the rights to expose as much content about the book online as we do say for our other books, e.g. The Perl Cookbook's Table of Contents.

Otherwise the only thing that has changed are the design of the catalog pages in an effort to give you a deeper look into the book (a la Amazon's search inside the book).