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tmaher (37) [Avatar] Offline
As detailed in the book's brochure (see, this
book teaches Perl to UNIX/Linux people by capitalizing on their
existing knowledge and skills. For example, the book discusses the
"matching operator" as an enhancement to the <tt>grep</tt>/<tt>fgrep</tt>/<tt>egrep</tt>
commands, and it presents Perl arrays by contrasting their syntax and
features with Shell arrays.

What's more, the book covers a variety of important topics in greater
detail than you'll find elsewhere, such as:
  • when you should use Perl commands for augmenting standard UNIX/Linux
    commands, rather than replacing them
  • how to use <TT>set -x</TT> to debug Shell commands launched via <TT>system</TT>
  • how to emulate in Perl the advanced features of the Shell's looping
To make this book as useful as possible as a reference work, it's
equipped with dozens of tables that describe Perl's essential features
and that show their use in representative coding examples. Moreover,
to help UNIX/Linux people understand how Perl relates to its UNIX
forebears, the nearest relatives of Perl features found in the Shell
(e.g., <TT>split</TT> vs. <TT>$IFS</TT>smilie and in the UNIX/Linux command set (e.g.,
<TT>Text::Autoformat</TT> vs. <TT>fmt</TT>; <TT>reverse</TT> vs. <TT>tac</TT>smilie are identified.

Another unique feature of this book is its use of amusing "case studies"
to entertain you while you're learning the language. Here are some of the
characters you'll encounter:
  • Patrick from soggy Seattle, a climatology data-wrangler who consoles
    himself by proving that Miami and New York are "rainier"
  • Felix and Oscar, who respectively exemplify the fastidious and
    quick-and-dirty styles of programming while contending for the
    same promotion
  • Ivan the stamp collector--who needs to compress images ranging from
    scowling dictators to Franco Zappato's tweezer collection--to fit
    within the storage allotted by his ISP
  • Diggity Dog, a rapper with a reputation for profanity to uphold,
    who "validates" his lyrics with Perl
  • The wily Bell Labs veteran, who wins a $200 bar-bet by writing a one-
    line Shell script that calculates the square root of pi.
Like other Perl programmers, I'm grateful for Larry's gift of Perl, so
I'm happy to have been able to give something back to Perlity by
making this contribution to the literature. However, I hasten to add
that I'm indebted to many in the Perl community--including many
members of SPUG--for their generous donations of time and effort to
act as reviewers and proofreaders for this book.

To learn more about the book and to download the sample chapters,
go to the publisher's Minimal Perl web site:

To download the book's brochure and other free materials on Perl topics,
go to the author's Minimal Perl web site:

I hope you like my book!

Tim Maher, Consultix