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"Perl in a Nutshell" for Getting the Job Done: O'Reilly Releases Second Edition of Bestselling Nutshell Book

June 25, 2002

Sebastopol, CA--Throw together a bunch of Perl programmers and you will have a diverse crowd. Part of the beauty of Perl is that it is accessible to those who have only an incidental interest in programming while it also provides a powerful set of tools for expert programmers with more ambitious goals. Thus, in your bunch of programmers you'll find everyone from the Perl novice, sublimely pleased with his or her first simple scripts, to the Perl guru, who can write anything in Perl and probably does. Because you don't need to know everything there is about Perl before you can write useful programs, you can put your knowledge--at whatever level it may be--to use right away. But all Perl programmers, regardless of experience, will find that the new edition of Perl in a Nutshell (Patwardhan, Siever & Spainhour, O'Reilly, US $39.95) will continue to be the reference book they turn to most often for finding what they need to get the job done.

Since it was first released in 1999, "Perl in a Nutshell" has been recognized as the most comprehensive guide to the Perl programming language available, with sales of nearly 100,000 copies. The book ranges widely through the Perl programmer's universe, gathering together a wealth of information about Perl itself and its application to CGI scripts, network programming, database interaction, and graphical user interfaces. The second edition has been expanded to cover Perl version 5.8 and the technologies with which Perl programmers are working today, such as XML.

Says coauthor Nathan Patwardhan, "For various reasons, updating 'Perl in a Nutshell' was a challenge. Given a bunch of new material that crept into the source kit between Perl 5.005 and the upcoming release of Perl 5.8, and things that demanded to be added or updated in the text, I knew that there was much to do." Some of the topics covered in the new edition are:

  • Basic Perl reference
  • Quick reference to built-in functions and standard modules
  • CGI.pm and mod_perl
  • XML and SOAP modules
  • DBI, the database-independent API for Perl
  • LWP, the library for web programming in Perl
  • Network programming with the Net modules
  • Perl/Tk, the Tk extension to Perl for graphical interfaces
  • Modules for interfacing with Win32 systems and ODBC

"Perl in a Nutshell, Second Edition" was written for Perl programmers who need to get things done. These can be dabblers in Perl who want a single reference for their needs, or seasoned programmers who want a quick "pick me up" reference that they can count on when they need a reminder. Part reference, part guide to the world of Perl, this book is a general purpose resource to all things Perl.

What the critics said about the first edition:

"'Perl in a Nutshell' is everything programmers have come to expect (from O'Reilly): clear, concise and no-nonsense information on the subjects which matter...for the workaday programmer who needs an elbow-side reference manual or the occasional coder looking for a memory jogger, this book is worth it's weight in gold."

"Maintains the exceptionally high quality of the O'Reilly Nutshell series."
--Steve Coe, Canada Computes, December 2000

"Good reference for the Perl monger, a good way for the experienced programmer to start getting work done in Perl. Rating 10/10."
--Andrew Gardner, slashdot.com, May 1999

Additional resources:

Perl in a Nutshell, 2nd Edition
By Nathan Patwardhan, Ellen Siever & Stephen Spainhour
ISBN 0-596-00241-6, 737 pages, $39.95 (US), $61.95 (CAN)
1-800-998-9938; 1-707-827-7000

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