Perl Best Practices (Google eBook)

Front Cover
"O'Reilly Media, Inc.", Jul 12, 2005 - Computers - 544 pages
22 Reviews

Many programmers code by instinct, relying on convenient habits or a "style" they picked up early on. They aren't conscious of all the choices they make, like how they format their source, the names they use for variables, or the kinds of loops they use. They're focused entirely on problems they're solving, solutions they're creating, and algorithms they're implementing. So they write code in the way that seems natural, that happens intuitively, and that feels good.

But if you're serious about your profession, intuition isn't enough. Perl Best Practices author Damian Conway explains that rules, conventions, standards, and practices not only help programmers communicate and coordinate with one another, they also provide a reliable framework for thinking about problems, and a common language for expressing solutions. This is especially critical in Perl, because the language is designed to offer many ways to accomplish the same task, and consequently it supports many incompatible dialects.

With a good dose of Aussie humor, Dr. Conway (familiar to many in the Perl community) offers 256 guidelines on the art of coding to help you write better Perl code--in fact, the best Perl code you possibly can. The guidelines cover code layout, naming conventions, choice of data and control structures, program decomposition, interface design and implementation, modularity, object orientation, error handling, testing, and debugging.

They're designed to work together to produce code that is clear, robust, efficient, maintainable, and concise, but Dr. Conway doesn't pretend that this is the one true universal and unequivocal set of best practices. Instead, Perl Best Practices offers coherent and widely applicable suggestions based on real-world experience of how code is actually written, rather than on someone's ivory-tower theories on how software ought to be created.

Most of all, Perl Best Practices offers guidelines that actually work, and that many developers around the world are already using. Much like Perl itself, these guidelines are about helping you to get your job done, without getting in the way.

Praise for Perl Best Practices from Perl community members:

"As a manager of a large Perl project, I'd ensure that every member of my team has a copy of Perl Best Practices on their desk, and use it as the basis for an in-house style guide." -- Randal Schwartz

"There are no more excuses for writing bad Perl programs. All levels of Perl programmer will be more productive after reading this book." -- Peter Scott

"Perl Best Practices will be the next big important book in the evolution of Perl. The ideas and practices Damian lays down will help bring Perl out from under the embarrassing heading of "scripting languages". Many of us have known Perl is a real programming language, worthy of all the tasks normally delegated to Java and C++. With Perl Best Practices, Damian shows specifically how and why, so everyone else can see, too." -- Andy Lester

"Damian's done what many thought impossible: show how to build large, maintainable Perl applications, while still letting Perl be the powerful, expressive language that programmers have loved for years." -- Bill Odom

"Finally, a means to bring lasting order to the process and product of real Perl development teams." -- Andrew Sundstrom

"Perl Best Practices provides a valuable education in how to write robust, maintainable Perl, and is a definitive citation source when coaching other programmers." -- Bennett Todd

"I've been teaching Perl for years, and find the same question keeps being asked: Where can I find a reference for writing reusable, maintainable Perl code? Finally I have a decent answer." -- Paul Fenwick

"At last a well researched, well thought-out, comprehensive guide to Perl style. Instead of each of us developing our own, we can learn good practices from one of Perl's most prolific and experienced authors. I recommend this book to anyone who prefers getting on with the job rather than going back and fixing errors caused by syntax and poor style issues." -- Jacinta Richardson

"If you care about programming in any language read this book. Even if you don't intend to follow all of the practices, thinking through your style will improve it." -- Steven Lembark

"The Perl community's best author is back with another outstanding book. There has never been a comprehensive reference on high quality Perl coding and style until Perl Best Practices. This book fills a large gap in every Perl bookshelf." -- Uri Guttman


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Review: Perl Best Practices

User Review  - Alex Satrapa - Goodreads

Must-have reference for anyone writing Perl as part of a team, even if the team is only you and your future self! Read full review

Review: Perl Best Practices

User Review  - Hunter Johnson - Goodreads

Perl Best Practices, by Damian Conway. Really worthwhile reference. I read it through on Safari; I think I'll have to acquire a personal copy. And it goes right along with... Read full review

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Preface xv
Best Practices 1
Code Layout 8
Naming Conventions 36
Values and Expressions 51
Variables 73
Control Structures 93
Documentation 132
Regular Expressions 235
Error Handling 273
CommandLine Processing 299
Objects 318
Class Hierarchies 359
Modules 397
Testing and Debugging 420

Builtin Functions 149
Subroutines 175
References 227
Miscellanea 441
Index 495

Common terms and phrases

References from web pages

O'Reilly - Safari Books Online - 0596001738 - Perl Best Practices
0596001738 - Perl Best Practices - Many programmers code by instinct, relying on convenient habits or a "style" they picked up early on. 0596001738

This is the Title of the Book, ematter Edition. Copyright © 2005 O’Reilly & Associates, Inc. All rights reserved. 175. Chapter 9. CHAPTER 9. Subroutines ... 0508_pdf/ 0596001738.pdf

Phil Windley's Technometria | Best Practices fo OO Perl (OSCON2005 ...
Damian Conway is giving a tutorial on Best Practices in Object Oriented Perl based on his new book: Perl Best Practices. What is a “best practice?” ... archives/ 2005/ 08/ best_practices.shtml

Slashdot | Perl Best Practices
Perl Best Practices -- article related to Book Reviews and Perl. 09/ 14/ 1451238& from=rss

Paper Frigate: Rich Resource for Elegant Code: <i>Perl Best ...
Rich Resource for Elegant Code: Perl Best Practices by Damian Conways .... Damian Conways' Perl Best Practices is one of the most useful resources I've yet ... 2005/ 07/ rich-resource-for-elegant-code-perl.html

O'Reilly Open Source Convention - August 1-5, 2005 - Portland, OR
Tutorial. Perl Best Practices Damian Conway, Thoughtstream Track: Perl Date: Tuesday, August 2nd, 2005 Time: 8:30am - 12:00pm Location: Portland 251 ... cs/ os2005/ view/ e_sess/ 6436

Perl best practices fanatism
That said, despite that fact that I like the book "Perl Best Practices" quite a bit (I've read it around three times now), once I've added up my questions ... ?node_id=655882

Safari Book Detail - Perl Best Practices
Many programmers code by instinct, relying on convenient habits or a book_detail.cfm?isbn=0596001738

Perl Best Practices
Perl Best Practices Reference Guide version 1.01.00. Perl Best Practices by Damian Conway. © 2005 O’Reilly Media Inc., All rights reserved. ... docs/ vromansj/ perl-best-practices/ refguide.pdf

Tony’s Book Spot » Blog Archive » Perl Best Practices
I have to admit that I can bristle at books that try to preach, so Perl Best Practices was on a hiding to nothing when I came to review it. ... wordpress/ ?p=95

About the author (2005)

chromatic manages Onyx Neon Press, an independent publisher. His areas of expertise include agile software development, language design, and virtual machines for dynamic languages. He is also a published novelist. His books include The Art of Agile Development and Masterminds of Programming.