Top 10 perl books

Abigail abigail at
Thu Apr 24 00:10:41 BST 2008

On Thu, Apr 24, 2008 at 12:36:52AM +0200, Paul Johnson wrote:
> On Wed, Apr 23, 2008 at 03:08:38PM +0200, Abigail wrote:
> > On Wed, Apr 23, 2008 at 10:24:41AM +0100, Frazer Irving wrote:
> > > I don't know if it's still in print but Mastering algorithms with Perl is a
> > > good read.
> > 
> > 
> > I'd rank that as one of the poorest Perl books ever.
> I'd have to disagree with that.  Or more accurately, I don't think it is
> a poor book at all.  On the contrary, I did and still do enjoy reading
> it.  But I suppose it depends on what you are looking to get out of the
> book.
> > In the beginning it wonders why noone had written an algorithms books
> > using Perl, and then spends the rest of the book proving why not using
> > Perl is a indeed a very good idea.
> I'll agree that most of the times you'll want to use most of the
> algorithms in the book you'll probably not want to be implementing them
> in Perl.

That's not what I said.

Implementing algorithms in Perl is fine.

Using Perl to teach algorithms isn't. And the books shows. It has to stop
too many times to explain syntax, or to side step and show some trick or
CPAN module. For the former, Perl can be blamed - or rather, the choice
of using Perl. IMO, Perl is a poor language to teach programming in, or
algorithms. The language is rich - nothing wrong with a rich language -
but the syntax detracts from what you want to teach. The latter, side
stepping to some tricks or CPAN modules detracts as well, and for that,
the authors are to blame.

MAP seems to be wanting to do several things at the same time: promote
some CPAN modules, show nifty features, and yeah, we got to show some
code doing an algorithm as well. It wants to do too many things, and as
a result, it fails to do any of them well.

> in Perl.  But for me that's not the point.  I know perl and I (used to)
> know (some) algorithms.  When I want to know more about algorithms
> (which, unfortunately, is not as often as I would like) I find it very
> convenient to be able to look at real code that I can understand.  I
> also like this about HOP.

If I want to know more about certain algorithms, I read Knuth; Cormen,
Leierson, and Rivest; Aho et al., etc. English and a simple pseudo
language are more than able to do the task, and I don't have to wonder
what a certain line of code does.

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