Learning Perl Objects, References, & Modules

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Perl is a versatile, powerful programming language used in a variety of disciplines, ranging from system administration to web programming to database manipulation. One slogan of Perl is that it makes easy things easy and hard things possible. This book is about making the leap from the easy things to the hard ones.Learning Perl Objects, References & Modules offers a gentle but thorough introduction to advanced programming in Perl. Written by the authors of the best-selling Learning Perl, this book picks up ...

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Learning Perl Objects, References, and Modules

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Perl is a versatile, powerful programming language used in a variety of disciplines, ranging from system administration to web programming to database manipulation. One slogan of Perl is that it makes easy things easy and hard things possible. This book is about making the leap from the easy things to the hard ones.Learning Perl Objects, References & Modules offers a gentle but thorough introduction to advanced programming in Perl. Written by the authors of the best-selling Learning Perl, this book picks up where that book left off. Topics include:

  • Packages and namespaces
  • References and scoping
  • Manipulating complex data structures
  • Object-oriented programming
  • Writing and using modules
  • Contributing to CPAN
Following the successful format of Learning Perl, each chapter in the book is designed to be small enough to be read in just an hour or two, ending with a series of exercises to help you practice what you've learned. To use the book, you just need to be familiar with the material in Learning Perl and have ambition to go further.Perl is a different language to different people. It is a quick scripting tool for some, and a fully-featured object-oriented language for others. It is used for everything from performing quick global replacements on text files, to crunching huge, complex sets of scientific data that take weeks to process. Perl is what you make of it. But regardless of what you use Perl for, this book helps you do it more effectively, efficiently, and elegantly.Learning Perl Objects, References & Modules is about learning to use Perl as a programming language, and not just a scripting language. This is the book that separates the Perl dabbler from the Perl programmer.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780596004781
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/1/2003
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 7.10 (w) x 9.12 (h) x 0.53 (d)

Meet the Author

Tom Phoenix has been working in the field of education since 1982. After more than thirteen years of dissections, explosions, work with interesting animals, and high-voltage sparks during his work at a science museum, he started teaching Perl classes for Stonehenge Consulting Services, where he's worked since 1996. Since then, he has traveled to many interesting locations, so you might see him soon at a Perl Mongers' meeting. When he has time, he answers questions on Usenet's comp.lang.perl.misc and comp.lang.perl.moderated newsgroups, and contributes to the development and usefulness of Perl. Besides his work with Perl, Perl hackers, and related topics, Tom spends his time on amateur cryptography and speaking Esperanto. His home is in Portland, Oregon.

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Table of Contents

Structure of This Book;
Conventions Used in This Book;
Comments and Questions;
Chapter 1: Introduction;
1.1 What Should You Know Already?;
1.2 What About All Those Footnotes?;
1.3 What’s with the Exercises?;
1.4 What if I’m a Perl Course Instructor?;
Chapter 2: Building Larger Programs;
2.1 The Cure for the Common Code;
2.2 Inserting Code with eval;
2.3 Using do;
2.4 Using require;
2.5 require and @INC;
2.6 The Problem of Namespace Collisions;
2.7 Packages as Namespace Separators;
2.8 Scope of a Package Directive;
2.9 Packages and Lexicals;
2.10 Exercises;
Chapter 3: Introduction to References;
3.1 Performing the Same Task on Many Arrays;
3.2 Taking a Reference to an Array;
3.3 Dereferencing the Array Reference;
3.4 Dropping Those Braces;
3.5 Modifying the Array;
3.6 Nested Data Structures;
3.7 Simplifying Nested Element References with Arrows;
3.8 References to Hashes;
3.9 Exercises;
Chapter 4: References and Scoping;
4.1 More than One Reference to Data;
4.2 What if That Was the Name?;
4.3 Reference Counting and Nested Data Structures;
4.4 When Reference Counting Goes Bad;
4.5 Creating an Anonymous Array Directly;
4.6 Creating an Anonymous Hash;
4.7 Autovivification;
4.8 Autovivification and Hashes;
4.9 Exercises;
Chapter 5: Manipulating Complex Data Structures;
5.1 Using the Debugger to View Complex Data;
5.2 Viewing Complex Data with Data::Dumper;
5.3 Storing Complex Data with Storable;
5.4 The map and grep Operators;
5.5 Using map;
5.6 Applying a Bit of Indirection;
5.7 Selecting and Altering Complex Data;
5.8 Exercises;
Chapter 6: Subroutine References;
6.1 Referencing a Named Subroutine;
6.2 Anonymous Subroutines;
6.3 Callbacks;
6.4 Closures;
6.5 Returning a Subroutine from a Subroutine;
6.6 Closure Variables as Inputs;
6.7 Closure Variables as Static Local Variables;
6.8 Exercise;
Chapter 7: Practical Reference Tricks;
7.1 Review of Sorting;
7.2 Sorting with Indices;
7.3 Sorting Efficiently;
7.4 The Schwartzian Transform;
7.5 Recursively Defined Data;
7.6 Building Recursively Defined Data;
7.7 Displaying Recursively Defined Data;
7.8 Exercises;
Chapter 8: Introduction to Objects;
8.1 If We Could Talk to the Animals...;
8.2 Introducing the Method Invocation Arrow;
8.3 The Extra Parameter of Method Invocation;
8.4 Calling a Second Method to Simplify Things;
8.5 A Few Notes About @ISA;
8.6 Overriding the Methods;
8.7 Starting the Search from a Different Place;
8.8 The SUPER Way of Doing Things;
8.9 What to Do with @_;
8.10 Where We Are So Far...;
8.11 Exercises;
Chapter 9: Objects with Data;
9.1 A Horse Is a Horse, of Course of Course—or Is It?;
9.2 Invoking an Instance Method;
9.3 Accessing the Instance Data;
9.4 How to Build a Horse;
9.5 Inheriting the Constructor;
9.6 Making a Method Work with Either Classes or Instances;
9.7 Adding Parameters to a Method;
9.8 More Interesting Instances;
9.9 A Horse of a Different Color;
9.10 Getting Your Deposit Back;
9.11 Don’t Look Inside the Box;
9.12 Faster Getters and Setters;
9.13 Getters That Double as Setters;
9.14 Restricting a Method to Class-Only or Instance-Only;
9.15 Exercise;
Chapter 10: Object Destruction;
10.1 Nested Object Destruction;
10.2 Beating a Dead Horse;
10.3 Indirect Object Notation;
10.4 Additional Instance Variables in Subclasses;
10.5 Using Class Variables;
10.6 Weakening the Argument;
10.7 Exercise;
Chapter 11: Some Advanced Object Topics;
11.1 UNIVERSAL Methods;
11.2 Testing Your Objects for Good Behavior;
11.3 AUTOLOAD as a Last Resort;
11.4 Using AUTOLOAD for Accessors;
11.5 Creating Getters and Setters More Easily;
11.6 Multiple Inheritance;
11.7 References to Filehandles;
11.8 Exercise;
Chapter 12: Using Modules;
12.1 Sample Function-Oriented Interface: File::Basename;
12.2 Selecting What to Import;
12.3 Sample Object-Oriented Interface: File::Spec;
12.4 A More Typical Object-Oriented Module: Math::BigInt;
12.5 The Differences Between OO and Non-OO Modules;
12.6 What use Is Doing;
12.7 Setting the Path at the Right Time;
12.8 Importing with Exporter;
12.9 @EXPORT and @EXPORT_OK;
12.10 Exporting in a Primarily OO Module;
12.11 Custom Import Routines;
12.12 Exercise;
Chapter 13: Writing a Distribution;
13.1 Starting with h2xs;
13.2 Looking at the Templates;
13.3 The Prototype Module Itself;
13.4 Embedded Documentation;
13.5 Controlling the Distribution with Makefile.PL;
13.6 Alternate Installation Locations (PREFIX=...);
13.7 Trivial make test;
13.8 Trivial make install;
13.9 Trivial make dist;
13.10 Using the Alternate Library Location;
13.11 Exercise;
Chapter 14: Essential Testing;
14.1 What the Test Harness Does;
14.2 Writing Tests with Test::Simple;
14.3 Writing Tests with Test::More;
14.4 Conditional Tests;
14.5 More Complex Tests (Multiple Test Scripts);
14.6 Testing Things That Write to STDOUT and STDERR;
14.7 Exercise;
Chapter 15: Contributing to CPAN;
15.1 The Comprehensive Perl Archive Network;
15.2 Getting Prepared;
15.3 Preparing Your Distribution;
15.4 Uploading Your Distribution;
15.5 Announcing the Module;
15.6 Testing on Multiple Platforms;
15.7 Consider Writing an Article or Giving a Talk;
15.8 Exercise;
Answers to Exercises;
Answers for Chapter 2;
Answers for Chapter 3;
Answers for Chapter 4;
Answers for Chapter 5;
Answer for Chapter 6;
Answers for Chapter 7;
Answers for Chapter 8;
Answer for Chapter 9;
Answer for Chapter 10;
Answer for Chapter 11;
Answer for Chapter 12;
Answers for Chapters 13-15;

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2004

    Review of Learning Perl Objects, References and Modules

    Last Fall I attended a session on object oriented programming with Objective-C. When discussing various languages with object oriented capabilities, the speaker remarked, 'Don't even talk to me about Perl.' Many people feel that way about Perl without even having to talk about object oriented programming. Randall Schwartz and Tom Phoenix, the authors of the Perl primer 'Learning Perl', take on the task of talking about Perl and object oriented programming. Since Perl does not have object orientation as its principal structure, they have a significant task to pull off. In the Foreword of 'Learning Perl Objects, References and Modules' Damian Conway draws attention to Perl's particular magic in implementing object oriented programming: '[Perl] takes a collection of Perl's existing non-OO features...and then--with nothing up its sleeve-- manages to conjure up fully functional objects, classes and methods.' This particular nature of Perl shows up in the nature of the book's content. 'Learning Perl Objects, References and Modules' is not about why or when to use object oriented programming in Perl. It is about how to magically turn references and anonymous data structures into object oriented programming. In that way, it is more of a tactical book than a strategic book. The history and concepts behind object oriented programming are touched on only lightly in its 180 pages; however, the book follows a steady progression to the goal of making and distributing Perl modules. Eagerly anticipating the publication of the book, I bought it as soon as it was available. I reaped immediate benefit from the first few chapters as they demonstrated how to accomplish the goals I had for a project that I was working on. I lost interest shortly after chapter 4. The book has sat on my coffee table for most of the last year. I paused for a great deal partly due to the vagueries of my personal life, but partly due to the odd pacing of the book. Without being able to give explicit examples, I can say that the book feels like a first edition. The book seems squarely targeted at a point between 'Learning Perl' and 'Advanced Perl Programming.' And that's where I'm at. It certainly has helped me develop the ability to use more complex data structures in my Perl programs. However, it is not a thorough discussion on object oriented programming. If you've grown beyond 'Learning Perl', you may find 'Learning Perl Objects, References and Modules' worth talking about.

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