Data Munging with Perl How do I use this? The publisher mentions your association with Perlmonthwhy no mention of PerlMonks? People were kind enough to say nice things about it. Also, to be munginv, a lot of the publicity blurb was written some time ago, when I was spending more time on PerlMonth stuff than on Wigh. There are no discussion topics on this book yet.

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The Scoop Larry Wall, so goes the story, needed to glue together two systems on opposite sides of the country. Calling on the virtues of Laziness why throw together something for just one job and Hubris why not write a new language? Dave Cross has put together a friendly and handy compendium of techniques, tricks, and best practices.

Suitable for raw novices to experienced intermediates, Data Munging with Perl is a gentle but firm romp from flat text, past structured and binary files, to the realm of custom parsers.

Clean examples and lots of modules accompany the explanations. The book plots a natural course through topics ordered by complexity. It opens with a theoretical overview of data processing. This introduces terminology and outlines the general types of data one might encounger.

Additionally, the author writes with the authority of experience when exploring the basic approaches and best practices. While other books aimed at novice users shy away from programs-as-filters and data structures, Cross prefers to instill good habits from the start. Beyond munging data, the book provides a decent introduction to idiomatic and effective Perl programming. More important than knowing many useful tricks is knowing when and how to use a handful of tools -- and where to go for more.

The overall level of quality is excellent. The binary data chapter stands out as the clearest explanation available, and the information on munging dates and times will save readers plenty of grief. Additionally, the entire parsing section introduces a handful of powerful but sorely-underused tools to handle HTML, XML, and even creating custom parsers. Only two things might turn readers from this book.

The first is its deceptive length. Careful readers who follow the links to other resources will have little trouble supplementing their education. On the other hand, another ten pages describing Parse::RecDescent would have been a nice addition. Second, longtime Perl programmers may find little new material, particularly if they are familiar with the wealth of modules on the CPAN.

The intended audience is clearly new and underexperienced programmers. This does not detract from the book, but it does narrow the base of potential readers slightly. If you find yourself working with files or records in Perl, this book will save you time and trouble. Table of Contents Data, data munging, and Perl General practices to use when munging data Generally useful Perl idioms.


Data Munging with Perl



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