Advanced Perl programming is the third book in a three-book set by William “Bo” Rothwell [1,2]. The three books are titled (and subtitled) in a manner suggesting a pedagogy in Perl that takes readers from a novice state to an expert state. This was an unfortunate choice. The three books should be taken together as an expository set of features of the Perl language, beginning with the most fundamental and progressing to the more technically demanding and abstruse. The set is a comprehensive reference, with examples that can serve the experienced Perl developer or supplement the study of a student of Perl who is using a more teaching-oriented text.
This volume features several topics: command-line options, advanced topics in data structures (emphasizing arrays and hashes), subroutine handling, modules, namespaces, advanced program documentation, and installing modules from Comprehensive Perl Archive Networks (CPAN). Each item within each topic is brief and covered in only one or two pages, including short segments of code for illustration. There are reviews of points presented in the earlier two volumes to remind the reader of what should already be known in order to follow the presentation of the new topic.
The book is well written. Potential traps and “gotchas” are identified to help the reader avoid self-inflicted difficulties. As such, it would be more useful as an augmented reference (as part of the three-book set) than as a textbook.