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I'd really like to follow up on this recommendation: I used Perl first as a kind of sed and awk on steroids in the dark days on a VAX running BSD 4.3, wrote simple CGI in it in the early 90's then later recoded a fax gateway in Perl 4 on Solaris 2.4. Like many people, Perl for me was a useful tool, but regularly unreadable, and admitting of very few good practices. In the end, I moved across to other domain-specific languages and only dived into Perl infrequently for data analysis tasks during the last 10-15 years. Writing the same old unmaintainable, unreusable, script-like code, and hating it.

Modern Perl is a revelation! While the first hundred pages are a crystal-clear recap of the basic language (and I found at least a couple of things there that I didn't really know about), the chapters on modern object-orientation (using Moose), exception handling, testing, maintainability, and what features in Perl 5 to avoid are all pithy, to the point and well-argued.

If you're a (self-exiled) Perl coder like I was, give this (e)book a read and see if you might jump back in. I have - and would second frameworks like Perl Dancer as fantastic examples of what the Perl community is up to these days.

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