Structure of This Book

Table of Contents

Structure of This Book

You should read this book from front to back, stopping to do the exercises. Each chapter builds on preceding chapters, and we'll assume that you know the material from those chapters as we discuss new topics.

Chapter 1, Introduction

An introduction to the material.

Chapter 2, Intermediate Foundations

Pick up some intermediate Perl skills you'll need for the rest of the book.

Chapter 3, Using Modules

Use Perl's core modules, as well as modules from other people. We're going to show you how to create your own modules later in the book, but until we do, you can still use modules you already have.

Chapter 4, Introduction to References

Introduce a level of redirection to allow the same code to operate on different sets of data.

Chapter 5, References and Scoping

Learn how Perl manages to keep track of pointers to data, and an introduction to anonymous data structures and autovivification.

Chapter 6, Manipulating Complex Data Structures

Create, access, and print arbitrarily deep and nested data structures, including arrays of arrays and hashes of hashes.

Chapter 7, Subroutine References

Capture behavior as an anonymous subroutine that you create dynamically and execute later.

Chapter 8, Filehandle References

Store filehandles in scalar variables that you can easily pass around your program or store in data structures.

Chapter 9, Practical Reference Tricks

Sorting complex operations, the Schwartzian Transform, and working with recursively defined data.

Chapter 10, Building Larger Programs

Build larger programs by separating code into separate files and namespaces.

Chapter 11, Introduction to Objects

Work with classes, method calls, inheritance, and overriding.

Chapter 12, Objects with Data

Add per-instance data, including constructors, getters, and setters.

Chapter 13, Object Destruction

Add behavior to an object that is going away, including object persistence.

Chapter 14, Some Advanced Object Topics

Use multiple inheritance, automatic methods, and references to filehandles.

Chapter 15, Exporter

How use works, how we can decide what to export, and how we can create our own import routines.

Chapter 16, Writing a Distribution

Package a module for sharing, including portable installation instructions.

Chapter 17, Essential Testing

Test your code to ensure it does what you want it to do.

Chapter 18, Advanced Testing

Test complex aspects of code and meta-code things such as documentation and test coverage.

Chapter 19, Contributing to CPAN

Share your work with the world by uploading it to CPAN.

Appendix, Answers to Exercises

Where to go to get answers.

Table of Contents
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