Perl & XML (Anglais) Broché – 28 mai 2002
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If you are preparing to do a serious amount of XML development, and you're in the process of determining a) which Perl XML modules on CPAN you want to use, and b) how to use them; and, you don't have a whole lot of time to spend tracking down the sometimes-hard-to-find documentation on these modules; then buying this book is a no-brainer. It covers all the major XML modules, how to use then and really helps you figure out when to use the different modules.
Even if you're not new to XML and Perl, this book would serve as an excellent refresher course on what XML tools are available out there for you... Maybe you haven't looked at your code in awhile, or want to update it to use a newer module from CPAN? Or, maybe you're looking for a better way to do it? Then, this book would definitely help you out.
While a fan of O'Reilly books in general, I'll be the first to admit some of them are more useful than others. I have to give this book a very solid rating, as it's actually useful, comprehensive and very well presented. I find myself cracking it open all the time, especially as my utilization of XML has grown more complicated. It has definitely earned its place in my Aqua Perl book collection.
What ticked me off about this book were the egregious errors in the sampe code. The very first piece of code they show in chapter 3 is a 100-line XML parser that doesn't need any support modules. The problem is that it doesn't recognize any XML because the regular expressions are wrong, which was pretty confusing for me (I'm relatively new to Perl, so I figured they were just "another way of doing it" that I didn't understand). I downloaded the examples frm the O'Reily website, and they're wrong there too - so it's not just a printing error. Worse, the example XML file I tried to test the parser on was also from the tarfile I downloaded - but it was invalid XML! (example 3.4). So I was trying to learn XML with a sample parser that didn't work, on invalid XML! This is not the quality I am expecting from O'Reilly!
(In fairness, both of these errors were in the online errata, but I'm not sure if they were corrected in the 7/04 reprint)
There are other errors in the code too - so be sure and check back with the errata page if you're going to seriously use the code. If they'd run their sample code before printing, I'd probably give this book a better rating.
The book Perl and XML focuses on the where Perl and XML meet. In asking the questions "Why Perl?", the authors Erik Ray and Jason McIntosh point to Perl's ability to handle text, strings, and regular expressions. The authors also point out in a clear and concise manner the strengths of XML as a means for structuring data.
The book focuses on working with XML using Perl. Tutorials of the basics of either language are best found in another book. The author of the book recommends Learning Perl for those people starting out in Perl. The book does not assume much knowledge of XML, so it's really an XML book for Perl programmers. If you'd like a more in depth discussion of XML, you might check out Erik Ray's Learning XML.
Surveying many conventional XML tools and applications, the book addresses big picture items such as tree processing and streams as well as specific items such as RSS and SOAP. Approaching XML from both a practical point of view and strategic point of view, the author provides detailed examples and observes which strategies work well for handling XML in Perl.
Originally, I picked up Perl and XML to address a couple of small projects where I had to deal with XML. The examples in Perl and XML were well written and provided the information I needed to try out common Perl tools for handling XML. Unfortunately, I found that XML processing in Perl was unacceptably slow for the two projects I had at hand. In a short amount of time, I hacked together a faster solution without relying on an XML parser. That said, I gleaned a great deal from Perl and XML which I imagine I will be putting to use soon.
If you're not currently working with XML, you may find yourself working sooner than you think. I couldn't more highly recommend Perl and XML for thorough treatment of the subject even if you end up hacking your own solution.
Like that late 2006 early 2007 meme says: "It does just what it says on the tin."