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Author: David Cross
Publisher: Manning
    Monastery bookstore hardcopy
        ebook (PDF format, reduced price)
        sample chapters (PDF format)

This book covers a wide range of data types and manipulations, including dates, line endings, access logs, PNG, HTML, XML, RSS, recognition, parsing, filtering, transformation, etc.   It contains more knowledge than you'd think could fit into a handy 283 pages.

I can personally recommend DMwP to eternal amateurs like myself.   For any real programmers reading this review, I'll quote the forward by Damian Conway: "...munging data.   It's a dirty job but someone has to do it.   If that someone is you, you're definately holding the right book."   The only issue I have with DMwP is that your (spouse|partner) may think you a bit odd for requesting it as a birthday present   ;^)

I like DMwP for the following reasons:

  • readable - humor and conversational tone bely potential dryness of the subject.
  • practical - riddled with real-world scenarios and code snippets, and employs modules such as
  • informative - topics range from simple pattern-matching to the powerful Parse::RecDescent.
  • open - refers the reader to other Perl books as needed.


  1. introduces use of Perl for munging data
  2. general methods for efficient munging
  3. Perl idioms
  4. pattern matching
  5. unstructured data
  6. record-oriented data
  7. fixed-width and binary data
  8. complex data formats
  9. HTML
  10. XML
  11. Parse::RecDescent
appendix A - guide to Perl modules covered
appendix B - rudimentary intro to Perl

Update: PM-linkafied mention of CPAN modules

In reply to Data Munging with Perl by ybiC

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