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Perl Medic: Transforming Legacy Code by Peter J. Scott

by nite_man (Deacon)
on Apr 23, 2004 at 08:38 UTC ( #347552=bookreview: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??
Order Perl Medic: Transforming Legacy Code by Peter J. Scott

Item Description: Excellent book about way to produce excellent Perl code.

Review Synopsis: Make your Perl code better!!!

"Addison Wesley" publishes traditionally good books which contain mainly information to the point the question.

In the "Perl Medic" you won't find a lyric intro about what is Perl, its syntax, data structure etc. Instead of it, Petter J. Scott has given consideration to principles and approaches to develop clear understanding, easy distensible, scalable and stable Perl applications.

Chapter by chapter, the author explains discipline of Perl coding, methodology of testing, diagnostic, logging perl applications.

In my opinion, "Perl Medic" is very-very helpful, intimate book which will help Perl developers to get skills of good coding!

Hope that my short review will help you to buy and read that excellent book.

Cheers, Michael

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Re: Perl Medic: Transforming Legacy Code by Peter J. Scott
by adrianh (Chancellor) on Apr 23, 2004 at 10:32 UTC

    It is a nice book from what I've seen (and that's not just because it's the first time I've seen somebody use one of my modules in an actual print book :-)

    You've not really mentioned the main subject of the book which is given away by the full title "Perl Medic: Maintaining Inherited Code". It has lots of concrete advice on approaching existing legacy Perl code and turning it into something vaguely sane.

    If you're faced with this sort of task and are unsure how to approach it then it's definitely worth looking at.

    For those who are interested has downloads for code + errata. Chapter 3 is available online.

    The table of contents gives an idea of what it covers:

    1. Introduction (First Response). First Things First. Reasons for Inheritance. What Next? Observe the Program in Its Natural Habitat. Get Personal. Strictness. Warnings. 2. Surveying the Scene. Versions. Part or Whole? Find the Dependencies. 3. Test Now, Test Forever (Diagnosis). Testing Your Patience. Extreme Testing. An Example Using Test- Modules. Testing Legacy Code. A Final Encouragement. 4. Rewriting (Transplants). Strategizing. Why Are You Doing This? Style. Comments. Restyling. Variable Renaming. Editing. Line Editing. Antipatterns. Evolution. 5. The Disciplined Perl Program. Package Variables vs Lexical Variables. Warnings and Strictness. use strict in Detail. use warnings in Detail. Selective Disabling. Caveat Programmer. Perl Poetry. 6. Restructuring (The Operating Table). Keep It Brief. Cargo Cult Perl. Escaping the Global Variable Trap. Debugging Strategies. 7. Upgrading (Plastic Surgery). Strategies. Perl 4. Perl 5.000. Perl 5.001. Perl 5.002. Perl 5.003. Perl 5.004 +. Perl 5.005. Perl 5.6.0. Perl 5.6.1. Perl 5.8.0. Perl 5.8.1. Perl 5.8.2. Perl 5.8.3. 8. Using Modules (Genetic Enhancement). The Case for CPAN. Using CPAN. Improving Code with Modules. Custom Perls. 9. Analysis (Forensic Pathology). Static Analysis. Eliminating Superfluous Code. Finding Inefficient Code. Debugging. 10. Increasing Maintainability (Prophylaxis) Making It Robust. Advanced Brevity. Documentation. Custom Warnings. Version Control System Integration. 11. A Case Study. The Setup. Triage. Desperately Seeking Sanity. Coming into the 21st Century. Incorporating Modules Effectively, 12. Conclusion (Prognosis).

    If this all sounds familiar to you then you're probably not going to get a lot out of it. If you've not been faced with having to take over somebody else's code, or aren't used to building and maintaining larger Perl applications, then it's a useful read.

    Peter Scott's other Perl book 'Perl Debugged' is also a good read, and not to be confused with the terrible 'Debugging Perl'.

Re: Perl Medic: Transforming Legacy Code by Peter J. Scott
by davorg (Chancellor) on Apr 24, 2004 at 15:12 UTC

    You might also be interested in my review of the book.


    "The first rule of Perl club is you do not talk about Perl club."
    -- Chip Salzenberg

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