I am very happy, because I was contacted by someone who got interested in Catalyst and Perl. Luckily, this guy is quite smart, as he’s already reading Learning Perl – it’s always better to start with a good book, rather than rely only on suspicious blogs. The other book I’d say it’s worthy to read is the Intermediate Perl. In fact, O’Reilly did a lot of good job in terms of publishing useful books about Perl. And no, unfortunately they don’t pay me for advertising them; even worse, I had to pay for the ones I owe, but I don’t regret the money I spent on them.
I remember the big discussion about publishing the book about Catalyst. O’Reilly turned it down, as it was surfing high on the whole Ruby on Rails wave. One of their argument was that – at this time – Catalyst was still in flux, so its API may had been undergoing some significant changes during the publishing process. Anyway, The First Catalyst Book got prepared and released by other publisher. Maybe I’m not the best informed person, but I think that the API of Catalyst is now quite stable – but The Second Catalyst Book is published by Apress. And that’s not the only book about Perl that will be published by them, since they’re going to refresh the book for beginners, as well as prepare something for absolute beginners!
At the same time, O’Reilly on its Perl page puts the photo of Damian Conway, with the title above: Stay competitive. We can help. Let’s see: I clicked on the perl in their tag cloud and faced the page with some links to the blog posts; one from July 23, and then February, January… competitive, huh?
Don’t get me wrong. I understand that O’Reilly may be no longer interested in investing their effort into Perl books (apart from that put in those already published, which must have been huge, and I appreciate it), while preferring Erlang or Haskell. That’s OK, as those languages are interesting and O’Reilly tries to give them some spin, using some part of the income generated by the iPhone hype or other trendy topics. But then it’s the Enlightened Perl Organisation, which runs the Ironman Challenge. There’s Apress, publishing new titles. Perl already has some spin and if O’Reilly backed out for some reason, the niche created by this move has been already filled.
Update: There are also free books about Perl – maybe not the freshest ones, but still may be useful.