When I first learned Perl more than a decade ago, I thought I knew the language pretty well; and indeed, I knew the language well enough. What I didn’t know were the idioms and constructs that really give Perl its power. While it’s perfectly possible to program without these, they represent a wealth of knowledge and productivity that is easily missed.

Luckily for me, I had acquired the first edition of Joseph N. Hall’s Effective Perl Programming, and it wasn’t to be found in my bookshelf. Instead, it had an almost permanent place in my bag, where I could easily peruse it whenever I found a spare moment.

Joseph’s format for Effective Perl Programming was delightfully simple: small snippets of wisdom; easily digested. Indeed, it formed ...

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