Press Room

Press Release: July 15, 2008

Learning Perl, Fifth Edition--New from O'Reilly: Making Easy Things Easy and Hard Things Possible

Learning Perl Sebastopol, CA—Among Perl programmers, the classic instruction books are affectionately referred to according to the animals on their covers: the Camel book (Programming Perl), the Llama book (Learning Perl), and the Alpaca book (Intermediate Perl). By no means do these books make up the entire sum of knowledge about Perl; each animal merely represents a step on the path to mastery of the language.

Learning Perl, (O'Reilly, US $39.99) now in its fifth edition, serves as the traditional starting point for the programmer looking to learn Perl. As authors Randal L. Schwartz, Tom Phoenix, and brian d foy say, "If you're looking for the best way to spend your first 30 to 45 hours with the Perl programming language, you've found it." The book is a carefully paced introduction to the language that is the workhorse of the Internet, as well as the language of choice for system administrators, web hackers, and casual programmers around the world.

This book reflects the combined experience of its authors, who have taught Perl at Stonehenge Consulting since 1991. Years of classroom testing and experience helped shape the book's pace and scope, and this edition is packed with exercises that let you practice the concepts while you follow the text. "The fifth edition is updated for Perl 5.10, and includes a new chapter on the new smart-match feature and the given-when control structure," says foy, when asked about the new content in the book, adding, "We also expanded the regular expression chapters for new regex features."

Topics include:

  • Perl data & variable types
  • Subroutines
  • File operations
  • Regular expressions
  • String manipulation
  • Lists & sorting
  • Process management
  • Smart matching
  • Using third party modules

Originally relied on by sys admins for heavy-duty text processing, Perl is now a full-featured programming language suitable for almost any task on almost any platform-from short fixes on the command line to web applications, bioinformatics, finance, and much more. "The killer feature of Perl is CPAN, which has over 15,000 third party Modules," explains foy. "To access that huge library of work, you need to use Perl."

For a review copy or more information please email Please include your delivery address and contact information.

brian d foy is a Perl trainer for Stonehenge Consulting Services and is the publisher of The Perl Review.

Tom Phoenix has been working in the field of education since 1982.

Randal L. Schwartz is a two-decade veteran of the software industry. He is skilled in software design, system administration, security, technical writing, and training.

Additional Resources:
For more information about the book, including table of contents, index, author bios, and cover graphic, see the catalog page for Learning Perl, Fifth Edition.

Learning Perl, Fifth Edition
Randal L. Schwartz, Tom Phoenix, brian d foy
ISBN: 9780596520106, 348 pages, $39.99 USD, £24.99 GBP

About O'Reilly

For almost 40 years, O’Reilly Media has provided technology and business training, knowledge, and insight to help companies succeed. Our unique network of experts and innovators share their knowledge and expertise through the company’s Safari training and learning platform and at O’Reilly conferences. As a SaaS learning platform, Safari delivers highly topical and comprehensive technology and business learning solutions to millions of users across enterprise, consumer, and university channels. For more information visit

Return to: O'Reilly Press Room

Press Contacts

Media Relations – Corporate & North America

Fama PR

Media Relations – Japan

Fumi Yamakawa
+81 3-3356-5227

Media Relations – United Kingdom

Helen Codling
+44 (0) 1252 721284