SEBASTOPOL, CA -- "I bristle whenever I hear Perl described as "just" a
scripting language, because real programmers know that Perl is every
bit as powerful as other languages," says Jon Orwant, co-author of the
Algorithms with Perl. "By weaving Perl's pragmatism
with traditional computer science, Algorithms with Perl helps Perl
programmers employ the best techniques of a university algorithms
course while showing the rest of the world how useful and powerful the
According to Andy Oram, an editor at O'Reilly & Associates (the
publishers of the book), many programmers would love to use Perl for
projects that involve heavy lifting, but miss the many traditional
algorithms that textbooks teach for other languages. "Using algorithms
explained in this book, the reader can carry out traditional
programming tasks in a high-powered, efficient, easy-to-maintain manner
with Perl" explains Oram.
"You can solve complex problems in Perl more quickly, and in fewer
lines, than any other language," says Orwant. "This ease of use makes
Perl an excellent tool for exploring algorithms. Computer science
embraces complexity; the essence of programming is the clean dissection
of a seemingly insurmountable problem into a series of simple
computable steps. Perl is ideal for tackling the tougher nuggets of
computer science because its liberal syntax lets the programmer express
his or her solution in the manner best suited to the task. (After all,
Perl's motto is There's More Than One Way To Do It.). Algorithms are
complex enough; we don't need a computer language making it any
Algorithms with Perl assumes a basic understanding of Perl syntax and
functions, but not necessarily any background in computer science. The
authors explain clearly the reasons for using various classic
programming techniques, the kind of applications that use them,
and-most important-how to code these algorithms in Perl.
If you are an amateur programmer, this book will fill you in on the
essential algorithms you need to solve problems in other languages, you
will be surprised at how much different (often easier) it is to
implement them in Perl. And yes, the book even has the obligatory
fractal display program.
There have been dozens of books on programming algorithms, some of them
excellent, but never before has there been one that uses Perl.
The authors include the editor of
The Perl Journal and master librarian
of CPAN; all are contributors to CPAN and have archived much of the
code in this book there.
"This book was so exciting I lost sleep reading it."
For more information about the book, including Table of Contents,
index, author bios, and samples, see:
Algorithms with Perl
By Jon Orwant, Jarkko Hietaniemi & John Macdonald
1st Edition August 1999 (US)
1-56592-398-7, 688 pages, $34.95 (US)