Perl 1.0 came out in 1987. In the decades since then, The language has gone from a simple tool for system administration somewhere between shell scripting and C programming (Perl 1) to a powerful, general purpose language steeped in a rich heritage (Perl 5) and a consistent, coherent, rethinking of programming intended to last for at least another 25 years (Perl 6).
Even so, most Perl 5 programs in the world take far too little advantage of the language. You can write Perl 5 programs as if they were Perl 4 programs (or Perl 3 or 2 or 1), but programs written to take advantage of everything amazing the worldwide Perl 5 community has invented, polished, and discovered are shorter, faster, more powerful, and easier to maintain than their alternatives.
Modern Perl is one way to describe how experienced and effective Perl 5 programmers work. They use language idioms. They take advantage of the CPAN. They’re recognizably Perlish, and they show good taste and craftsmanship and a full understanding of Perl.
You can learn this too, whether you’ve dabbled with Perl for a decade or someone just handed you this book and said “Fix this code by Friday.”
Visit the companion website at Modern Perl Books.
Want to read this book in electronic form? We’ve made available Modern Perl PDF (letter) and Modern Perl PDF (A4), with ePub on the way. You’re welcome to download and share this book unmodified with anyone, for free. (In legalese, these electronic versions are available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.)