Review: Wicked Cool Perl Scripts

    January 30, 2007

Order (or just read more about) Wicked Cool Perl Scripts from

Bah, humbug.

Well, maybe not that bad. Actually, not “bad” at all: I have no real complaints about this book, but I didn’t like it and can’t imagine handing it to anyone with a hearty “Here, read this, you’ll love it”.

As I whined at my review of the similarly named “Wicked Cool Shell Scripts”, the title alone is enough to put me in a bad mood.

But “Wicked Cool Shell Scripts” at least was interesting from the view that the tasks presented are actually hard to do in a shell script, and therefore were at least cool in that sense.

I said at that review “if you need anything complex at all, Perl or something else is probably a much better way to to it”, and here’s the Perl book, so what’s my problem?

It isn’t “wicked cool”. This is a jumbled pile of Perl scripts designed to do the kinds of things Perl is very good at doing, and that’s why there’s nothing cool about it: doing these kinds of things in Perl requires nothing more than a basic understanding of the language and now and then where to look for a useful module.

What’s cool about that?

The “Wicked Cool Shell Scripts” showed you how you could build a house using a jacknife and a rock; you’d have to be an idiot to do it, but it is awe inspiring.

This book shows you how to do it after cleaning out Sears tool department.

Oh, maybe I’m massively unfair. Maybe somone would like this book, but I don’t think anyone reading at this site will.

*Originally published at

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A.P. Lawrence provides SCO Unix and Linux consulting services