I just noticed that Perl Best Practices is copyright 2005. When it came out, I thought it showed a professional side to Perl programming, a side that is more than just line noise and slapped-together glue scripts.
I remember someone’s review more or less said that it was something that you could show your boss or show your team and use to cut through the TIMTOWTDI excuse for people’s bad code.
I didn’t agree with everything, and I wasn’t alone. There are critiques scattered across various reviews, blogs and posts. For example, here were a couple that I dug up:
But by provoking a debate about just what was or wasn’t a best practice, Damian helped jump-start broader attempts to advocate a more professional approach to Perl programming. (c.f. Perl::Critic, Modern Perl Books, Enlightened Perl, or Catalyzed.org)
Four years is a long time in the Perl world. Even if the PBP Table of Contents is about right, many of the ‘best practices’ themselves are probably woefully out of date. A new version would probably include features in Perl5 Version 10 like given/when, smart matching and named captures. Moose is a much better ‘best practice’ for object-oriented Perl than Class::Std. ((And inside-out objects are better done with Object::InsideOut or Class::InsideOut anyway)). Perl::Critic should be in there. And I’m sure there are plenty more.
Why do we need a second edition? Because anything new has to compete for oxygen and credibility against this one book with a great title written in 2005. And only a book – not an article on the web – can have the same “smack it down on the desk to end the argument” impact that PBP had when it came out.
Perl Best Practices have changed. It’s time for the second edition.
O’Reilly, are you listening?