In the introduction, the authors say:
It was written with two groups in mind. The first is the large number of Perl programmers who don't know that a debugger for Perl even exists. The second group is the Perl programmers out there who shy away from using the debugger because it's a new, and apparently complex, animal.
I almost fall in the first category. I vaguely knew that the Perl debugger exists, but I'd never even thought enough about it to fall into the second group. In other words, I didn't know enough to be scared.
I also frankly had very little interest. Not because my Perl skills are so wonderful that I never screw up (and if I were that good, my typing would do me in anyway), but because I just never thought a debugger could help me. That pessimistic attitude probably comes from early use of primitive C debuggers, and caused me to delay even looking at this book.
That was a mistake. Before I got finished with Chapter 2, I was cursing my foolishness and wishing I had picked this up earlier. The Perl debugger is very much like Perl itself: only as complicated as you choose to make it. In other words, just as Perl can do simple things with little effort, the Perl debugger can do simple debugging easily, but has tremendous power on tap when and if you need it.
And that's just how this book approaches it. It starts with the simple stuff, and moves toward the advanced. I am almost looking forward to my next confused Perl program - I want to put some of what I've learned into practice.
This one goes on the "keeper" shelf, for sure.
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More Articles by Tony Lawrence © 2009-11-07 Tony Lawrence