brian and a live llama

Many of the Perl books have some sort of camelid on the cover. The original Programming perl had a camel and the subsequent books followed suit with related animals. Learning Perl got a llama. How many of those animals do you actually get to meet, though? When I was at Kloster Eberbach to teach a Big Nerd Ranch class in 2008, we discovered that there as a llama and alpaca farm up the road so we invited a few over for the afternoon. Here’s me with a fiesty llama:

My notes for the updates to the Llama

I put together some of our notes for an update to Learning Perl, 6th Edition. That’s not a promise that all of these will make it into the book, but it’s a list of the topics that we think should be important to the beginner Perler.

One of the biggest changes, structurally, will be our integration of Unicode, which Perl has become quite nice at handling since we last wrote Learning Perl. Obviously that will be a large part of the chapter on input and output, but it can affect much earlier chapters, too.

We have a special post to track new features in the recent versions of Perl, which you might like to read while you wait for the next edition.

  • Update for Unicode throughout
  • updates to pack
  • bring back the chapter on one liners?
  • Perl 5.10
    • defined-or, //
    • new smart matching rules
    • \K escape in s///
    • The autodie pragma
  • Perl 5.12
    • Unicode interpretation of \w, \d, \s
    • The ... operator
    • Implicit strictures
    • Y2038 compliance
    • \N regex for “not a newline”
    • each on arrays
    • when as a statement modifier
    • delete local
  • Perl 5.14
      • /a, /d, /u match flags
      • /r on s/// and tr///
      • given and do
      • \o{...} for octals

New features in Perl 5.x

We’ll be updating Learning Perl for the new features since Perl 5.10.0. I’ve been tracking those new features over at The Effective Perler, so you can read about them there. Not every new feature will make it into Learning Perl since we only aim to cover those that are important for beginners. However, since those features profiled at The Effective Perler are the important ones, many of those will show up in the new edition: