I recently finished reading through a copy of Modern Perl by chromatic and think the book serves as an excellent Perl resource, albeit one that I would not recommend as book for a first time programmer. The book Modern Perl, is one that I believe is much more suitable for readers with at least some basic programming experience and I think it will be of the most benefit to those that already work with Perl, but have not kept up with the latest developments in Perl. Perl has changed quite a bit over the last 7-8 years, in ways that would pleasantly surprise those that have not been following the evolution of Perl. I particularly liked the conciseness of the book and how much information it managed to cram into 181 pages, yet it is this same conciseness that I think may make the book challenging for a programming novice.
For more experienced programmers the book offers a wonderful way to rapidly bring themselves up to speed on the more modern ways of approaching Perl programming. Coverage of such modern practices ranges from mentioning small changes like using cpanminus as a way to install CPAN modules and the newer three argument syntax for opening files to coverage of some of the major changes in Perl, such as the development of Moose as a more modern approach to OOP. I was especially pleased to see the chapters towards the end of the book, such as those on “Style and Efficacy”, “Managing Real Programs”, and “What to Avoid”. These chapters make the book one that goes beyond just teaching how to program in Perl and turns it into one that stresses teaching the authoring of quality Perl code.
I would recommend that anyone currently making use of Perl take the time to look through a copy of Modern Perl, particularly since the author gives you the option of downloading the book entirely for free. For more information about Modern Perl visit - http://www.onyxneon.com/books/modern_perl/index.html