I haven't been blogging a lot this year-and-half, and for various reasons. But the reason number one is that I've been very busy writing a Perl book from scratch, in French, with 3 other fellow French Perl Mongers.
The book is called Perl Moderne. That means "Modern Perl", but it has nothing to do with chromatic's book. The book was actually published long time ago, end October 2010. But it took us authors some time to recover :)
This book is written in French, for French speaking readers. Its goal is to present the Perl 5 language as it exists now, and tries to teach the reader how to start using it the right way, that is, the modern way. The book is not a bible, nor an encyclopedia of the historical language. Instead, it's a collection of the useful concepts that are used nowadays, and how to use them in the latest version of Perl and CPAN.
The reader can be a total newbie in Perl, but it has to have a previous development experience with an other language, for instance PHP, Ruby, Python, or Java. However, the book goes far beyond introducing the language. It allows the reader to become fluent with the Perl data structure, regexps, Moose OO and typing, POE, interacting with databases, files, DateTime, XML and configuration files, Web interactions, and more...
It's big in content (many subjects covered, and 450 pages !) but small in size, as it's an A5 format, so it fits easily in a bag, and it's not heavy :)
Historically, Pearson France, the press editor, posted a request on the French Perl Mongers mailing list, saying that they were looking for authors willing to write a new Perl Book in French.
I decided to not let this opportunity pass : it's very rare that French editors are interested by Perl, and willing to produce good quality books. After some struggling, I ended up setting up a team of 4 brave French Perl Mongers, that became 4 Perl book authors :
Sébastien Aperghis-Tramoni (SAPER on CPAN) : active French Perl Monger, he knows almost everything about CPAN modules. He wrote several modules himself, and maintains numerous others. He wrote several Perl articles in the GNU/Linux Magazine France. He is also the hidden admin of your Perl conferences, as he maintains Act, empowering a lot of Perl conferences
Philippe Bruhat (BOOK on CPAN) : well known Perl figure, active French Perl Monger, former president of them, founder and treasurer of the YAPC Europe Foundation. Received a White Camel Award in 2009, and maintains quite a few modules on CPAN. Also wrote articles in the GNU/Linux Magazine France.
Jérôme Quelin (JQUELIN on CPAN) : active French Perl Monger, knows a great deal about Tk, wrote Games::Risk among other things, and maintains a bunch of CPAN modules. He is also maintaining a lot of Perl packages at Mandriva and Mageia. Also wrote articles in the GNU/Linux Magazine France.
Damien Krotkine (DAMS on CPAN) : well that's me ! I'm an active French Perl Monger, using Perl for 11 years or so, I wrote a couple of Perl articles in the GNU/Linux Magazine France, have some modules on CPAN (among them Curses::Toolkit), and I'm now a proud core developer of Dancer, the new big thing.
Perl Moderne starts with a gentle (but concise) introduction to Perl, with many pointers to external resources, focusing on ease-of-use. For instance, we mention CPAN and cpanm very early. Then the real business starts with an explanation of the major programming concepts (data structures, OO, databases, formats, event programming and the intarweb).
We tried to provide a preferred way to do each thing, while mentioning alternatives. We didn't separated the language and CPAN. "Perl is the syntax, CPAN is the language"... So about half of the book describes how to solve a problem using this or that CPAN module. And I think it's great. It allowed us to teach Object Oriented programming with Moose, explain event programming with POE, etc.
I think it is very important that new Perl books get written, and very important that some are written natively in non-english. It fits better its purpose to the localized need (students, teachers, academic structures and way of thinking are different from one country to another). That also makes editors aware of the local Perl activity, and help spreads the words about the language in schools and universities, where native books are preferred to translations.
So, if you know any French speaking (or learning) geek or computer scientist, around you, please consider recommending them this book. It was crafted with care and love by Perl passionated ! :) You can point them to the dedicated website of Perl Moderne
Here is an english translation of the table of content :
01. Start with Perl
02. Install a Perl module
I. Language and data structures
04. Data structures
05. Regular expressions
II. Modern object programming
06. Basic Perl objects
08. Typing system in Moose
09. Methods in Moose
III. Data manipulation
10. Files and directories
11. SQL databases
12. SQL abstraction, ORM, non-SQL databases
13. Dates and times
15. Data serialisation
16. Configuration files
V. Event programming
17. Introduction to POE
18. Practical POE
19. Distributed POE
20. HTML documents parsing
21. HTTP and the Web
23. Web browsing