Review by Gabor Szabo, November 2002
I have bought this book about a year ago but now that our Perl Mongers
group have received a free copy of it from New Riders I decided I
write down what I thought about the book. If for nothing else then to
suggest to my fellow Perl Mongers that they should read it and
throroughly review it.
Mine is not going to be thorough review just a few quick notes.
This book can be used both as a reference book and as a tutorial. When I received it I went through most of the 720 pages of the book and later I kept returning to it to look up various items.
If you are a Windows system administrator or the guy who is supposed to do all kind of magic on the local system (like collecting data from various computers or looking into various files in all kinds of formats) then this is going to be very useful to you as well.
The good thing about this book is that you don't have to read it sequentially. After reading the Introduction I started with chapter 4 about File Management and later returned to the preceeding chapters. You can also jump straight to the area you try to explore.
Most of the modules in the Win32::* namespace do not have much documentation. This book solves this problem by discussing several modules in depth, explaining how they work and what are the parameters you can use for the various functions. There are lots of examples (also downloadable from the author's site). Though there are a few mistakes in the examples they can be discussed on the various mailing lists of ActiveState where sometimes Dave Roth, the author of the book himself answers the questions.
There is a good introduction to OLE automation and of course how to do it with Perl and an explanation of how to write DLLs along with details about Perl internals something I cannot evaluate as I have not tried it yet.
I think this book is a must for everyone who wants to write something deeper in windows than processing INI files.