First Edition

Being a bookish type I am always on the lookout for new stock. One thing to avoid in a bookshop is probably the computer shelf, although I always do check it out. Good job too! On a recent trip into our more remote rural areas I came across a little gem.

Larry Wall & Randal L. Schwartz. PROGRAMMING PERL. January 1991 1st printing

The very first edition of the book was on the shelf in front of my eyes sandwiched between a Win95 book and some other item of even less consequence. A taller format than the current O'Reilly books, it is complete with a 16pp 'Quick Reference Guide' , and came as a Nutshell Handbook in the 'Unix Programming' series.

Unlike the other first editions that I might be searching for, and which can often be worth a small fortune, this item has little monetary value, but is worth a lot to me just to have on the shelf (at home of course).

The rear cover blurb punts the book as ".. the hottest new UNIX utility in years...". Interestingly the first page notes "Perl is quite popular and getting more so ....".

It has the camel on the front, although the reproduction on today's editions is better. The colour scheme is magenta & black on white instead of the usual cyan & black on white of current O'Reilly offerings.

The amazing thing is that this book is less than 20 years old. To me that is only yesterday (books aren't old unless they were printed in the 1700s) in the book world. Offered a good enough price I would sell any book I own, but crazily not this one!


"I came across a little gem"

At first I was like "hmm this guy is nuts" but then I decided to take a look at the Amazon page for this edition.
$57 for a single used one listed?! That is a little gem! Hold on to that sucker! :)

Programming Perl is great! Is there any chance of a new edition in the not quite distant future?

I would think not until Perl 6 is officially out the door.

You lucky bum, I'm sure there's a crowd of hungry folks out there that would kill for such a little gem!

I think this was the first book ever published about Perl. I can't find anything earlier.

Another fun fact, though: the title of the first edition is Programming perl, with a lowercase "p".

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