This book was hard to write. I think mostly I made it hard on myself , but it would have been a lot harder if I had not had help from a large cast of programmers, authors, editors, and other professionals, many of whom contributed their time for free or at grossly inadequate rates that might as well have been for free. Everyone who supported me in this effort has my appreciation and heartfelt thanks.
Chip Salzenberg and Andreas "MakeMaker" K nig provided a number of helpful and timely fixes to Perl bugs and misbehaviors that would have complicated the manuscript. It's hard to say enough about Chip. I've spent a little time mucking about in the Perl source code. I hold him in awe.
Many other members of the Perl 5 Porters list contributed in one way or another, either directly or indirectly. Among the most obviously helpful and insightful were Jeffrey Friedl, Chaim Frenkel, Tom Phoenix, Jon Orwant, Charlie Stross, and Tom Christiansen.
Randal Schwartz, author, instructor, and "Just Another Perl Hacker," contributed passages to the book and was my primary technical reviewer. If you find any mistakes, e-mail him . (Just kidding.) Working with Randal has taught me an enormous amount about Perl, and his books and USENET postings have taught countless programmers how to write cool things in Perl. Many thanks to Randal for lending his time and thought to this book.
Many thanks, also, to Larry Wall, the gracious and literate creator of Perl, who has answered questions and provided comments on many topics.
I've been very lucky to work with Addison-Wesley on this project. Everyone I've had contact with has been friendly and has contributed in some significant way to the book's forward progress. I would like to extend particular thanks to Kim Fryer, Ben Ryan, Carol Nelson, Keith Wollman, Elizabeth Spainhour, Tracy Russ, and Mike Hendrickson. Many thanks also to the excellent production staff, including Ann Knight, Regina Knox, and Rob-erta Clark, who finished a complex task in a short time and meanwhile proved to me that copyediting and proofreading need not be overly traumatic.
A number of other people have contributed comments, inspiration, and/or moral support. My friends Nick Orlans, Chris Ice, and Alan Piszcz trudged through several revisions of the incomplete manuscript. My current and former employersCharlie Horton, Patrick Reilly, and Larry Zimmermanhave been a constant source of stimulation and encouragement.
Although I wrote this book from scratch, some of it by necessity parallels the description of Perl in the Perl man pages as well as Programming Perl . There are only so many ways to skin a cat. I have tried to be original and creative, but in a few cases it was hard to stray from the original description of the language.
Many thanks to Jeff Gong, for harrassing The Phone Company  and keeping the T-1 alive . Jeff really knows how to keep his customers happy.
Many thanks to the sport of golf for keeping me sane and providing an outlet for my frustrations. It's fun to make the little ball go. Thanks to Master of Orion and Civilization II for much the same reasons.
Most of all, though, I have to thank Donna, my soulmate, fiancee, and also one heck of a programmer. This book would not have come into being without her inexhaustible support, patience, and love.