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Finished reading: The Definitive Guide to Catalyst

A couple of days ago I finished reading The Definitive Guide to Catalyst which for a technical book (or any at all) I read through quite fast. I’m not going to write a full fledged review about it but I can recommend it to anyone interested in working with Catalyst. For those who don’t know it Catalyst is a web application framework written in Perl.

Although the online documentation is very good the book is a nice addition to it. It’s more than just a collection of some code examples. The chapters follow a certain thought process to write maintainable and extensible code, complete with tests and all. Common in the book is that the example code will get a rewrite later on in the chapter to reach this goal. I consider this a nice feature of the book as it shows why that refactoring was needed and is the better solution to the problem.

There are only a few small complaints I’ve got about the book. The code indentation isn’t always consistent and there are occasionally some errors in the code. But looking more at it from a conceptual kind of view it’s clear what the author intents. I also don’t really understand the choice to include Reaction in the final chapter. Documentation is scarce and it seems abandoned. I’d much rather see some Catalyst::Runtime core modules described in there, such as Catalyst::ScriptRunner (did it even exist at the time of writing?), Catalyst::Request and Catalyst::Response. I know the latter 2 are well documented, but they weren’t even mentioned in the book.

Other than that it was a great read and am glad I bought it :-).

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