I’ve been a bit lax of late with updating this blog. I haven’t been completely slacking off though you’ll be glad to hear. I’ve been relatively busy with my newest Open University module that started in October. I’ve managed to read ahead of schedule and I’ve almost finished my first assignment that is due in on the 29th of this month so I thought I’d take a bit of time out from that and get back into the land of Perl.

Since finishing Intermediate Perl I’ve been looking for a good book to continue my learning. I bought Effective Perl and read most of it but I decided fairly early on that it would work better as a reference. Just reading a whole book of tips, best practices and code snippets was, whilst useful, not giving me the opportunity to put what I was learning into practice.

After looking around I settled on The Definitive Guide to Catalyst. It’s relatively advanced compared to the stuff I have been doing but it’s set out in a way that walks you through building simple applications that you can extend with extra features as the book progresses. This is perfect for me because I find that not working in an environment where I can put my new found knowledge to use it can be difficult to know where to start. The book is also full of modern idioms and has a great introduction to Moose. It also focuses heavily on automated testing which is all very new to me.

My experience with web development has always been very basic. I’ve made a couple of websites for various projects over the years. They were all incredibly simple, flat pages that were built using Dreamweaver. Playing with Catalyst has given me a much clearer picture on what is happening behind the scenes of proper dynamic websites. It’s also interesting to see how the Perl I already know can be used in a new way to create these web apps. Although I need to brush up on my HTML and CSS skills to actually build a nice looking front end.