First, I wholeheartedly thank Chick Webb and Taos Mountain Software (in Silicon Valley). The folks at TMS offered me an opportunity to write an introductory Perl course for them (with substantial assistance from Chick), and a chance to present their course a few times. From that experience, I gained the motivation and resources to write and repeatedly present a new course of my own, from which this book is derived. Without them, I don't think I'd be doing this, and I wish them continued success at marketing their course. (And if they're looking for a good text for a revision of their course, I just may have a suggestion...)
Thanks also to the reviewers: Perl Godfather Larry Wall (of course), Larry Kistler (Director of Education, Pyramid), fellow Perl trainer Tom Christiansen, the students of the Learning Perl classes I taught at Intel and Pyramid, and - from O'Reilly & Associates - Tanya Herlick, Lar Kaufman, Lenny Muellner, Linda Mui, and Andy Oram.
This book was created and edited entirely on my personal Apple Macintosh Powerbook (well, actually a series of them - the 140, 160, and now the 520c models). More often than not, I was away from my office while writing - sometimes in a park, sometimes in a hotel, sometimes waiting for the weather to clear so I could continue to snow-ski, but most often in restaurants. In fact, I wrote a substantial portion of this book at the Beaverton McMenamin's just down the road from my house. The McM's chain of brewpubs make and serve the finest microbrew and best cheesecake and greasiest sandwiches in my hometown area. I consumed many pints of ale and pieces of cheesecake in this ideal work environment, while my Powerbook swallowed many kilowatt hours of electricity at their four tables with power outlets. For the electricity, and the generous hospitality and courtesy (and rent-free booth-office space), I thank the exceptional staff at the Beaverton McM's. I also hacked some early work on the book at the Beaverton Chili's Restaurant, to which I am also grateful. (But they didn't have any outlets near the bar, so I switched when I found McM's, to save the wear and tear on my batteries.)
Thanks also to "the Net" (especially the subscribers to comp.lang.perl.* ) for their continued support of Larry and me, and their unending curiosity about getting Perl to work for them.
Further thanks to the O'Reilly & Associates folks who made this book happen, including Clairemarie Fisher O'Leary, who copyedited the book and managed the production with invaluable help from Kismet McDonough, Mike Sierra, and Stephen Spainhour; and Edie Freedman who designed the cover and the internal format. Thanks, also, to Tim O'Reilly, for Taoistically being.
And especially, a huge personal thanks to my friend Steve Talbott, who guided me through every step of the way (especially suggesting the stroll at the end of the first chapter). His editorial criticisms were always right on, and his incessant talent for beating me over the head ever so gently allowed me to make this book a piece of art with which I'm extremely pleased.
As always, a special thank you to both Lyle and Jack, for teaching me nearly everything I know about writing.
And finally, an immeasurable thank you to my friend and partner, Larry Wall, for giving Perl to us all in the first place.
Randal L. Schwartz