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Re: Finding all the Perl books
From: Jakob Voss
November 8, 2011 00:19
Re: Finding all the Perl books
Message ID: 4EB8F3F90200006F0002468C@mail.vz.gbv.de
brian d foy asked:
> I'm looking for a way to discover all the books ever published about
> Perl. Where should I look?
Unless someone else has already created a bibliography of Perl books,
you will find almost all books in library catalogs - except some edge
that depend on what "published" means. Probably there are some printed
Perl tutorials distributed by hand, that never made it into libraries,
the definition of e-Book is rather fuzzy. I bet you mean traditional
So the tricky part is to find the right library catalogs and how to best
them. You wrote:
> Is there a Perl interface for the WorldCat APIs? If not, I'll make
> one. Are people merely shoving their results into something like
> XML::Feed? I have a big dump of data
The most-popular search APIs for library catalogs are Z39.50 which is
replaced by SRU
I guess you know http://www.oclc.org/developer/services/WCAPI
> WorldCat has many of the books, but there are holes. I realize that
> this is a union catalog instead of a historical database.
Perl is very old, but not old enough to show up in historical databases
WorldCat is the largest but not the only union catalog, especially if
search for non-English books.
> I have the data dump from Google Books already.
Where did you get this?
> I figure that the Library of Congress knows about a lot of them, but
> I don't have $20,000 to buy their 2012 database (or subsequent ones).
Does someone at this list know whether all of LoC goes into WorldCat?
In theory this query is a good use-case for Linked Data, but then you
have to wait some other 10 years. However libraries already use
vocabularies since centuries, so there are some subject headings for
I only looked in the German national library:
http://d-nb.info/gnd/4709495-3 Perl 6
http://d-nb.info/gnd/7638891-8 Perl 5.10
http://d-nb.info/gnd/4698927-4 Perl 5.8
http://d-nb.info/gnd/4698920-1 Perl 5.6.1
http://d-nb.info/gnd/4646656-3 Perl 5.6
http://d-nb.info/gnd/4419978-8 Perl 5
http://d-nb.info/gnd/4584437-9 Perl DBI
http://d-nb.info/gnd/4307836-9 Perl in general
The list of publications for each subject heading are available as RSS.
Subject headings are important because the term "Perl" is used in other
context too. For instance there is a German town of this name
Having said this, full text search is the best method to start with. A
place to find libraries is
Many library catalogs are subsumed by union catalogs, so you don't need
to query each of them.
The best collection not created by libraries is LibraryThing, which is
created by volunteers and provided good APIs too, see:
Perhaps the best method is crowd-sourcing the LibraryThing way.
Sorry for not giving a simple answer. I doubt that you can find all Perl
in all languages fully automatically.
brian d foy
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