Tal Cohen's Bookshelf: A Collection of Personal Opinions about Books
Book In-Jokes in...
Learning Perl

Randal L. Schwartz and Tom Phoenix
(2nd Edition, O'Reilly, 1997)

I am told that this book is full of various jokes. Here are two examples, sent to me by Zed Lopez:
Benjamin Franklin, quoted (and even double-quoted)     225
Page 225 includes three unattributed quotations as examples in a program. Two are from Franklin; however, Franklin is not explicitly mentioned.
Scooby Doo, pronouncing “Windex”     166
Page 166 mentions the “rindex” function.
[Added 2006-11-01]
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Cuff writes:
Book-in Jokes
I have a 1994 printing of the Learning Pearl. The reference to the Ben Franklin quotes are in an example program that generates fortunes. The quotes serve as the fortunes. I'm not sure how that is a joke. They just needed some material for the program and borrowed from Ben (without crediting him).

I think the reference to the Scooby-Doo ''rindex()'' function is misrepresented as a joke. ''rindex'' is short for ''right index'' if you read the example.
[59] Posted on Thursday, 02 November 2006 at 18:51 GMT [Reply to this] [Permalink]

Tal Cohen writes in reply to Cuff:
Book-in Jokes
The joke is not about the rindex() function, which is clearly not a misspelling or anything; it is about Scooby-Doo's pronunciation. As for Franklin, the joke is in the index entry. Not all jokes are equally funny, I suppose, and it only gets worse if you try to explain them, and yet: nobody will search a book about Perl for info about Franklin. Which is why such ''useless'', tongue-in-cheek index entries are considered in-jokes.
[60] Posted on Friday, 03 November 2006 at 11:53 GMT [Reply to this] [Permalink]

Randal L. Schwartz writes:
The jokes are real
The jokes are deliberately inserted, and occasionally somewhat indirect. Especially in the footnotes.

We have to teach this stuff every week, and unless there was some humor in it, we'd be boring, and you'd be bored.

Sadly, as the book has been translated into a dozen languages, most of the jokes do not survive.
[63] Posted on Sunday, 05 November 2006 at 14:44 GMT [Reply to this] [Permalink]

Alden Wilner writes:
Who is this ''Tom Phoenix'' guy?
My 2nd edition copy of ''Learning Perl'' lists ''Randal L. Schwartz & Tom Christiansen'' as the authors.

I don't see the ''Benjamin Franklin'' joke, but I do see both Scooby Doo and ''Astro, pronouncing ''Windex''.

...and then there's ''Very Bad Programming Style, example of, 53''.

Well, whatever.
[76] Posted on Wednesday, 17 January 2007 at 15:39 GMT [Reply to this] [Permalink]

Mario H. writes:
I have read that book on the first couple of days of my job, two years ago, never forgot about the rindex() function because of that scooby doo joke !
[853] Posted on Thursday, 06 February 2014 at 18:19 GMT [Reply to this] [Permalink]

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