Practical mod_perl is now available under a CreativeCommons Attribution Share-Alike License, which in appropriately practical terms means that it’s a free download and that under certain conditions you can distribute the book and even make derivative works.

I love Practical mod_perl. I bought it when I still thought there was a reasonable chance that we might expand our use of mod_perl at work and I needed solid guidance on how to configure and use mod_perl more effectively. I’d read, reread, and thoroughly enjoyed the mod_perl Developer’s Cookbook, which nicely filled major gaps in my knowledge but didn’t help enough with topics like server setup strategies. Practical mod_perl fits that bill. If you are a mod_perl developer, keep both these essential books nearby. Especially Practical mod_perl, because if you have to reach too far for it you’ll strain something: it’s huge!

If you are considering mod_perl, the release of the book as a free download should help you get a feel for what it’s like and what it can do for you. Try the book, then buy it.

Sadly, at one point I looked around and realized that I was the only mod_perl developer at work and that I probably always would be. With great reluctance, wailing and gnashing of teeth, I abandoned the platform. Bloody shame, too, since the alternative at the time was PHP. Don’t get me wrong, I like PHP for a certain class of problems, but at the time working with things like web services (be they SOAP, XML-RPC, or REST) was so much more pleasant in Perl than PHP. mod_perl’s tight integration with Apache opens up so many doors and is so exciting and fun it leaves me speechless.

Now, of course, I’m working with Java. Don’t even get me started.