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The animal on the cover of Perl Best Practices is an American staghound, a hybrid of the greyhound and the Scottish deerhound that is bred specifically for coursing, or hunting by sight. Coursing is one of the world's oldest field sports, and "gazehounds," or "sighthounds," have been tested in competition since as early as AD 116.
The staghound is not recognized as a breed, but is considered a type of sighthound. Although some lines of staghounds have been bred together since the 1700slonger than some modern breedsmost huntsmen don't push for breed recognition. They believe the staghound should be left unrecognized in order to preserve it as a coursing animal bred for function and not form. As a result, there are no breed standards. Staghounds come in any color or pattern found in either the greyhound or Scottish deerhound and have three coat types: "shag," "slick," and "broken" (which is between shag and slick).
The staghound exhibits many of the same physical characteristics as the greyhound, with long legs, strong muscles, a deep chest, and keen eyesight, and has the endurance and scenting ability of the Scottish deerhound. The staghound's coursing instinct is so strong that anything that runsrabbits, deer, coyotes, etc.may be considered quarry. Because these dogs are fast and alert but not hyper or aggressive, they are also said to make excellent pets if exercised regularly.
Genevieve d'Entremont was the production editor and proofreader for Perl Best Practices. Nancy Kotary copyedited the book. Darren Kelly and Claire Cloutier provided quality control. Lucie Haskins wrote the index.
Ellie Volckhausen designed the cover of this book, based on a series design by Edie Freedman. The cover image is a 19th-century engraving from Richard Lydekker's The Royal Natural History. Karen Montgomery produced the cover layout with Adobe InDesign CS using Adobe's ITC Garamond font.
David Futato designed the interior layout. This book was converted by Keith Fahlgren to FrameMaker 5.5.6 with a format conversion tool created by Erik Ray, Jason McIntosh, Neil Walls, and Mike Sierra that uses Perl and XML technologies. The text font is Linotype Birka; the heading font is Adobe Myriad Condensed; and the code font is LucasFont's TheSans Mono Condensed. The technical illustration that appears in this book was produced by Robert Romano using Macromedia FreeHand MX and Adobe Photoshop CS. This colophon was written by Lydia Onofrei.