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Web Programming with Perl 5
by Rick Smith (July 19, 2001)

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B O O K   I N F O R M A T I O N
Title: Web Programming with Perl 5
Author:

Bill Middleton
Brian Deng
Chris Kemp

Publisher: Sams.net Publishing

The first chapter of Web Programming with Perl 5 provides a clear description of what this book provides and what it is not. The authors state that the Perl "code will be assumed to be implemented to a UNIX system" and that this book isn't for "clueless newbies".

Web Programming with Perl 5 is true to its mission and I agree that this book is certainly not a text to learn Perl from. I also feel that once you can successfully understand and write Perl code, it would be a good read simply to assimilate a major principle of this book -- to not reinvent the wheel and to find available modules that perform much of the task you need to accomplish. Throughout this well laid out book, the authors demonstrate that applications can be more easily written by using existing Perl modules.

Copyrighted in 1997, this book describes Traps for Perl 4 programmers and devotes its appendix to Perl 4 to Perl 5 migration. While new Perl developers can skip over this dated material, if you ever need to migrate an existing Perl 4 application, you will find these sections invaluable.

Internet security is a topic that is frequently discussed in the news today and this book had the forethought to include a chapter about CGI and server security, before discussing any application code.

Web Programming with Perl 5 also:

  • Summarizes the CPAN (Comprehensive Perl Archive Network) and provides a brief history

  • Demonstrates the encoding and decoding of e-mail message attachments using the MIME:Base 64 class

  • Provides a graphical hit counter in Perl without using server side includes

  • Details how a search spider could be created using modules

  • Describes Hypercal, an application for Web appointments and calendaring

  • Provides a simple graphical game application (Hangman) using the infamous GD GIF module

  • Details the MiniVend shopping cart application

  • Describes the DBI database module which can access Oracle, Sybase or DB2 databases

  • Shows the way you could write your own log file analysis program

    While this is an older Perl book, it can be quite useful if you are particularly interested in the specific applications described. Still, the single most important reason for reading this book is to begin to understand the core concept of finding pre-written modules to perform the task at hand. Following the author's advice of "Don't reinvent the wheel", by using the CPAN archives and other modules created by the Perl development community, you will save time and money that far exceeds the price of this book.

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    Copyright 2001 Rick Smith All rights reserved.

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