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Perl: Annotated Archives [Paperback]

Martin C. Brown
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

December 1998 Annotated Archives
"Perl Annotated Archives" provides fully working examples that derive from the Web and the author's own vast code library, contains descriptions of how the programmer tackled problems in line-by-line detail. and has a variety of programs provided. The CD-ROM contains all the code and applications from the book in a simple chapter-by-chapter directory structure.

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From the Back Cover

Packed with ready-to-run Code and Expert Advice for Perl Programmers. This is the most innovative Perl programming tool ever created. Create extensible programs by dynamic Web applications with this exceptional collection of annotated, reusable Perl code. Perl Annotated Archives is packed with ready-to-run code for Windows, Unix, Mac, and Web applications along with line-by-line explanations. Use the power and flexibility of Perl to carry out hundreds of functions easily--process and report on text files, write clients and servers within a single application, dynamically create HTML, secure your Web site, manage an entire network from a single point, and much more. Complete with a CD-ROM containing all of the book's source code and applications, this one-of-a-kind collection is a programmer's reference and how-to-manual in a single convenient volume.

About the Author

Martin C Brown has 15 years of multi-platform programming experience in Perl, Shellscript, Basic, Pascal, C/C++, Java, JavaScript, VBScript, and Awk.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Wait... Nov. 19 2000
Wait... Although this is a good book, it doesn't mean that it'll teach you perl. It actually doesn't intend to teach you perl from basics. What I really love about this book is, it gives a reader lots of ideas on how to use perl efficiently.
Those who are hoocked on CGI can also buy this book. After buying the book you can either 1)read through it and have new ideas on how you could write perl programs efficiently or 2) just grab the ready-to-use programs from the CD and run'em. I agree, this is not the only book that provides you with ready-to-use programs. I also wrote a review to CGI/Perl Cookbook, which got my just one star. Difference between these two titles is that, CGI/Perl Cookbook is pretty far from giving you tips and doesn't go through their ready-to-use programs in details. As to Perl:Annotated Archives, it does a good job on explaining the programs. Also the programs included in the book are intended to handle some very frequent tasks, like checking HTML validity, Managing your news pages, CGI security (for details look at the table of contents in the left menu).
If you are beginner and want to learn perl and to be able to write your own programs and modules, I do not recommend you this title. Don't buy it. Go for either CGI101(highly recommend it) or Elizabeth Castro's Quick Start guide.
In overall, this is a good book, which provides you with lots of usefull ideas and programs as well.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Martin++ ! Jan. 31 2000
There's something wonderful about a book that doesn't sit on a shelf for any period of time. It becomes dog-eared from use and its layout and content becomes familiar. Martin Brown's Perl and Python Annotated Archives are two such books in my personal collection. I find myself constantly switching between computer languages and with books like these, it's a snap to become productive very quickly. Other reviews here have covered the fine examples in the AA books but what struck me the most was that Martin doesn't overly rely on modules from CPAN to illustrate his point. Some have likened CPAN's contents to being 'software integrated circuits' -- something you just plug and and use. This is great for people who don't care about the details and have a but if you want to learn how things really work, this book's example code is where it's at. Of course he's no dummy and liberally uses things like Getopt in the right amounts.
If you build Web solutions and only have time to absorb one chapter, read and understand the CGI security chapter. My personal favorite has to be either the entries on databases or the cross platform systems administration section. Too many Perl books concentrate on Unix and don't acknowledge other OSes. I think 'macfbf.pl' might be the first code example for the Macintosh I've seen in a Perl book!
There's a lot for Perl newbies and old dogs to learn from this book and it's well worth the effort to glean something from every chapter.
Martin is one of the most interactive authors I've ever dealt with and always responds to emailed suggestions, questions and constructive criticism with a professional yet friendly tone. He's been quick to point out the very rare typographic mistakes and updates his Web site's errata section quickly. That alone makes his books worth having!
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5.0 out of 5 stars An essential book for all Perl users and teachers Jan. 13 2000
There are many ways to learn a programming language but only a few yield positive results. One of the most effective solutions is to learn how to use a particular language to solve real-world problems, and this is precisely the approach that Martin C. Brown chose to help the reader of his excellent Perl Annotated Archives book learn the language that powers hundreds of thousands of Internet and intranet servers around the world. Instead of a series of dry lessons found in many Perl textbooks, with Perl AA you can start writing and experimenting with the source code right after you open this book. This makes it an ideal book for both teachers of the Perl programming language and for their students who want to see how theory they learn works in practice.
Perl is not an easy language to learn and the lack of commented code samples is what discourages a lot of people from learning it. Martin C. Brown does an excellent job of teaching not only how to write useful applications but also how to keep your code simple, clean and easy to maintain which is no mean feat considering how easy it is to write cryptic code in Perl. So, the first star is for what's between the covers.
I'm sure that many people who tried to learn a programming language from a book will agree that it is not enough to just dump the best ideas and code onto paper--they must be presented in a way that helps the reader to quickly find any little bit of information he/she needs. I found nothing to complain about in that department and I agree with my students who often praise this book for its ease of use and the ease of access to the information contained inside it. The second star is therefore for the presentation of the material.
How about the accuracy of the text and the source code?
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2.0 out of 5 stars Nice idea; poor execution March 2 2000
By Bruce M
Although I've used Perl for a while, I like collections like this. I started reading this book and was immediately thrown off by at least one coding/logic error in the encrypt/decrypt programs (which are among the first scripts in the first chapter). The fact that these are annotated multiplies the error, because a newbie is more likely to be misled by the clear explanation of something that is false. This left a bad taste in my mouth, so I've been leery of using the book much since (it's the last one that I consult). Finally, I don't like the author's Perl style. Yes, "there's more than one way to do things," but the style is (IMHO) somewhat non-Perlish and may lead to people missing out on the Perl Philosophy.
I recommend the Perl Cookbook instead for recipes, and the Programming Perl book for examples/tutorials.
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