Perl and CGI for the World Wide Web: Visual QuickStart Guide (2nd Edition) Paperback – May 29 2001
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One of the best things about Perl and CGI for the World Wide Web is the seamless way the author incorporates terminology into her explanations. Elizabeth Castro, author of HTML 4 for the World Wide Web, understands the intermediate user: someone who would be bored by a beginner's guide, but isn't ready to step up to heavy-hitting programming texts either.
In Perl and CGI, she explains basic concepts--such as the difference between a compiled and an interpreted script--within the text, so there's no need to keep flipping back to the glossary. Readers should be familiar with HTML and comfortable with technical explanations, diagrams, and general vocabulary.
Anyone trying to get a grasp on something as complex and powerful as Perl will appreciate Castro's relatively straightforward technique. For example, in the first chapter, Castro explains some basic Perl concepts sensibly: that the $ stands for the s in scalar; the @ sign stands for the a in array; and that the % that labels a hash or associative array indicates two circles on each side of the slash as parts of a pair. This granular, logical way of building Perl knowledge will get new Perl users started. More experienced users will want to use this book as a workbook and refresher. --Jennifer Buckendorff --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
From the Back Cover
Perl is by far the most popular programming language for creating scripts that add powerful interactive features to Web pages. Included on most UNIX platforms and available free of charge for Windows and Macintosh, Perl lets you place forms on your Web site that collect and process user input such as product orders and comments, enable visitors to conduct keyword searches for information on your site, and integrate a database into your site, among many other capabilities.
Perl and CGI for the World Wide Web: Visual QuickStart Guide gets you to the heart of Perl scripting with CGI. Even first-time programmers will be able to create interactive Web pages and, more importantly, you'll be able to use your new-found familiarity with Perl to understand and customize the multitude of scripts that already exist on the Web. Following on the huge success of Liz CastroÕs top-selling HTML:Visual QuickStart GuideÑthe book to have to learn or reference HTMLÑCastroÕs Perl and CGI for the World Wide Web: Visual QuickStart Guide is soon to becomethe choice for learning Perl and CGI.
- Author of the acclaimed, best-selling HTML:Visual QuickStart Guide, with over 100,000 copies sold
- Teaches you all you need to know to start creating CGI scripts in Perl
- Shows how to make your Web pages stand out with interactive features such as guest books and forms
- Assumes no prior programming experience
Top Customer Reviews
Some topics covered include getting familiar with Perl syntax and functions, installing Perl, communicating with Web servers, creating HTML pages and forms, serving up data, and dealing with security. If you know any programming language, you can begin to pick up Perl very quickly from her examples. In fact I used this book to tackle my first Perl script and had it working fairly quickly. She assumes some knowledge of HTML and the basics of Web servers and browsers.
Advanced topics such as using databases to store or retrieve data on Web pages is not covered in this fairly small book, but that is a topic worthy of a separate book anyway. Other issues such as dealing with specific Web servers are also best left to other books. For the price and ease of use, I highly recommend Castro's book. You'll be seeing the results of your first CGI script in no time at all.
My motivation to learn anything is that I already have a practical application in mind and I want to gain enough knowledge to write it. If I don't have more applications on the back burner, I may well forget half of what I learned once the application is written, but I accept that about myself.
The organization of this book was such that it was easy to jump back and forth through the chapters, getting a handle on the bits I needed to write my script.
When I paused a few months, forgot a lot, then had another bright idea for a script, it was easy to dive right back in, using this book to refresh my knowledge and expand it a bit.
On the other hand, if you're coming in as a stark beginner, you can go through it chapter by chapter while you build up the confidence to start bouncing around.
It is mainly a survey of different concepts, without going too deeply into any. That's why it's called a "quickstart" guide. It's supposed to help you get out of the gate quickly and it does so excellently.
You may find that once you go beyond simple scripting, you'll need a more advanced book to help you dig down into the guts of Perl, but once you get to that point, you'll find that the [ahhhem] dollars you spent on this book were a heck of an investment, because you'll be able to plow into those more advanced tomes and not feel lost.
There wedged between two 100 pounders were two copies of Perl and CGI for the world wide web. By pure chance, I reached over and picked one of them, took a seat and began to browse through it. In no time, I found my self scribbling down web addresses mentioned in P&CGI until I came across the section on getting and installing a personal web server. How to set up your own little test environment. It was written in plain English ... and small capsules of information that could easily be understood. I was sold! I paid for it and hurried home. Within a few hours I was deep into the book, having downloaded the requisite PWS and set up my development environment. Everything worked exactly as your book says. When I uploaded my simple CGI script to my basic webpage voila! it worked there too! Now I know how marconi felt when first he heard the crackling of the radio signal coming across the Atlantic!
This is why I writing to you. I feel compelled to congratulate you on the marvelous job you've done in presenting this material. There are only two other books I can remember in my 30-year love affair with computers that come close to your book ... both were on PC-Forth. Yours is an amazing feat. A fantastic introduction that demystifies CGI, Perl and web programming. You deserve a gold star! <gold star>.
Most recent customer reviews
I bought this book to put CGI on my own website. When you send your data on the examples in this book they go to the authors CGI pages at a web site ([... Read morePublished on Jan. 22 2004 by Bruce T. Rosier
I found both the layout and the text of this book difficult to learn from. With its small visual chunks, my eyes had to jump around the page excessively in order to take in the... Read morePublished on March 21 2003 by Melliforte
I was on vaction and decided to learn cgi that is the only book i have ever read on the subject and i have now written a chat room severall useful scripts i have an everychat... Read morePublished on March 1 2003 by Thomas Williams
If your interested in Perl programming for your web site...THIS IS THE BOOK. I bought Perl for Dummies which was good but too broad-based. Read morePublished on Dec 20 2002 by Harry A. Stover
This is a great book for the intermediate to well-seasoned HTML coder who is looking to explore server-side scripting. Read morePublished on Aug. 1 2002 by Amazon Customer
Although I am computer knowledgeable and have several certifications, I knew absolutely nothing about Perl and CGI before reading this text. Read morePublished on June 9 2002 by Harold McFarland
I think Elizabeth Castro did a great job in this book.
I went from a completely beginner on Perl to intermediate. Read more
The book purports to be a visual quickstart guide. However, you will need a microscope to view the examples; which after close examination, you will find to be the same examples... Read morePublished on April 24 2002
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