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But there is a fine line between simple and simplistic. In an effort to convey the live look-and-feel code development environment, the Maran designers depict the "pico" editor window around every code snippet, and pico's own interface becomes synonymous with Perl by the third example. Moreover, the editors underestimate newbie user interface experience when they remind the user to "position the cursor" in certain locations before typing the next segment of the demonstration code, even after 16 chapters. Code annotation is graphically stimulating but conceptually mundane throughout.
The Maran group succeeds in hitting Perl's most important high points in its 285-page jaunt across the language. Examples for variable dereferencing, making and using Perl modules, building dynamic Web interaces, accessing databases, and designing for the CGI server-side Web interface are all included. The accompanying CD-ROM contains Perl 5.6 distribution for Unix, ActivePerl for Windows platforms, a pdf e-copy of the text itself, and a variety of extras. --Peter Leopold
I found the format of this book to be very intuitive. I think that the book can be highly useful for many intermediate-level Perl programmers.
Before judging the book based on these reviews, make sure you get to browse it for 20 minutes to see if the book's content and instruction approach fit your needs.
I enjoy the aesthetic quality of the Maran Graphics' books, and have nothing against this book. However, serious programmers who want to learn much more of Perl and CGI should take a look at Perl How to Program by the Deitels. It is much more effective in teaching Perl theory as well as giving you a lot examples that are complex enough to use multiple ideas. The Complete Perl Training Coarse (also from the Deitels) is very effective as well.
I am still a child, but I have explored many server-side programming technologies (Java Servlets, Applets, JSP, CGI, and Perl) and feel that I am expierenced enough to review this book.