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Programming Web Graphics with Perl and GNU Softwar Paperback – Feb 11 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 468 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (Feb. 11 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1565924789
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565924789
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 2.5 x 23.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 771 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #887,591 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

From Amazon

As a how-to book, Programming Web Graphics with Perl & GNU Software covers a narrow but powerful niche of Web development--on-the-fly graphics generation. It also focuses on the Perl language and its associated free code modules, making the techniques you learn in this book immediately available for free.

Author Shawn P. Wallace begins with a look at the popular image formats on the Web: GIF, PNG, and JPEG. This chapter offers a quick and fascinating demystification of these critical graphics file types. The next chapter discusses the dance between graphics and Web browsers, with a look at CGI, HTML display, color schemes, and other details.

Among the tools discussed in this book is the GD Perl module for working with GIF files, the GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP), GIFScript, and ImageMagick. The author uses a chessboard simulation application to illustrate how to manipulate graphics dynamically. Some sections focus on graphing, animation, and image maps to illustrate the flexibility of dynamic graphics.

Near the end of the book, the author presents a "Web graphics cookbook"--a collection of examples you can use in your sites that includes a graphical Web counter, a JavaScript rollover menu, image thumbnailing scripts, and more. The author finishes with a discussion of creating and integrating PostScript code.

This guide reads more like a brain dump from the author than a comprehensive discussion of Web graphics; however, there's much to be gleaned from his knowledge. --Stephen W Plain

Review

'...is a cross between a how to manual and an idea book. It will empower readers in the often mystical area of graphic creation and suggest new ways to give web sites lively, dynamic content, all without spending a penny on software. 454 pages are hardly enough to provide a thorough course in every tool mentioned, but in each case there is enough material to lift the reader to basic confidence, and the references to take them further. Although without some knowledge of Perl it might be intimidating, the text should be accessible to the complete graphics novice. Shawn Wallace has written an excellent book on a topic which deserves it."'--Gavin Inglis, news@UK, June 2000

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Paperback
Freeware graphics tools for web development are abundant, if you know where to look. This book provides detailed examples of thier use with perl - and excellent text parsing language and defacto standard for cgi programming. With the proper extensions (all available free via GNU Software download) perl can provide "on the fly" rendering of web graphics.

Beginning with a proper understanding of graphics formats (gif, png, jpeg) commonly used on the web and detailing the differences between them, the reader quickly becomes an expert in thier differences and the advantages of each.

The meat of this book includes chapters on popular extensions to perl for graphics, GD, PerlMagick, GIFgraph, and the GIMP. I have always been amazed at the features in GIMP, but until this book did not realize that such features could be scripted in perl. The book list all the methods available through GD with a discussion of each.

Although the included web graphics cookbook is a bit short on recipes, the section on postscript makes up for the loss. If you have ever wanted to generate publisher quality postscript files from your web data the "Everything I Needed to Know About PostScript I learned Here" section is for you.

O'Reilly has a knack for generating 'must have' perl books that stand the test of time. This one is a must for the bookshelf of anyone who parses text with perl. Although a full treatise on this subject would encompasse thousands of pages, this book provides the essentials in an easy to use format. It should be considered an introductory text that will serve as an excellent starting point for the advanced web graphics user.
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Format: Paperback
I have no other option but accepting most of the negative reviews submitted to this book ( Graphics Programming with Perl and GNU software ). The book is definitely one of the horrible books that O'reilly was ever unfortunate enough to publish. I believe a similar title by "Manning" publication does a better job than this one. If you need the facts, read on.
If you want to purchase this book to learn how to program web graphics with Perl, stop right here and go to CPAN.org. Search for GD, GD::Graph and ImageMagick and read their manuals. That's all this book does any ways.
The only chapter I enjoyed was chapter one, "Image File Formats", which at least taught me something I hadn't known before.
Outlines of the chapters follow.
Chapter one - "Image File Formats" covers most of the basics you need to know to understand the anatomy of graphics, their compression algorithms and different formats available for the web, as well as their pros and cons. This is the chapter I enjoyed most. The chapter lasts over 30 pages.
Chapter two - "Serving graphics on the Web" talks a bit about serving images from within Perl. Talks how the browser loads the images, image load time and image caching. Shows the <IMG> tag, and its attributes. Lasts another 30 pages.
Chapter 3 - "A Litany of Libraries" lists references to some of the graphics libraries available on the web. I would expect to see this chapter as an appendix.
Starting chapter 4 - "On-the-Fly graphics with GD" is the start of all the disappointment, and to some extent, annoyance. After a clumsy introduction to GD and some of its classes and methods, starts coding a chess board. The application itself is not so useful, but the code is worth consideration.
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Format: Paperback
This is not an art book. There are not even any color illustrations. Rather, there is uniquely definitive and comprehensive coverage of the most important freeware graphics tools useful for web development. There is a strong bias toward programmatic tools, those which can be controlled from server-parsed HTML or CGI using Perl, which allow drawing graphics interactively with the user on the fly. One example with source code is a Perl "biorhythm" calculator, where the user enters a birthdate and the web page draws a customized GIF bar chart with a sinusoidal envelope, emulating the coin-operated "biorhythm" machine at the Vince Lombardi Rest Area on I-95 in New Jersey. This basic technique can be used for charts of stock performance, server activity, and any other on-demand drawing. The ImageMagick tool, which can be run from a command line to do batch processing (such as thumbnailing) or through a Perl API, is also well covered, showing how to draw text labels onto images and do other tasks essential to good web practice. The GIMP, a web-friendly freeware clone of Adobe Photoshop, is covered primarily from the point of view of its relatively unknown Perl API, but this is not a book about the GIMP and there are better choices of books (especially those with color) if interactive use of the GIMP is your main concern. However, use of the GIMP to create basic web elements such as flaming marbles or imploding cats is covered. This book stands in a class by itself on its subject matter, and is destined to become one of the classic O'Reilly references.Read more ›
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