CGI Programming with Perl, 2nd Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: June 2000
Pages: 472

Programming on the Web today can involve any of several technologies, but the Common Gateway Interface (CGI) has held its ground as the most mature method--and one of the most powerful ones--of providing dynamic web content. CGI is a generic interface for calling external programs to crunch numbers, query databases, generate customized graphics, or perform any other server-side task. There was a time when CGI was the only game in town for server-side programming; today, although we have ASP, PHP, Java servlets, and ColdFusion (among others), CGI continues to be the most ubiquitous server-side technology on the Web.CGI programs can be written in any programming language, but Perl is by far the most popular language for CGI. Initially developed over a decade ago for text processing, Perl has evolved into a powerful object-oriented language, while retaining its simplicity of use. CGI programmers appreciate Perl's text manipulation features and its CGI.pm module, which gives a well-integrated object-oriented interface to practically all CGI-related tasks. While other languages might be more elegant or more efficient, Perl is still considered the primary language for CGI.CGI Programming with Perl, Second Edition, offers a comprehensive explanation of using CGI to serve dynamic web content. Based on the best-selling CGI Programming on the World Wide Web, this edition has been completely rewritten to demonstrate current techniques available with the CGI.pm module and the latest versions of Perl. The book starts at the beginning, by explaining how CGI works, and then moves swiftly into the subtle details of developing CGI programs.Topics include:

  • Incorporating JavaScript for form validation
  • Controlling browser caching
  • Making CGI scripts secure in Perl
  • Working with databases
  • Creating simple search engines
  • Maintaining state between multiple sessions
  • Generating graphics dynamically
  • Improving performance of your CGI scripts
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oreillyCGI Programming with Perl, 2nd Edition
 
4.0

(based on 12 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

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    (3)

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    (6)

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    (3)

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Reviewed by 12 customers

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(6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

A valued book I wouldn't part with

By Andrew Mott

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly CGI Programming with Perl, 2nd Edition:

CGI Programming with Perl by Scott Geulich, Shishir Gundavaram, and Gunther Birznieks is a great beginning book for those interested in web programming with Perl. I have owned this book since its publication, and though it is about eight years later, I still reference back to this book. It is a joy to read.

The book covers these topics and more:

HTTP Protocal (Basic summary of how the web works)

URLs (Each part and what they do)

CGI (What it is, and how to use it)

Processing HTML Forms with CGI

CGI.pm for Perl (Including other options)

HTML Templates

Javasctipt

Security (Very Important)

Sending Email

Data Persistence (Making text files, Using SQL & Databases)

Maintaining State (Cookies, Hidden Fields, URL)

Web Searching

Creating Graphics with Perl & GD

XML Intro, Parsing XML

Debugging

Tips for Better CGI Applications

Efficiency and Optimization

Everything you need to get started for building web based applications is available in this book. It is a great introduction to other technologies as well as Perl & CGI. Basic things a begginer would want to learn how to do (Send Email, Process Forms, Maintain State, Data Persistance) is included here. However, this book is quite old. I suppose because of the proliferation of mod_perl, PHP, and others technologies, that this book has yet to be updated. I find it useful currently in its old state, but I am sure updates could be provided, obviously in places where other technologies are referenced and described as alternatives to CGI with Perl.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

Some Dated Material, Still Useful

By Matthew Weigel

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly CGI Programming with Perl, 2nd Edition:

The most recent thing I came to this book looking for, good information on how to handle sessions, simply isn't there, CGI::Session and Apache::Session aren't discussed at all. On the other hand, important performance topics (like using fastcgi or mod_perl, normal Perl optimization, etc.) are still useful.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

CGI Programming with Perl, 2nd Edition Review

By tadziu

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly CGI Programming with Perl, 2nd Edition:

Your misssing some files that are necessary to understand the principles.

There were several missing already in previous chapters. In chapter 7 for instance, you do not provide - "music_data.txt" - so the online example of music_browser.cgi cannot be tried out.

Another one is in Chapter 6. I need "rgb.txt" to get the xcolors.cgi to work. You did not provide it.

I find this frustrating - particularly since I paid $35 for the book. And I'm not getting the full benefit of the book.

tadziu

 
3.0

CGI Programming with Perl, 2nd Edition Review

By Tor

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly CGI Programming with Perl, 2nd Edition:

The book covers all the important stuff, it is easy to read, and has insightful comments and good examples. The comments below should be seen in that contexts.

Unfortunately, it seems to be poorly edited. There are many typos, and the example scripts typically have one or several bugs in them. Even today, three years after release, the downloadable scripts need debugging!

This is actually quite frustrating, as you can't take those scripts for granted. If you want to learn by modifying you don't know if it is your modification or the original script that caused your problems.

 
4.0

CGI Programming with Perl, 2nd Edition Review

By Paul Dyer

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly CGI Programming with Perl, 2nd Edition:

This is good book that covers a wide area. Each chapter can be read faily quickly, but to really learn it is necessary to do the examples.

Unfortunately, there has been a poor job of editting. There are many typo and grammatical errors, in addition to code problems. I have found that at least 90 percent of the examples do not work without a skilled debugging session. I was able to get all code to work, except for examples 11-2, 11-3 on Maintaining State, and examples 14-4, 14-5 on "Whats Related". Example 14-4, 14-5 will probably never work again because the web server it uses is now commercialized.

In particular, chapter 11 was very poorly written and needs to be completely re-worked. Too bad, it is a very important topic.

Overall, this is still a very good book. It serves as a great intro into CGI web programming.

 
5.0

CGI Programming with Perl, 2nd Edition Review

By Aaron Hillyer

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly CGI Programming with Perl, 2nd Edition:

A must have for any web developer from novice (assuming knowledge of Perl) to advanced.

I found this book to be an all-encompasing overview of the world of CGI and it is really a quick read. While it is an overview, don't be fooled into thinking that it has nothing to offer you because it's knowledge is vast. Check out the sample chapter on security to see what I mean. Furthermore, it servers the additional purpose of a great reference. If you're doing anything on the web, buy this book.

 
4.0

CGI Programming with Perl, 2nd Edition Review

By Dan Woodruff

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly CGI Programming with Perl, 2nd Edition:

Great source for a semi experienced programmer. The level of detail is perfect for my understanding. The source for the examples is unaviable in Windows environment though. I would have liked to see more comparison on other technology and less of cgi.pm

 
4.0

CGI Programming with Perl, 2nd Edition Review

By Medhat M. Saleh

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly CGI Programming with Perl, 2nd Edition:

This is a truely rewarding book. It is an excellent choice for an experienced programmer who is starting to learn CGI or had been doing a little bit of it, and now needs more ! Surely, you will find your self looking for more details elsewhere; but that is unavoidable for a comprehensive book, even a good one like this one.

I share the sentiments of an earlier reviewer towards waiting for the UPS truck!

 
4.0

CGI Programming with Perl, 2nd Edition Review

By Nico Piccirilli

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly CGI Programming with Perl, 2nd Edition:

Truly a different animal!

Shows you how to put it all together.

A must for any aspiring web developper.

 
5.0

CGI Programming with Perl, 2nd Edition Review

By T W Foy

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly CGI Programming with Perl, 2nd Edition:

A great book that teaches you why not how. This book doesn't teach you Perl, it assumes you know

Perl - instead it teaches you all the tricks with using Perl on the web. Useful both as an introductory guide and as a quick-reference manual.

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