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am 26. Juli 2000
I've done many perl/CGI scripts. I've tried to find a really solid book on teaching me how to write a good perl/CGI script. But most of the book only teach you how to program CGI without teaching you why.
This is it!
The title is damn right. This is a book about CGI programming. Perl is the major language used in this book but not the main purpose of this book. You will learn a solid background about HTTP and CGI. You might need another Perl book to learn how to program perl, but you definetly will know how CGI works in this book.
Thank you, o'reilly!
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am 26. Juli 2000
This book is full of typos, which is forgivable if the code examples don't have typos, but they do. For instance, in the code for upload.cgi on pg 99, the following declaration is made:
use constant UPLOAD_DIR => "/usr/local/apache/data/uploads";
Note this does NOT end with a slash. Later, though, a loop is initialized as follows:
until (sysopen OUTPUT, UPLOAD_DIR . $filename, O_CREAT | O_EXCL)
$filename is taken from user form input, but unless the user was omniscient and put a slash at the beginning of the name he assigned, then the expression "UPLOAD_DIR" . $filename would evaluate to something like:
instead of the correct: ".../uploads/bleedin_file_name". Oh, and speaking of putting a slash at the beginning of the file name....there is code that is supposed to prevent such, as evidenced by the line:
error($q, "Invalid file name; files must start with a letter or number.");
I don't know about slashes, but it didn't prevent me from sending a file name through that begin with a tilde.
Yes the book covers some things you won't find anywhere else, but a lot of the stuff it covers is better covered elsewhere: OReilly's "Webmaster in a NutShell" has better coverage of HTTP. It (Webmaster) also discusses using the use statement to reference a library in a path where you might have had to manually install it in your virtual hosting directory if for instance you couldn't convince your ISP to upgrade to the latest version of This wasn't covered in the CGI book, which is supposed to be solely about CGI, whereas the Webmaster book not only covers CGI/Perl, but also JavaScript, PHP, etc.
Don't waste your money....I'm sorry I did
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am 25. Juli 2000
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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am 7. Juli 2000
Another great book in the O'Reilly computer book series. Great in depth reviews of all concepts, and enough source code to get even a beginner started. A definite pick.
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am 25. Juli 2000
As I'm not an experienced programmer, I did find this book very difficult to understand. The authors assume you have an in-depth knowledge of PERL and the workings of CGI.
The book does offer some good knowledge in real-life examples for Webmasters. It discusses forms and how the information is passed with certain HTML commands. However, if you want to learn about CGI, choose another. As for Perl, I've found Larry Wall's books very good.
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