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CGI Programming with Perl Paperback – 9 Jul 2000

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Product details

  • Paperback: 472 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 2 edition (9 July 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1565924193
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565924192
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 2.8 x 23.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 235,278 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Amazon Review

The appearance of the second edition of CGI Programming with Perl heralds the beginning of the neoclassical era of Web service. CGI--or common gateway interface--is the original back end for client-driven, dynamic Web-page service and deserves consideration as the Romulus of the Internet Empire. But, where first-edition author Gundavaram described the lonely Romulus laying the brick foundation of dynamic Web-page service in 1996, second-edition collaborators Guelich and Birznieks have pitched in to resurrect Romulus amid the crowded streets of modern Rome. Why bother? Surely four years have brought technological revolutions (Java, PHP, ASP, ColdFusion) that render CGI's original brick-by-brick approach as obsolete as, say, Roman mythology--or bricks and mortar.

And yet not. It is an ambiguous blessing that the original CGI persists, adhering to the underside of Web service by the duct tape that is Perl. This point is not missed by Guelich, Gundavaram, and Birznieks, whose advocacy of CGI is both bolstered by the growing applications module base of Perl and tempered by their awareness of CGI's structural limitations. Both new and returning readers of CGI Programming with Perl should browse the last chapter first in order to appreciate the proposed solutions to CGI's greatest sin: its impractical slowness in a world of a million-hits-per-day Web service. The chapter describes CGI-compatible FastCGI and mod_perl technologies that circumvent the process-spawning slowness of the simple CGI. Advanced users might want to skip directly to O'Reilly's fine mod_perl tome, Writing Apache Modules with Perl and C, by Lincoln Stein and Doug MacEachern.

The authors' second pass at CGI pedagogy is a lucid, honest, and expanded account that develops functionality of dynamic Web pages in a rational progression--from HTML client-server and CGI syntax basics to general input/output, forms, e-mail, graphics, and simple database applications, including maintaining client state and data persistence under the otherwise stateless HTTP protocol. The authors offer synopses of cookies, JavaScripting, server security, and XML, all of which are described in detail in other books.

Whether or not neoclassical CGI is fast enough for your purposes--perhaps for guarded intranets--bear in mind that CGI is the standard to which every other Web server has had to respond. The second edition of CGI Programming with Perl is still the best introduction to the classics. --Peter Leopold,

From the Publisher

The Common Gateway Interface (CGI) is one of the most powerful methods of providing dynamic content on the Web. CGI is a generic interface for calling external programs to crunch numbers, query databases, generate customized graphics, or perform any other server-side task. 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 module and the latest versions of Perl. 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, and improving performance of CGI scripts.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By J. J. Guzy on 22 Sept. 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have been programming for years but only recently got big time into CGI. I think this is an excellent book from which to gain your first in depth understanding of CGI and of how to approach the many different aspects of CGI programming using Perl. (Take a look at the index to see). I bought the book, read it cover to cover and use it. It does not set out to teach Perl and assumes that you know the language but you don't need to be a guru to understand the examples. If you want to build reliable Perl programs that automate page generation, handle form data, implement shopping carts, manipulate databases and automatically send e-mails then this book will get you off to a good start.
P.S. I have seen some complaints about the number of errata. These have not bothered me in the slightest. Just get the errata pages from O'Reilly and print them out.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 29 May 2001
Format: Paperback
I found this book very useful in getting me up to speed writing simple scripts, and in adapting the scripts of others. The theory is very well explained, and the section on security a must. Since I have not copied the examples verbatim, the errors which others reported in the code had escaped me. Note, this book will not teach you Perl.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. Butler on 14 Oct. 2000
Format: Paperback
"CGI Programming With Perl" contains sufficient elementary information in the first three chapters to ensure that the reader in conversant with the CGI and aware of its advantages and disadvantages. The fun starts with chapter four when the reader is introduced to practical problems and methods of solving them. Rather than adopting the example lead approach of so many programming books, Geulich et al concentrate on providing the facts the reader needs to be able to solve real problems. This approach is excellent and makes the book a pleasure to read - there is no need to wade through interminable examples trying to discover the facts.
This book is a great place for the would be CGI programmer to start.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. Sharpe on 18 Jan. 2007
Format: Paperback
I'm new to perl and cgi. I found this book poorly structured and written compared to say 'Learning Perl' by Randal Schwartz. It does give you an overview of what can be done with cgi but how to specifically implement programming tasks is often vaguely or confusingly described. I found the out of print first edition by Gundavarum more help. It is available free on the O'Reilly web site.
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