From the Author
The perfect book for the Perl/CGI beginner
When I started learning Perl I found it really frustrating that most books assumed that I was a programmer. They used terms I'd never heard of and didn't explain particular functions because they "worked the same as in C". Aargh! And most of them didn't care about using Perl on the Web. I did.
So, when I wrote this book, I made sure to start at the beginning. It'll give you everything you need to know to write your own Perl scripts that process the information that people send you through your forms. And it does it visually. You'll _see_ each script, the HTML page that it interacts with, and the result of using the Perl function in question. You'll actually understand what you're doing.
I don't want to waste your time. If you already know how to program, this is probably not the book for you. If you're looking for an exhaustive reference on Perl that gives you every detail on every last function, this is not it. And if you don't care about using Perl for Web pages, you should not buy my book.
On the other hand, if you've never programmed before, this book will give you a peek inside the "programmers-only" club so you can see what's going on in there. If you want to add a guestbook or a counter to your Web page but don't know exactly where to start, this is the book for you. If you want to know to know why a script does what it does and then learn to customize it for your own use, this book will help you do just that.
I also take a very few pages to show you how to create a form, even though most of you already know how to do that, because the way you use NAME and VALUE attributes is really important when you start writing Perl scripts. And there's a special appendix that covers basic Unix functions so you'll have everything you need to get started. The book's website includes a Question and Answer board, downloadable files that include all of the example scripts and accompanying HTML documents, and readers' comments. I'm also planning a section where folks can share and show off their scripts. I look forward to seeing you there.
From the Back Cover
Perl is by far the most popular programming language for creating scripts that add powerful interactive features to Web pages. Included on most UNIX platforms and available free of charge for Windows and Macintosh, Perl lets you place forms on your Web site that collect and process user input such as product orders and comments, enable visitors to conduct keyword searches for information on your site, and integrate a database into your site, among many other capabilities.
Perl and CGI for the World Wide Web: Visual QuickStart Guide gets you to the heart of Perl scripting with CGI. Even first-time programmers will be able to create interactive Web pages and, more importantly, you'll be able to use your new-found familiarity with Perl to understand and customize the multitude of scripts that already exist on the Web. Following on the huge success of Liz CastroÕs top-selling HTML:Visual QuickStart GuideÑthe book to have to learn or reference HTMLÑCastroÕs Perl and CGI for the World Wide Web: Visual QuickStart Guide is soon to becomethe choice for learning Perl and CGI.
- Author of the acclaimed, best-selling HTML:Visual QuickStart Guide, with over 100,000 copies sold
- Teaches you all you need to know to start creating CGI scripts in Perl
- Shows how to make your Web pages stand out with interactive features such as guest books and forms
- Assumes no prior programming experience