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on 7 December 1998
I was waiting for this book! Unlike the standard Perl reference, which had me tearing out my hair, this one does not assume you already know other languages, though it does assume you have familiarity with basic HTML.
This book won't take you far into perl but as far as it goes, holds your hand and is very focused on what's needed to do cgi scripts. At just over 260 pp it is less daunting than the standard reference.
Castro explains different data types ( scalars, arrays, etc.); shows how to create a cgi script; how to set permissions; how to set up forms on your html page so the data you receive is labelled right and how to analyze it; use of basic perl functions; how to access external files from a script; and more. She tells you what information you have to get from your ISP in order to set up and access your cgi scripts.
Most helpfully, each section is heavily cross-referenced to minimize fruitless flipping back and forth trying to understand examples.
Even so, a beginner will doubtless find some things confusing.
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on 25 August 1999
Okay, so you want to learn PERL and CGI and ASP's and C++ and get the whole technical lowdown on complete server- and client-side design. Great. Quit your job, stay home for a year learning it all, and get up a few thousand bucks for some intensive language courses. Or, grab this book and in a couple of days you'll be able to generate some decent scripts that can handle common tasks.
Yes, there are some errors (try writing an Internet book that has none!). If you really wanna be a guru with a language whose design is as dumb and convoluted as PERL's, you'll need half a dozen other manuals just to get started. PERL was designed by a group of engineers to ensure their own job security -- the language is totally unlearnable, even for experienced programmers. At least this book can quickly help you out of some serious CGI-related jams. On that basis, it gets at least 4 stars.
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on 6 September 2002
Excellent book for beginners to Perl. I learnt Perl in under 3 days using this book.
The book's excellent side by side comparisons between the perl code and what it actually does (what's displayed when you run the code) is great at guiding the reader through. It's also makes easy reading and is ideal for begineers.
100% recommended!
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on 19 May 2001
Like many others, I've skimmed by the Visual Quickstart books thinking that the low page count did not allow much coverage of the subject. How wrong I was. Like many wanting to get started with this subject I don't have the programming background that most books on this subject assume. The author takes you gently by the hand through the starting stages and makes no assumptions about your OS or toolset (how refreshing!)
The books layout is simple and concise. I'm still working my way through the book and may well graduate to more complex stuff in due course but as a starting point this book is excellent.
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VINE VOICEon 9 March 2004
This is a confusing book. DOn't get me wrong, I'm no web programming rookie. I just wanted a book that would teach me PERL. And my uni course forced me to buy this one. It would be nice if the author used a PC or a Mac to do the screen shots with, and not a combination of both, but nevermind.
I've gotten used to SAMS books. I've gotton used to just looking something up in a book, and the answer being on a page. This book makes you read the entire chapter if you want an answer.
If you're a little more green than me, and want a book to work through that will make you a competent PERL programmer, buy this, and work through it. If you've got some basics down already, you might want to consider looking somewhere else for your PERL fix.
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on 8 November 1999
I've been trying to get started on perl for cgi for ages and I obviously wasn't reading the write books. As soon as began reading Elizabeth Castro's book there wasn't any point where I felt confused or unsure of what I was doing. Sure enough in no time I'm writing my own small scripts and I'm able to tackle the content in the more difficult books that I bought initially. This book is essential if you want to get your foot in the door of the perl language. Although it doesn't go into great depth it will give an understanding of perl sufficient enough to tackle the dense information.
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on 28 May 2001
Excellent book for getting started with Perl. A new concept is explained clearly on each new page (with remarkably little text!). After each page I was eagerly awaiting the next in order to read the next gem of information. I found it difficult to put the book down, which is unusual (for me) with this type of book.
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on 18 April 2001
I have been studying perl and cgi at univerisity, and this book is brilliant, you do not need to know anything about perl or cgi as book will tell you what you need to know to get started. The book is only small but all the information is there. A MUST IF YOU WANT TO GET STARTED IN WEB PROGRAMMING.
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on 23 November 2001
If you're learning Perl/CGI and are not a programmer this is the book for you. The only thing wrong with this book is that it doesn't have an advanced version to move on to when you've finished.
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on 12 January 2002
This is an excellent book. While other books I've seen and misguidedly bought have lapsed into opaque jargon by chapter 3, this entire book is accessible and clear. You can start at the beginning and work through (as I did) or, if you know a bit about what you're doing, just dip in where you need to. I'd recommend this book to anyone starting out in perl.
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