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Network Programming with Perl
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58 of 58 people found the following review helpful
on January 12, 2001
This book, replete with code, is one of the most useful resources I've come across. There aren't just code snippets here -- there are complete and useful programs, with explanations for each line of code. These line-by-line explanations not only make the code crystal clear, but it demonstrates how you can adapt the code to suit your specific need.
It discusses the esoteric topics such as threading, sockets, parsing binary email attachments, and more in a very understandable and open fashion. It also discusses existing modules and their "hidden" usefulness (Hint: Net::Telnet can be used to SSH). The author is to be commended on his ability to make these cryptic topics understood.
When I first flipped through Network Programming with Perl, I immediately found the solution to a problem I was having for the previous few days. A few more moments, I saw solutions to problems that associates were having. It's not very often a single book can do that without a thorough reading, but this one came through brilliantly.
I strongly recommend this book to anyone serious about taking their Perl expertise to the next level.
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49 of 51 people found the following review helpful
on January 12, 2001
This book has excellent coverage of forking, multithreading, multiplexing, and non-blocking IO. Good coverage of this material is hard to find. Most books just concentrate on specific protocols such as POP, IMAP, FTP, SMTP, etc. This book also covers that material, but unlike other books, this one will actually start you off understanding sockets, pipes and signals rather than just showing you how to to use a bunch of libs. There is plenty of example source code here too.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on January 29, 2002
This book has been in my wish list for pretty long time, and before I actually buy it decided to check it out of my school's library. Enjoyment started at the first chapters of the book that I read in the library's caffeteria. The book definitely covers all the aspects of the Network Progamming, not only with Perl, but in general as well.
In the first chapters of the book, Lincoln Stein makes good use of such OO modules as IO::File and IO::Socket to demostrate that difference between local file operations and remote network programming isn't that much different at all ( at least in Perl ).
Chapter 2 shows you several applications that are built on pipes. The best thing about the chapter was the signals part, where L. Stein shows examples, catching all sorts of signals that your progam receives and reacts accordingly. One example was reacting to pressing of CTRL+C sequence of keys to terminate the progam.
I would call Chapter 3 the heart of the book, since it goes over Berkeley Sockets, the base for Network progamming in most systems, no matter what progamming language you tend to prefer. It also explains thoroughly Sockets Addressings, Network naming conventions, protocols, services and a lot more. This chapter, together with the Chapter 4 alone are worth the whole price of the book, I believe. The chapter in the end goes over some common netwook analysis tools, such as "nslookup", "ping", so on and so forth.
Chapter 4 tells you all you need about TCP Protocol. Shows several examples as well. Goes over Adjusting Socket options, and their uses.
Chapter 5 is not anything newer supposing you've been following all the pervious chapters. Untill this chapter, L. Stein demonstrates the coding using much low level Socket API. here Lincoln starts using IO::Socket's Object Oriented Interface for its handy functionalities that enable writing Networking applications more relieving.
Chapters 6, 7, 8 and 9 takes you through writing several commong network clients such as SMTP/mailing clients, Telnet, FTP clients. Also provides their complete source codes in case you just feel likek copying them. Chapter 9 gets into the most fun part: LWP and HTML/XML Parsing. Spends good 50 pages on those. Very exciting indeed!
The rest of the book (another half) is dedicated for writing Server applications, which I haven't read. I am sure the rest is as exciting as it's been up to this point. But no matter what, I am greatefull to the book for such an exciting and informative coverage of the topics. It's worth every penny that you spend on it. Buy it!
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on April 6, 2001
The first thing I want to point out for many readers who may not know this: Lincoln Stein is the author of CGI.pm -- the module that is resonsible for a vast majority of perl powered websites on the internet. Second, Lincoln has contributed enormous amounts of code to the perl community, and I originally bought this book as an insight to the code of his that I have and want to work with further.
Let me say that a lot of the book focuses on modules like Net::Telnet and Net::FTP. That isnt particularly useful to me because I have a firm understanding of them already.
The real meat of the book, if you ask me, is the discussion of fully multiplexed servers that are able to handle many simultaneous upstreams and downstreams, and do a vast array of things.
His code is very clear and concise, as well as commented and explained throughout the text. This is definitely something every perl programmer who writes network maintenance code should have.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on July 12, 2001
As an intermediate Perl programmer and a relative newcomer to network programming, I found Part 1, The Basics, to be pure gold. Dr. Stein's easy-to-follow writing style helped me to finally understand elusive concepts like fork, pipes and sockets.
As the book progresses, it gently builds into more and more advanced network topics. When I hit Part 4, Advanced Topics, I knew was in over my head. Yet, I now have a great reference for the future when I need/want to learn how to play with Broadcasting, UDP servers, etc.
One of the most valuable aspects of this book is his coverage of such a multitude of Perl modules, helping the reader to understand the each of modules' basic API in a straightforward manner.
This book is worth every cent.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on March 21, 2001
Lincoln Stein's latest book, "Network Programming with Perl", is a must-have text for anyone who is doing Perl network programming, or may be doing so in the near future. It reviews the basics of Perl I/O, explains the details of Perl's network functions, and covers the ever-evolving examples with line-by-line descriptions. From telnet, mail, ftp, and the Web, from Usenet News to custom services, this 650-page book covers any networking task currently known to man, and gives you the skills to manage the unknown tasks to come.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 26, 2001
First off, this book assumes an intermediate knowledge of perl. With that out of the way, this is the best programming book that I own. It is perfectly organized and the explanation/documentation are crystal clear- written line by line. Each chapter starts off with a very basic program and goes to an advanced program at the end of every chapter. If you are a UNIX sys admin or an aspiring one BUY THIS BOOK!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 22, 2010
As a network engineer, there are certain things I need to get out of the network quickly, without buying loads of software packages. This book gives you all the tools necessary to create your own scripts for managing, gathering information from, and tweaking your network. I never let this book leave my side. Couple the scripts in this book with some PHP/Java/HTML knowledge and you can write your own internal tools (as I have) or add more functionality to open source tools that are out there (as I also have).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 24, 2008
If you write a lot of network utilities in Perl this book is a must-have.

It's very well-written, with lots of sample code and a detailed explanation of how it all works. More importantly, Stein goes into great detail on the concepts the network programmer needs to understand, and why things need to be done a certain way. There is really a lot of valuable information here, and it's all quite well-organized and readable.

A very good computer book.
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on May 14, 2010
I recently took a perl programming class as part of a masters degree program in software engineering. We used the standard camel book (that I also bought through Amazon). Since the course did not really do much with general network programming and since I wanted this type of capability around the office, I purchased this book. In combination with the skills I picked up in the course, I have been using the information in this book for putting together scripts for testing web and ftp capabilities of the product that I support. I have been making good use of it.

I would recommend this book, along with the camel book, if you are creating perl scripts for testing/using network connected products.
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