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Perl for Web Site Management Paperback – November 1, 2001

ISBN-13: 063-6920926474 ISBN-10: 1565926471 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (November 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1565926471
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565926479
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,843,957 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

John Callender is an independent consultant specializing in web development. He has been a teacher, writer, editor, and network administrator.

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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By David Cross on July 19, 2002
Format: Paperback
First things first. This isn't the book that I thought it was going to be. I was expecting to read a book that taught experienced programmers some Perl tricks that made it easier to manage a web site - something like a companion piece to O'Reilly's Perl for System Administration by David Blank-Edelman. Turns out that's not what this book is at all.
Instead, it's an introduction to Perl for someone who runs a web site and decides that they need to take their computer knowledge to the next level and learn some programming skills. Callender calls these people "accidental programmers" and he is very understanding of their needs having been one himself only a few years ago.
So immediately this book has a completely different target audience to the majority of O'Reilly's Perl books. It's competing against all the brightly coloured books with titles like Perl for Morons or Learn Perl in 30 Seconds. These books are, almost without exception, written by people with minimal Perl knowledge, to it should come as no surprise that Callender's book is vastly superior to all of them.
The first major advantage that this book has is that it doesn't simply try to sell Perl as "the CGI language". Callender is at pains to point out that Perl can be useful for any number of other tasks involved in running a web site. Very early on we are looking at updating the links in an HTML file using regular expressions (and there's even a discussion on the fragility of this approach and pointers to better solutions using CPAN modules). A little later on we are looking at writing reports on web site hits by parsing the access logs. This is the kind of work that Perl excels at - the fact that you can you use the same language to write CGI programs as well should be seen as a bonus.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By another amazon shopper on January 11, 2002
Format: Paperback
If you are just beginning to learn Perl and want to know where to go after O'Reilly's Learning Perl, this is the book for you. There is nothing like seeing Perl do useful things, AND understanding how it works, to get excited about using a new programming language.
Perl, being such a great first language, is useful right away. The author's clear and amusing style allows for easy reading and quick results. Wait until you complete chapter six and watch as directories fill up with well-formed HTML pages generated from multiple text files and you'll be hooked on this book, and Perl too!
Geared towards a beginner or mid-level programmer with lots of useful code samples. A very good book.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Roy Staples on January 18, 2002
Format: Paperback
Although the title gave the impression that it would cover very complex web-mastering techniques, the book actually is an excellent introduction to extending your website's usefulness by using Perl. Web designers that have conquered Javascript, and maybe explored some proprietary server-side techniques would benefit greatly from this clearly written task-based tutorial.
I would recommend the reader pickup Learning Perl and/or CGI Programming with Perl as well. They compliment each other well!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By W. R. Glover on July 29, 2004
Format: Paperback
As a very experienced programmer, and familiar with Perl already, but not CGI programming, I found this book to be useful for its coverage of the necessary aspects in preparing and managing a website. Callender provides a good example, he writes well, and covers a lot of material in the 21 chapters.

The text correctly guides you through much of the arcana of developing CGIs with Perl. I will keep the book nearby as I prepare my own web site.

However, throughout the time I was reading the book, I had a deep suspicion that the self-described target audience of "Accidental programmer" would find this book far too fast paced or insufficient in background material. I got a sense that this book preaches to the already-converted. True beginners or non-programmer web developers should first work through introductory texts such as "Learning Perl". Also, almost no discussion of debugging beyond a few early pages. An approach to debug some of the ambitious scripts presented would be useful.

The basic treatment through most of the chapters is to present a scenario, provide an initial script, then discuss the elements line by line. Then improve on it, and present the new, more detailed script. This method of exposition struck me as very repetitious, with lots of pages filled with similar looking scripts--each one with the statement: "Like all the examples in this book, you can download it from the book's web site, ...".

My opinion of how best to use the book is to identify a task that is similar to an example in the book, and try to work through it on your own.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 15, 2002
Format: Paperback
The author does an excellent job of walking you through just some of the things you can do with Perl to automate web management.
Very well written, enjoyable and easy to comprehend.
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