in reply to How to calculate development time?

This seems like a "how long is a piece of string?/how many fairies can dance on the head of a pin?" question.

I find the following formulae useful for calculating development time:

$dev_time = ($deadline-$today) + $several_weeks; $dev_time = $developer_estimate*2 + $fudge_factor; # note $fudge factor is always a positive integer! if (use strict && use warnings) { $dev_time = 0.5*($dev_time); } if ($no_planned_approach) { $dev_time = $developer_estimate * (2+rand(5)); } if (#!/usr/bin/perl -T and use { $security_nightmares *= 0.01; }

Yes these formulae are silly but experience seems to bear out these basic principles.

The first step is to define your project in precise terms, what do you want your site to do, why, and how...This is vital and will save untold hours in the long run.

The answer then depends of course on your knowledge and experience, your spec, and how little you will actually have to code by adapting available modules/code to your needs.

One problem with modules is that they *can* have a steep learning curve, so you should possibly stick with the basics. will be essential.

One approach is to try to find a script that fulfills most of your criteria and then adapt it. Sadly you tend to get what you pay for but of course there are so many exceptions to this rule...especially in the give and let live Perl community. is the basis from which to start. It can generate HTML for you as well as get CGI input. It allows file upload so users could upload say HTML CVs.

Search engines to index your data can be complex to code. In a pinch you might consider one of the free site search engines. I use for a cheap and cheerful search, on shoestring sites. You can customise the search interface and the output template and it is free for ?1000 pages I think. To see simple example in use check out This site (still under construction of course!) took 6 hours to generate, graphics, search, etc. Try the search, and then look at the 4 lines of source HTML that are required. If you have CVs and Job Ads as *.html pages that can be spidered this will solve the search requirement in under an hour. Downside -> ads on result page. Hint, edit the template and dump the adds to the bottom - if you remove them they get replaced at the top, but if you move them to the bottom all is OK.

Consider employing a perl consultant to set up at least the basics for you to tweak

It should not be a problem to get modules installed at your ISP, often in your local bin where you may or may not be able to tweak them. When it comes to CGI most ISPs are aware of the security risks and have varying policies. Ideally you will want to be able to freely upload your script during testing but this requires that your ISP trust your code, or be non security concious. This is a real issue when it comes down to getting your script running. If you have to get your script vetted (often for a fee!) with each change the process becomes very slow. This *should* influence your choice of ISP. PS You may not want your prodution code to reside on an ISP that let's anyone edit their CGIs but.....

Finally (whew got a bit carried away here) if you want to simulate CGI, have relatively little experience, are familiar with win32 then perlbuilder 2 from solution soft is a very useful program. Trial copy at

Good luck, I'm sure you will have fun discovering the power of Perl, the greatest CGI lang on earth. If you have specific code problems that the Monks can sink their teeth into you will often find help here. Homework and writing your code for you is a lottery and you know what the odds are in lotteries!