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Official Guide to programming with CGI.pm

by Rex(Wrecks) (Curate)
on Feb 12, 2002 at 20:13 UTC ( #144977=bookreview: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

Order Official Guide to programming with CGI.pm

Item Description: An expanded reference guide to the CGI.pm manual by the creator: Lincoln D. Stein

Review Synopsis: Great intro to CGI and CGI.pm



I am a newbie to CGI. I was tasked with creating a dynamic website for displaying ever changing text in a table. Small, simple, and yet somewhat of a challenge for someone like me who has never done any CGI.

So I grabbed CGI.pm (to use perl, or to not use perl, was never a question :) and started writing samples and getting the feel for the different approaches to both CGI styles and to the differences between the OO methods and the Function Oriented methods (as well as discovering why not to mix the two). I was doing quite well with the simple stuff, however some of the gotchas were plaguing me. So I stopped off at a bookstore and looked for Perl/CGI books. I picked up 2, this one and "Writing CGI Applications with Perl". To be honest I never really opened the second book until after the project.

The biggest attraction to this book was the author, I had previously read "Network Programming with Perl" and loved the way he writes, this book was no different. I gives a great deal of detail to nearly every aspect of CGI.pm and follows it up with practical code samples that are stepped through line by line. Advanced users of CGI.pm might not find the book as useful, however even the pros need a reference sometimes and this book is a wonderful reference.

It covers everything from getting and installing CGI.pm to using it with cookies and even JavaScript. The book was structured very well, with each chapter flowing into the next, and the samples either getting rewiritten or modified using the next topic (a great example of TIMTOWTDI). There are great sections on syntax for both OO and FO users, and the indexing and TOC are very well laid out for using this book as a great reference.

Wiley is not usually my first choice in publishers of Tech books, however they do supply very good web resources for this one here.

All in all a wonderful intro to the CGI.pm module and to CGI itself.

Comment on Official Guide to programming with CGI.pm
Re: Official Guide to programming with CGI.pm
by ignatz (Vicar) on Feb 13, 2002 at 01:07 UTC
    This is a must have being out of the "horse's mouth" and all. I do wish that there was more substantive coverage of CGI's object oriented features. Translating the procedural examples in the book into an OO syntax is not something that comes easily to me.
    ()-()
     \"/
      `

      The best resource for that is probably the documentation itself. If you've read the book (I'm guessing - I've not read it yet) then you should have a one up on how CGI.pm works, and be able to wade through the comparisons of OO to FO fairly easily.

      The functional style of CGI.pm is really a wrapper to the method calls, so translation should be fairly simple.

      Cheers,
      Erik

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