Item Description: Perl for the Web
My warning with "Beginning Perl Web Development: From Novice to Professional" is to understand what author Steve Suehring means by the word "novice." He does not mean it as a synonym for "beginner". If you don't have some degree of skill in Perl, you will be overwhelmed.
That being said, I would highly recommend this book to anyone who has worked through a beginning Perl book, or several. (I've found that the best way to learn any computer language is to work through several introductory books, getting most of the examples to work on my computer.) Do like I did and read through the appendix, "Perl Basics," first. I'll admit I learned a few things, and I'd bet that you will, too. This appendix is worth the price of the book.
I don't think that anyone will become an expert (or professional) in the areas Suehring covers by reading this book. However, this is an excellent book for seeing what is out there and getting your feet wet. His section on databases led me to read a book on SQL, and I'm about halfway through another. I'm grateful for his push in that direction!
Next for me will probably be a book on LWP, a Perl module to automate web surfing. Suehring gave me a start, but I need more.
I already had some background in CGI using Perl. I enjoyed the review, though. CGI, Common Gateway Interface, is a way to go beyond HTML. For instance, I use it to read and write files on my website in response to user input.
I don't at this time have a great deal of interest in Net::Tools, that is such skills as sending e-mail from web-sites and pinging them. Nor do I see myself studying XML and RSS, Perl templates and Mason, or learning about the Apache server. However, I'm glad I read through the whole book to get an idea of what is involved.
I should include a comment that "Beginning Perl Web Development: From Novice to Professional" is a bit Unix-centric, like so many Perl books. I should also share that the source-code on the web-site for the examples is all in .tar.gz format, rather than the .zip format we Windows users are accustomed to dealing with. So if you are a Windows user, plan to do a lot of typing. Or to figure out that .tar.gz thing.
Read the whole book, appendix first. (Either now, or when you have a couple Perl tutorials under your belt.) My guess is "Beginning Perl Web Development: From Novice to Professional" will lead you to find a new area of interest or two, too, and probably different ones from mine.