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As a refugee from the web programming wars I fell rather confused as I read through various comments here and info on the Web about contructing large Web based apps in Perl.

I have been doing this for a while, and have a couple of pretty large (20K+ lines of Perl in about 40 scripts) apps running quite happily. But they are maintenance nightmares. They feature

  • relatively little use of CGI,pm - usually only for parsing form values = we started out using when we stopped using out hand-rolled parser.
  • All the HTML is in <<here statements, this stuff was started in 1994. We did use a template parser of our own for a while, but it was too clunky so we gave it away.
  • Session management is done by using a variable passed in the URL.
  • About five years ago we updated from flat-file dtabases to MySQL with DBI&DBD
My more current work uses:
  • extensively
  • Template::Html for all display.
  • CGI::Session for sessions management.
  • Abstract::SQL for building complex SQL on the fly
  • and of course the inevitable DBI&DBD combinations.
My question is this. I am about to embark on a total re-write of one of the 20K+ nightmares and a totally new app that is strting to feel like it will be five to six times the size.

I would like to make some intelligent choices about new ways to do all of this! I see lots of Application Frameworks getting around, but I would like some informed opinion about these.

  • What are monks using as frameworks for large web-apps?
  • What are your favourite CPAN modules other than the usual suspects such as those I have mentioned? Why?
  • Do you have any pointers to suitable books (other than O'Reilly I have everything they have published related to Perl and the Web.
Please be as eloquent and verbose as you desire! I love reading long and etailed posts as much as I love the short pithy ones.


In reply to Web app frameworks - I am totally confused! by jdtoronto

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