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Perl and CGI for the World Wide Web: Visual QuickStart Guide
Synopses & Reviews
Perl is by far the most popular programming language for creating scripts that add powerful interactive features to Web pages. Included on most UNIX platforms and available free of charge for Windows and Macintosh, Perl lets you place forms on your Web site that collect and process user input such as product orders and comments, enable visitors to conduct keyword searches for information on your site, and integrate a database into your site, among many other capabilities.Perl and CGI for the World Wide Web: Visual QuickStart Guide gets you to the heart of Perl scripting with CGI. Even first-time programmers will be able to create interactive Web pages and, more importantly, you'll be able to use your new-found familiarity with Perl to understand and customize the multitude of scripts that already exist on the Web. Following on the huge success of Liz Castro's top-selling HTML:Visual QuickStart Guide-the book to have to learn or reference HTML-Castro's Perl and CGI for the World Wide Web: Visual QuickStart Guide is soon to becomethe choice for learning Perl and CGI. Author of the acclaimed, best-selling HTML:Visual QuickStart Guide, with over 100,000 copies sold. Teaches you all you need to know to start creating CGI scripts in Perl. Shows how to make your Web pages stand out with interactive features such as guest books and forms. Assumes no prior programming experience.
Book News Annotation:
Taking a visual approach, this guide uses ample screen stills to explain the basic components of Perl, and show how to install and customize existing CGI scripts to build interactivity into Web sites. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Perl is one of the most popular scripting languages for adding powerful interactive features to Web pages. Perl lets you place forms on your site that collect and process user input such as comments and product orders; enables visitors to search for information; and can integrate a database into your site, among its many other capabilities. Perl and CGI for the World Wide Web, 2nd Edition: Visual QuickStart Guide fully revised and updated since its original 1998 release, gets users to the core of CGI scripting with Perl. Even first-time programmers will be able to create useful, workable scripts from scratch, or adapt and customize existing scripts to their own needs. Hundreds of screen shots and clear, easy-to-understand directions make this the perfect Perl book for beginners, as well as a handy reference for those with previous programming experience.
About the Author
Elizabeth Castro is the author of four best-selling editions of HTML for the World Wide Web: Visual QuickStart Guide. She also wrote the best-selling Perl and CGI for the World Wide Web: Visual QuickStart Guide, and XML for the World Wide Web: Visual QuickStart Guide.
Table of Contents
What is a Program? Why Perl? What about CGI? Security Issues. Perl and HTML. About This Book. What This Book is Not. What's New. The Perl and CGI VQS Guide Web Site.
2. Perl Building Blocks.
Perl Data. Operators and Functions. Quotation Marks. Quoting without Quotes. Statements, Blocks, and Scope. Declaring Private Variables. The Shebang Line. Creating a Perl CGI Script. Creating Output for a Browser. Documenting Your Script. Checking the Script's Syntax.
3. About Servers, Perl, and CGI.pm.
What is a Server? The Importance of Directories. Ask Your Web Host! Getting a Perl Interpreter. Getting CGI.pm.
4. Running Perl CGI on a Unix Server.
Which Perl are They Running? What About CGI.pm? Installing Scripts on Unix Servers. Uploading Your Script. Changing Permissions. Testing Your Unix Server.
5. Testing Scripts Locally on Windows.
Installing the Xitami or Sambar Server. Installing Personal Web Server. Installing IIS on Windows 2000. Displaying File Extensions. Testing Your Server (Part I). Installing the Perl Interpreter. Installing CGI.pm. Installing Scripts on Windows Servers. Testing Your Server (Part II).
6. Testing Scripts Locally on the Mac.
Installing Personal Web Sharing. The Root Web Directory. Carefully Sharing the Root Web Directory. Starting the Web Sharing Server. Testing the Server (Part I). Installing MacPerl. Installing CGI.pm. Installing Scripts on Mac Servers. Testing Your Server (Part II).
7. Getting Data from Visitors.
Labeling Incoming Data. Creating a Form. Creating Text Boxes. Creating Password Boxes. Creating Larger Text Areas. Creating Radio Buttons. Creating Checkboxes. Creating Menus. Creating the Submit Button. Resetting the Form. Using an Image to Submit Data. Creating a Link to a Script. Using a Link to Input Data to a Script.
8. Environment Variables.
Your Visitor's Browser and Platform. Viewing Available Environment Variables. Storing Data from Environment Variables.
9. Getting Data into the Script.
Getting Single-Valued Form Data. Getting Multiple-Valued From Data. Getting All the Form Element's Names. Getting All the Names and Values.
10. Simple Operations with Scalars.
Assigning a Value to a Scalar Variable. Multiplying, Dividing, Adding, Subtracting. Using More Than One Operator. Raising a Number to an Exponential Power. Using Mathematical Functions. Getting the Remainder of a Division. Connecting Strings Together. Repeating a String. Operating and Assigning in One Step. Incrementing (or Decrementing) a Variable.
11. Conditionals and Loops.
Comparing Numbers. Comparing Strings. Evaluating Conditions without Comparisons. Testing Two or More Comparisons at a Time. Creating a Basic Conditional Statement. Adding Options for False Conditions. Adding Multiple, Independent Conditions. Using Unless. Repeating a Block for Each Item in an Array. Loading the Default Variable. Repeating a Block While a Condition is True. Repeating a Block While a Condition is False. Executing the Block at Least Once. Repeating a Block a Given Number of Times. Nesting Conditional Statements. Skipping a Loop Iteration. Jumping Out of a Loop Altogether.
12. Working with Arrays.
Assigning a List to an Array Variable. Referring to a Particular Item in an Array. Referring to Multiple Items in an Array. Adding or Replacing an Item in an Array. Adding to the End or Beginning of an Array. Removing the Last Item from an Array. Removing the First Item from an Array. Replacing More Than One Item in an Array. Finding the Length of an Array. Modifying All the Members of an Array. Sorting Arrays. Reversing the Order of an Array's Contents.
Creating a Simple Subroutine. Using a Simple Subroutine. Creating a Subroutine That Takes Input. Calling a Subroutine That Takes Input. Using a Subroutine's Return Value. Setting the Return Value Manually. Storing Subroutines in an External File. Calling Subroutines from an External File.
14. Working with Hashes.
Assigning a List to a Hash. Getting a Value by Using a Key. Adding or Replacing a Key-Value Pair. Getting Several Values Using Keys. Getting All of a Hash's Keys. Getting All of a Hash's Values. Getting Each Key and Value in a Hash. Getting the Pairs in a Specified Order. Removing Key-Value Pairs. Checking to See If a Key Exists.
15. Analyzing Data.
Finding Something. Finding and Replacing. Seeing and Using What was Found. Splitting a Value into Pieces. Constructing Search Patterns. Tips for Constructing Search Patterns. Matching a Single Character. Matching a String of Characters. Matching a Character from a Group. Matching a Character That's Not in the Group. Using Class Shorthands. Limiting the Locations. Choosing How Many to Match. Curbing a Quantifier's Greediness. Matching One Element or Another. More on Using What You Already Matched.
16. Remembering what Visitors Tell You.
17. Formatting, Printing, and HTML.
Formatting Output with Perl. Creating a Format Pattern for Integers. Creating a Format Pattern for Non-Integers. Creating a Pattern for Strings. Changing the Case. Changing Characters. Finding the Length of a String. Finding Where Something is in a String. Extracting One String from Another. Cleaning up the End of a String. Formatting Output with HTML. Printing Several Lines at a Time. Simplifying Paths to Images and Links. Outputting Data in a Table.
Reading the Security FAQs. The Problem with Visitor Input. Protecting Calls to the Systems. Limiting Access to Files. Using CGI.pm to Limit Incoming Data. Keeping Information to Yourself. Avoiding Tainted Data. Cleaning and Using Outside Data.
19. Files and Directories.
Opening a File. Verifying File and Directory Operations. Writing to an External File. Getting Exclusive Access to a File. Reading Data from an External File. Closing a File. Renaming a File. Removing a File. Checking a File's Status. Opening a Directory. Reading the Contents of a Directory. Closing a Directory. Changing the Working Directory. Creating a Directory. Changing Permissions from within a Script. Removing a Directory. Getting Ready to E-mail Output. Sending Output via E-mail.
20. Uploading Files.
Creating a Form for Uploading Files. Getting the Name of the Uploaded File. Finding Out a File's MIME Type. Specifying Where the File Should be Saved. Reading in and Limiting the Uploaded Files.
Appendix A: Debugging.
Checking the Easy Stuff. Creating an Error Subroutine. Using Perl's Error Reporting. Viewing the System Error Log. Isolating the Problem. Following a Variable's Progress.
Appendix B: Using Other Folks' Scripts.
Using Other Folks' Scripts. Getting Other People's Scripts. Expanding Compressed Scripts. Configuring Borrowed Scripts. Customizing Borrowed Scripts.
Appendix C: Permissions on Unix.
Figuring Out the Permissions Code. Default Permissions. Who's the Owner?
Appendix D: Unix Essentials.
Telnetting to Your Unix Server. Executing Commands in Unix. Dealing with Paths in Unix. Changing the Working Directory. Finding Out Where You Are. Listing Directory Contents. Eliminating Files. Creating and Eliminating Directories. Decompressing Tar and Zipped Files. Getting Help with Unix.
Appendix E: Perl and CGI Resources.
Text Editors. Telnet Programs. Other Folks' Scripts. Learning More.
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