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Perl and CGI for the World Wide Web: Visual QuickStart Guide

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Average Customer Rating: 3.99

Customer Rating: 5
Summary: Good text for beginners
Comment: With 71 other reviews there's no much to add -- but I'll throw my two cents in here anyway.

If you're looking for an 'in-depth' book on Perl/CGI -- look elsewhere. If you're a beginner like me, this is a book to buy.

Seriously, if you're teaching yourself then you'll always need more than one book on whatever subject you're learning. You'll want to suppliment this volume with other manuals. But viewed by itself, the author does an admirable job of getting her subject across -- even to thick folks like myself. I found concepts and codes shown in this book to be much clearer than in other texts I've read. Now I can go back to the 'other texts' and (hopefully) understand what they were trying to teach me.

I also believe that I will find this to be a good reference volume as I write scripts. Each function is laid out in step-by-step detail and won't take a lot of reading or thinking to refresh my memory.

If you want to learn Perl and you're just starting out. This is one of the first books you should buy. Quite reasonable at about $15, too.

*** Recommended ***


Customer Rating: 2
Summary: A somewhat general guide, not a tutorial or a step-by-step
Comment: If you're seeking to learn how to write scripts, this isn't the book that will teach you. It is a guide only to basically understand Perl and CGI (what certain groups of characters mean, how it basically works). It is a beginner's book, but learn html before you buy it. Early in the book Castro uses terms (w/o any explanations) that only someone familiar with code might understand. The more you know html before reading this book, the better.
Even after reading it, you still won't be able to write a script on your own. You should be able to use others' scripts though. Although there is no CGI/Perl reference/glossary in the book, it is well-organized and most of the language is simple and easy to understand for the average reader. However, if your vocabularly is a little weak, keep a dictionary on hand. The book is certainly something you should have in your library, but don't be misled as to what it provides.

Customer Rating: 5
Summary: Excellent starter; useful reference into intermediate level
Comment: This is a great book for the intermediate to well-seasoned HTML coder who is looking to explore server-side scripting. Experience with regular programming helps to pick up the language even more quickly, although it is certainly not necessary. Having been introduced to the many uses of Perl/CGI after installing and using several scripts like those on the CGI Resource Index (, I was well aware of the practicality of what I was learning (after reading to chapter 3, I began writing Perl with a purpose, using the book only as a reference). I'm now very comfortable with the language, and have moved on to more advanced projects (and, consequently, more advanced resources). I HIGHLY recommend this book, as well as others in the Visual Quickstart series (especially those written by Elizabeth Castro).