Cgi Bible (Bible Series)
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Spotlight Customer ReviewsAverage Customer Rating: 1
Customer Rating: 1
Summary: This book is a definite PASS
This book is so poorly written, named, and editted, I actually lost faith in IDG Books as well as its authors. The book appears to be "Stuff I found on the web that I thought was cool".
Any CGI information is hidden in between endless entries on HTML, SGML, how the web first came about, or whatever; punctuaited by countless URLs to "interesting" sites with CGI content. Unfortunately, I found many of these URLs to be outdated. Worse, much of the meagar information actually on CGI turned out to be factually incorrect. (see use of "+" and space in input encoding)
All examples used in the book are in Perl. If you do not know Perl cold, and you intend to use this book as a learning tool, expect to spend a significant amount of time to studying that language. You will need to pick up a Perl primer as well since this book is not usefull as one.
The CD was highly disappointing The information on it is limited, and the packages are difficult to unpack and use. My UNIX (Solaris 2.5.1) workstation could read the CD directories but could not actually access the files in them. I had to open the CD on my PC, FTP the files across the LAN to my UNIX workstation and then un-tar them there.
Possibly the worst experience I had came when I sent a list of errors and issues to IDG Books and the authors. The response that I received from them unilaterally dismissed my concerns and was followed by a vague attempt to justify the original text.
This book almost seems to be beefed up to pass the dreaded "weight test". If you are looking for a book to explain CGI in an organized and succint manner, run away from this book. This is the only book that has ever moved me to write to a publisher to ask for a refund.
The only redeeming value of the book is that the CD is very shiny. 8-)
Customer Rating: 1
Summary: Everything but the kitchen sink...
Comment: If this is the bible, than I'm definitely a protestant. My major complaint about IDG Books' "CGI Bible" is that it tries to be all things to all people, covering far too many topics. From a beginner's point of view, that may not be a bad thing, but from someone somewhat fluent in Web page creation who just wants to get to the CGI "meat," there is just no need for such tangential coverage of HTML 3.2, SGML, DTDs, et cetera.
With a book on CGI, I want CGI, not whole sections on HTML validation tools. Thus, by the time the authors roll around to a discussion on CGI (and it comes across as a muddled discussion indeed), I discouragedly chucked the thing onto my (growing) pile of bad book investments.
In addition, the bundled CD-ROM disc totally blows! It is about as poorly formatted and badly laid out as I've ever seen. Files are wholly unidentifiable--until you open them and try to find out what the program is.
In overview, change the title to "Web Bible." If you're starting from the ground up, this book definitely touches base on everything one needs to know. But if you're looking solely for a CGI informatorium--take a pass.
Either way, as a Web rookie or veteran, if you buy this book, be prepared to use the CD as a drink coaster.
--W. Campbell, Encino, Calif., USA