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Programming Web Graphics with Perl & GNU Software (O'Reilly Nutshell)

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Spotlight Customer Reviews

Average Customer Rating: 4

Customer Rating: 5
Summary: Fun stuff in Perl...
Comment: I don't know about the rest of you, but I can only stand to grab data out of a text file so many times... I have never done graphics programming before and found this book to be a nice introduction. I did notice that there wasn't a lot of troubleshooting information in the book so if you are experienced programming graphics, this book is probably a waste of your time and $$$, you would be better off busting out your lazerjet and printing the man pages...

Anyway, I really enjoyed this book and plan on using ImageMagick in my next project!

If you want something thats a slight change of pace, give this a try!

Customer Rating: 4
Summary: A great introduction - readable and not overwhelming
Comment: Freeware graphics tools for web development are abundant, if you know where to look. This book provides detailed examples of thier use with perl - and excellent text parsing language and defacto standard for cgi programming. With the proper extensions (all available free via GNU Software download) perl can provide "on the fly" rendering of web graphics.

Beginning with a proper understanding of graphics formats (gif, png, jpeg) commonly used on the web and detailing the differences between them, the reader quickly becomes an expert in thier differences and the advantages of each.

The meat of this book includes chapters on popular extensions to perl for graphics, GD, PerlMagick, GIFgraph, and the GIMP. I have always been amazed at the features in GIMP, but until this book did not realize that such features could be scripted in perl. The book list all the methods available through GD with a discussion of each.

Although the included web graphics cookbook is a bit short on recipes, the section on postscript makes up for the loss. If you have ever wanted to generate publisher quality postscript files from your web data the "Everything I Needed to Know About PostScript I learned Here" section is for you.

O'Reilly has a knack for generating 'must have' perl books that stand the test of time. This one is a must for the bookshelf of anyone who parses text with perl. Although a full treatise on this subject would encompasse thousands of pages, this book provides the essentials in an easy to use format. It should be considered an introductory text that will serve as an excellent starting point for the advanced web graphics user.

Customer Rating: 2
Summary: Not an "O Really!" reaction by O'Reilly
Comment: I have no other option but accepting most of the negative reviews submitted to this book ( Graphics Programming with Perl and GNU software ). The book is definitely one of the horrible books that O'reilly was ever unfortunate enough to publish. I believe a similar title by "Manning" publication does a better job than this one. If you need the facts, read on.

If you want to purchase this book to learn how to program web graphics with Perl, stop right here and go to Search for GD, GD::Graph and ImageMagick and read their manuals. That's all this book does any ways.

The only chapter I enjoyed was chapter one, "Image File Formats", which at least taught me something I hadn't known before.

Outlines of the chapters follow.

Chapter one - "Image File Formats" covers most of the basics you need to know to understand the anatomy of graphics, their compression algorithms and different formats available for the web, as well as their pros and cons. This is the chapter I enjoyed most. The chapter lasts over 30 pages.

Chapter two - "Serving graphics on the Web" talks a bit about serving images from within Perl. Talks how the browser loads the images, image load time and image caching. Shows the tag, and its attributes. Lasts another 30 pages.

Chapter 3 - "A Litany of Libraries" lists references to some of the graphics libraries available on the web. I would expect to see this chapter as an appendix.

Starting chapter 4 - "On-the-Fly graphics with GD" is the start of all the disappointment, and to some extent, annoyance. After a clumsy introduction to GD and some of its classes and methods, starts coding a chess board. The application itself is not so useful, but the code is worth consideration. The chapter also lists all the methods available through GD classes with some description of each.

Chapter 5, 6 and 7 are written in the same style as the above sibling. They concentrate on Image::Magic (also known as PerlMagick), GD::Graph (previously known as GIFgraph ) and Gimp respectively. Chapter 7 teaches how to write Gimp Plug-ins. You might consider this chapter if you're a Gimp user/fan.