[Wolves] Perl and CGI Books

Mo Awkati mawkati at yahoo.co.uk
Mon Nov 29 20:06:43 GMT 2004

 --- sparkes <sparkes at westmids.biz> wrote: 

Hi Sparkes

Ok. What I want to do is manage the church website
like put some feedback forms, record the number of
people who visit the site etc.

The language has to be supported by the website host.
I know they support Perl. By the sound of it PHP
sounds like a nightmare :-) what is the best option?


> Mo Awkati wrote:
> > Hi 
> > 
> > I bought a "in easy steps" book on PERL and got
> very
> > interested in it. Can anyone recommend some good
> books
> > for a beginner on PERL and CGI? I have noted from
> > looking at the reviews on Amazon that some books
> > assume you are using windows and others Linux, I
> > obviously want Linux! :-)
> > 
> BBBIIIIIIGIGGGGG anti CGI rant from someone who
> programs cgi and 
> understands why it's a *very* bad idea for most
> situations.
> while learning Perl is a pretty cool thing to do (I
> would prefer you 
> said Python ;-) but Perl will do) unless you already
> know Perl I 
> wouldn't suggest writting CGI in it.
> In fact I wouldn't recommend writing *any* CGI in
> *any* language unless 
> you already know what you are doing.  CGI allows you
> to open some 
> massive holes in your server and Perl allows you to
> make those massive 
> holes very, very useful to naughty people ;-)
> If you want to do some web programming and don't
> already have a strong 
> language and understand the problems of CGI I would
> suggest PHP.  It's a 
> nasty hack of a language but mod_php is pretty much
> defacto in the web 
> world and won't let you open up quite so many holes
> (at least not these 
> days).
> It's not a great language for learning programming
> (but nor is Perl) but 
> it will allow you learn how to do things without
> having your site played 
> with like SCO's was today.  In fact I'd go so far as
> to say it's worse 
> than BASIC was for teaching programming and I used
> to teach it ;-)  but 
> it won't allow you to shoot yourself in the foot
> like CGI, well CGIis 
> more like offering your gun to anyone on the street
> and letting them 
> take potshots at anyone that takes their fancy. 
> Python is probably a 
> better language to learn programing as it's pretty
> pure and allows you 
> learn good habits but as (If I remember correctly)
> you already know a 
> little programming you already have your own bad
> habits and both Perl 
> and Python will let you keep them as well ;-)
> Perl can be programmed very well but most of the
> examples you see on the 
> internet are just quick hacks built on top of
> quicker hacks (this is one 
> of perls strong points) and won't allow you to learn
> how to program 
> well.  It will teach you a hell of a lot about unix
> like systems and 
> scripting and if you want to maintain a bunch of
> servers it is still an 
> excellent language to learn (because not only does
> it do everything, but 
> someone has already written the everything script
> for you and you can 
> just modify it).  So unless you are already a Perl
> hacker or an admin 
> who wants to work more efficently (thus leaving more
> time for irc, games 
> and updating your bofh excuse file) I would avoid
> Perl as a pure 
> learning exercise.  That said we have some excellent
> Perl coders on the 
> list who can help so you won't be on your own if you
> follow the path of 
> the camel (very smelly and not as funny as the way
> of the python :P )
> PHP code examples can be bloody awful.  Avoid 99.9%
> of all /large/ 
> programs you see and look at some of the smaller
> projects to see how 
> they work.  Hopefully the person who wrote them will
> have a clue and you 
> will learn something.  PHP programmers are like
> BASIC programmers in the 
> 70's and 80's, some are very good but most are like
> dog turd on your 
> shoe.  But it is very safe in a controlled web
> environment and CGI is 
> not safe 99.99% of the time.
> Python is just cool but the chances are your web
> host won't support it 
> and there isn't a lot of small web projects out
> there to learn from so 
> if web based stuff is something you want to do leave
> Python for another 
> time.  If you just want to learn programming
> diveintopython.org (and 
> dead tree version) and 'how to think like a computer
> scientist' python 
> edition (google will find it) are both excellent
> intro's to the language 
> and could be a good start into programming.
> So CGI bad, Perl could be good for you, python might
> be good for you. 
> PHP won't be good for you but will be your bitch.
> one last time.
> No scratch that
> nope still not right....
> that's better ;-)
> there are millions of examples of why not to do CGI
> :-) and not that 
> many why to do it ;-)
> that said it shouldn't matter if it's windows server
> based or unix 
> server based Perl is a pretty cross platform
> language (in most cases, 
> you can do pretty much anything in perl these days
> so lots of it isn't 
> cross platform) and the C in CGI stands for common
> so it should work the 
> same on all platforms.  At least as far as learning
> how things work it 
> will.  So which ever book takes your fancy should
> get you up and running.
> > cheers
> > 
> > Mo
> > 
> >
> sparkes
> -- 
> <davee> "Sparkes, the Pete Best of LugRadio"
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