CGI Programming in C & Perl
Published by: Addison Wesley Longman
Pages:402 (plus CD)
Reviewer: by Phil Hughes
Going to write a CGI program? If your answer was “yes”, you need this book. Once I started reading it, I told our book buyer that SSC needed to sell this book. While there are other books that cover CGI, this book jumps out as a must have.
The book starts with the basics, covering browser/server/CGI program relationships, the CGI standard, goals of CGI and where to get CGI access. But it doesn't dawdle. By page 35 you are looking at CGI scripts, and for the next 300 pages you find concepts, more scripts and explanations.
Every script is presented in both C and Perl 5, and the source for everything is on the CD. The scripts are initially presented as stand-alone programs, where all the routine-parsing and such is included in the code. After you are familiar with these methods, libraries for both C and Perl (cgic and cgi-lib) are presented and used in the subsequent examples. These libraries do most of the CGI dirty work for you.
By the time you are halfway through the book you will have learned about CGI environment variables, handling forms, sending e-mail and multimedia. Then you get into what Boutell calls “advanced features”, including client pull, server push, imagemaps and decision-making based on browser type. Debugging—using real debuggers—is also covered.
Chapters 13 and 14 present two serious applications. The first is a solar system simulator which, as the author notes, is really pushing the capabilities of CGI. But it employs good code, and it shows that he knows what he is doing. The other application, called World Wide Web Wall Street, is a model for what could be a real web-based, on-line trading system.
The last 80 pages of the book are appendices that cover CGI environment variables, Internet Media types (MIME types), the cgic library, a reference manual for gd, a library for creating and modifying GIF images on the fly and information on the content of the CD.
The only criticism of the book I have is a few minor typos early on. For example, a line-folding mistake in a listing causes a command to end up on the same line as a comment. These mistakes are few and easy to catch. They are far overshadowed by the extensive knowledge of the author and the usefulness of the content of the book.
Convinced yet? If not, think of it as the purchase of a CD with some amazing software on it that happens to come with a 400 page manual. I don't think you will be disappointed.
Phil Hughes is the Publisher of Linux Journal.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
July 20, 2016 12:00 pm CDT
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
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This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide