Craig Maloney writes "MySQL (love it or hate it) is one of the most popular databases for deploying websites. Perl (also love it or hate it) was almost synonymous with website programming. Arguably there are different choices for different needs in web development (PostgreSQL, PHP, Java, etc.), but there is no argument that if you are planning on putting together a website, using MySQL and Perl that MySQL & Perl for the Web will aid immensely in that development." Read on for the rest of Maloney's concise review of the book. While not new, he says it's still a valuable volume.
Who is this book for?Developers looking for a quality book on Perl and database development should not pass this book up. While the title of this book is MySQL & Perl for the Web, it could have easily been called DBD/DBI & Perl for the Web. The SQL examples may or may not work with various databases, but the DBI interface code should remain the same. This book will also do well as a reference for experienced coders looking for well-crafted examples of web-based applications.
What's good?The second chapter should be enough to get anyone up to speed with using Perl, DBI, CGI, Apache, and MySQL. After a brief introduction and configuration of MySQL and Apache, the author settles in to discuss coding DBI and Perl. The remainder of the chapter details the best practices for using Perl and DBI together. Near the end of the second chapter, the author creates a fully functional to-do list, demonstrating ways to add, update, and delete information from the database using Perl and DBI. Instead of taking small baby steps over many chapters, the author shows important concepts and best practices for those concepts quickly. Even seasoned (hardened?) programmers may learn new tricks or methodologies from the second chapter of this book.
Is that the end? Are we left with one very well written tutorial chapter? Thankfully, the rest of the book has plenty to offer. Subsequent chapters include:
- Improving performance with mod_perl
- Generating and processing forms
- Writing form-based applications
- Automating the form-handling process
- Performing searches
- Session management
- Security and privacy issues
- E-commerce applications
Each chapter is clearly written, with several examples used to demonstrate the concepts presented. The examples are clearly written, and the author makes the whole learning process enjoyable and fun. The examples range from a give-away contest (including a random drawing), an electronic greeting card program, polling programs, and a shopping cart program. Each of the examples is presented completely, but are introduced in pieces (subroutines, modules, etc.) The full source code is available from the author's website at http://www.kitebird.com/mysql-perl/
What's in it for me?MySQL & Perl for the Web is the book that Perl programmers on any project will wish The Other Guy had read. The examples are clear, the writing is engaging, and the code is maintainable. This is a practical book and should not be overlooked in any serious Perl programmer's library.
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