Softpanorama

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LAMP Stack as new program development paradigm

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JavaScript HTML FrontPage Best Books about Unix System Administration Best Old TCP/IP Books Humor Etc

Introduction

LAMP is an acronym for a solution stack of free, open source software, referring to the first letters of Linux (operating system), Apache HTTP Server, MySQL (database software) and PHP (or sometimes Perl or Python), principal components to build a viable general purpose web server. Overview volumes about LAMP usually sucks, therefore one can probably be better off buying separate books on each of this technologies. Also usage of Java for ecommerce is questionable. In most cases modern computers scripting languages can provide better productivity, quality and maintainability of  web commerce sites.

We can assume that LAMP is a new program development methodology that uses five software packages:

LAMP as a software development environment which consist of the the OS, webserver, scripting language and database is pretty innovative, revolutionary concept.  This is a new paradigm for application development. In other words using  four more or less standard software components for creating applications created a real revolution in application software development. 

It arrived on the software development scene in 1996 or so, so this is almost 20 years old  technology. Almost as old as Linux (which was created in 1991)..

But despite its age it is still a revolutionarily idea much like was Unix in 70th that created the whole new class of applications, a new development methodology and a new component architecture. In a way LAMP represents an extension of the novel idea pioneered by Unix:  operating system should be viewed as an integral part of application, the view which became especially interesting with the proliferation of virtual machines, and, especially, virtual appliances. I would say that virtual appliance represents an ultimate LAMP environment, as virtual machine provides all the necessary packaging for all components used.  

Though the original authors of these software components did not design them all to work specifically with each other(OK PHP was designed to work with WEB server form the very beginning) , the development philosophy and tool sets are shared and were developed with the awareness of other components existence.  This approach to viewing this as a new development environment has become popular because it proved to be highly productive even for people with basc programming skills who previously can't even think about creating complex GUI-based applications. In this sense too it's a revolutionary and democratizing application development technology.

All LAMP components are free and open-source (and therefore adaptable in case of need), and because all the components are provided as packages they can be installed (and some are often installed by default in most current Linux distributions (for example you can can chose Web server as installation mode during installation of RHEL and get them all), as well as Solaris, AIX or HP-UX.  Which make installation a breeze, a task that can be accomplished in a couple of hours and does not require too high qualification of detailed, system administrator level knowledge of Linux.  If you use virtual appliance this is even simpler -- you download the image and run it in your VM environment. That's it.

The simplest way to use LAMP is CGI --  a very flexible and powerful protocol. It scales much more that most WEB developers assume.  CGI may be not that fancy technology, but it's simple and you can do almost anything in it. For many applications is simpler and no less efficient that using PHP or Java server pages. Unfortunately CGI scripting was de-emphasized recent years in favor of new technologies. The most common tool for writing CGI scripts is Perl, therefore most CGI scripts you can find on the WEB are written in this language.

Structure of Web applications

Essentially, all web applications do pretty much the same things:

  1. Provide a Query Interface - Web Applications provide users with an interface for entering data. The data they enter is usually called a "query" or a "request" because the user-defined data is used to dynamically query or make a request from some service on the web server machine (searching a database, ordering a book, requesting a file).
  2. Transmit User-Defined Query - Once collected, the user-data is sent to a web server
  3. Perform Server Side Processing - The web server processes the user-data using some sort of "middleware".
  4. Massage Data - Processing almost always involves playing with data on the server. The user-defined request specifies how the data should be played with.
  5. Transmit Query Results - The processed data is now returned to the client.
  6. Perform Client Side Processing - Finally, the returned data is displayed to the user. Display might be as simple as interpreting HTML, or as complex as performing calculations, sorting, or other manipulations of the data.

Recommended books

The oldest, simplest but still viable and excellent technology of creating Web applications using LAMP is called CGI. In it Perl is typically used instead of PHP. Books about CGI are usually old and rather cheap (most used copies are less then a dollar), but that does not mean that there are no good books among them or that they all are qual. The latter is definitely not true.

Advanced book on this topic is

[Sep 1, 1996] Instant Web Scripts With Cgi Perl by Selena Sol,

**** [Advanced] This is a rare and great book. Scripts actually work...
  • Paperback: 809 pages
  • Publisher: M & T Books (September 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558514902
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558514904
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds

Selena Sol, et al / Paperback / Published 1996

This book provides dozens of useful, professionally written scripts that Web professionals can instantly use on their pages and customize to their individual needs. Using the scripts on the CD-ROM and detailed explanations in the book, readers will be able to manage database applications, automatically generate HTML code from their pages, and manage interactive Web Chats.

Dave@classicc.com on April 26, 1998

Great for intermediate & above users

I think this book is more informational than practical. Although I've been able to successfully customize some of the CGI scripts, I've had a bear of a time relating to the procedures and found no help what so ever in the error or troubleshooting department. All in all the scripts in this book are extremely powerfull, just make sure you make time for deciphering!

A Customer on March 25, 1997

Clear, practical and immediately usefull

If you are looking to add "Professional" functions and features to your web site, this book is a must have. The introductory section tells you everything you need to know about installing, debugging and modifying these perl scripts.

Includes every conceivable function the professional web sites use such as search engines, advertising banners, chat, shopping carts and much more.

Most scripts need no modification to be immediately used. If you do choose to modify a script, the code is clearly commented and each chapter breaks down the functions in the program so that the reader can easily modify the code.

This book does require knowledge of server software (Unix, or windows NT) sufficient to install the scripts properly. In addition, knowledge of Perl is required to modify the scripts. However, this reviewer had little knowledge of Perl and was able to successfully modify and use several scripts with minimal effort, and even learned a lot about Perl along the way!

Even if you are a Perl expert, why re-invent the wheel? Get this book and jumpstart your web site!

Nikolai Bezroukov


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NEWS CONTENTS

Old News ;-)

[Jan 15, 2006] Preventing Web Attacks with Apache by Ryan C. Barnett

[Mar 15, 2005] by Ivan Ristic

Not just about Apache security, June 20, 2005
Reviewer: Jack D. Herrington "engineer and author" (Silicon Valley, CA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER) (REAL NAME)
I'm sure it was tempting for the author to just concentrate on the Apache portions of the web application security world. But in reality the security of web applications is a whole, and a vulnerability in the application layer is just as bad as one in the web server layer. Ivan Ristic does a good job of talking about security at every layer and uniting it into a single reference. This is an excellent, focused, resource that is well written and makes difficult security topics easy to understand.

Pro Apache, Third Edition by Peter Wainwright

One of the better books for getting a good handle on Apache, May 2, 2005
Reviewer: Harold McFarland (Florida) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)
In this voluminous title author Peter Wainwright covers the Apache web server in detail. Chapters include Installing Apache and basic configuration, building Apache the way you want it, configuring Apache the way you want it, deciding what the client needs, delivering dynamic content, hosting more than one web site, improving Apache's performance, monitoring Apache, Securing Apache, Improving Web Server Security, and Extending Apache. It has some excellent sections on advanced configuration, handling robots, dealing with errors and handling them correctly, name-based and IP-based virtual servers, and improving the performance of your server. The section on securing Apache covers authentication (including digest and LDAP) and using SSL (including some advanced configuration techniques).

There are better books that deal with some of the specific areas of this text (for example, Hardening Apache is much more thorough on the subject of securing your server) but you won't find a more comprehensive text in a single volume than this one. Pro Apache, Third Edition is highly recommended and my first choice for anyone looking for a single book to learn how to setup and configure an Apache server or serve as their primary reference.

Apache Cookbook by Ken Coar, Rich Bowen

Recipes for success from two experts, April 5, 2004
Reviewer: A Williams "honestpuck" (Neutral Bay, NSW Australia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)
While Apache is possibly the most popular and ubiquitous open source project it is certainly not the most simple. One module alone, mod_rewrite, causes me almost more problems and regex wrestling matches than all other products combined. The `httpd.conf' file is a long and critical one. In these circumstances the Apache Cookbook from O'Reilly might be a godsend. It is certainly a well-written, well-researched volume. Ken Coar has spent many years working on Apache and Rich Bowen has long laboured on the Apache documentation. They both know their stuff -- and if this is an example, both know how to write.

The book has twelve chapters, covering everything from installation and adding modules through to proxies and performance. The chapter on security is the largest, it covers the topics well. By contrast I thought the chapter `Aliases, Redirection and Rewriting' too short and could have benefited from some more `recipes', but that may be due to my own bias - mod_rewrite is not an easy topic, and as I've said it causes me a great deal of grief.

It is laid out in a similar way to the Perl Cookbook: each recipe has a `Problem' section followed by a `Solution' and then `Discussion.' In almost all the `recipes' the `Discussion' is longer than the `Solution,' and I often found it far more useful and informative than the problem and its solution.

The Apache Cookbook covers almost all aspects and all parts of the learning curve for Apache. That will either be a strength or a weakness of this volume for you; with such a large and complex piece of software as Apache a single book cannot hope to cover it in a great deal of depth. For me this book was not really a cookbook, more a good source of well documented examples from which to create my own recipes,

My biggest problem reviewing a book like this is that after several years building and configuring Apache (even on an infrequent basis) quite a lot of this volume seems simple. You may also find it the same if you are the sort of person who is not afraid to pore over the documentation, get your hands dirty and make a few mistakes. If you like some hand holding and are just starting with Apache you may benefit from all of it.

That's not to say that I didn't personally find large chunks of this volume useful. Certainly I've gone over several of the recipes and their excellent explanatory text to shed some light on previously dark corners of Apache, particularly as the authors cover both Apache 1.3 and 2.0.

O'Reilly have the usual web page with a Table of Contents and example chapter. The example chapter, on error handling is well chosen as it is typical of the others and useful but not the most useful chapter.

I have recently been thinking that tech books fall into various sorts and there is one sort I'd call `library books' - books you may not need to own, but will want to read every so often and would be good to have in your local or company library. Apache Cookbook is one of these, a book I'd recommend everyone coming to grips with Apache has close to hand, but it is not going to be constantly on your desk in the same way that Perl Cookbook might be for Perl programmers: to start off with, it's half the size and doesn't cover nearly as many topics. This one falls short of essential due to it's concentration on breadth. rather than depth. So my recommendation for this book is not that all Apache administrators should buy it, but you should have a copy close at hand.

Security

Amazon.com Hardening Apache Books Tony Mobily

by Tony Mobily

Excellent resource for web masters, February 20, 2006
Reviewer: Abe Usher "information security nut" (Virginia) - See all my reviews
I read this book about a year ago and recently re-read it. Coar and Bowen provide an excellent pragmatic approach to taking care of common Apache administration tasks. The Apache "recipes" are well organized, and presented with sufficient depth to be understandable for intermedia users.

The tips in the "miscellaneous topics" section and the troubleshooting guidelines are excellent, and will save Apache administrators significant amounts of time and frustration.

The good:
* Broad coverage of all tasks that Apache administrators will commonly encounter.
* Excellent writing style - concise yet sufficiently descriptive.
* Good organization of topics and very useful book index.
* Very good coverage of virtual hosts (required in most web hosting environments).
* Very appropriate "see also" references associated with each recipe.

The bad:
* Almost 25% of the book is taken up by installation, loading modules, and logging. These are good topics, but they take up too much of the book in my perspective.
* No information on the use of mod_python. mod_snake (a dead sourceforge) project is referenced. Blech.
* No information on co-hosting two versions of PHP (PHP4 and PHP5 on the same server).

Overall, this is a great book. If it had slightly better coverage on mod_python and mod_PHP I would give it five stars for certain.

 
Relevant even for application developers, August 28, 2004
Reviewer: Foti Massimo (Savosa Switzerland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I am not a server admin, but a web applications developer, so my opinion on this book has a very specific bias. I really enjoyed it, especially because similar material available on-line is usually scattered across a multitude of different sources. Most content is interesting even for application developers and I especially liked the chapters covering different security related modules.
The chapter on automation, being totally based around Bash scripts was almost useless to me (but then, again, I am biased). The book is 100% Unix centric, it's somewhat of a shame, especially since Apache 2 on Windows is a viable option, but it's a choice I can understand
Your return will exceed the price in a very short time, January 31, 2005
Charles Ashbacher "(cashbacher@yahoo.com)" (Hiawatha, Iowa United States(cashbacher@yahoo.com)) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Computer security is hard, very hard. Any reasonable attempt to make a system secure has to involve more than a choice between {none, some security features, unusable}. There are so many different things that we want to do with our software and there are probably just as many ways in which it can be attacked. In order to be able to fend off attacks, it is necessary to know what kind of attacks can occur. Finally, many security procedures must be automated, which requires generic defense strategies that are capable of recognizing an attack when it differs slightly from one that has already been planned for.
This book about the Apache server does all of that, starting with which version to use and how to install it with security enabled at the appropriate level. After these topics are covered in chapter one, Mobily moves on to descriptions of the most common attacks in chapter two and logging the interesting events in chapter three. If you are versed in security, most of the material in chapter two will be familiar, but it is hard to overstate the importance of chapter three. Being able to read an account of what has happened on a system is the only way to prove that your security measures are working and the only way to learn when you are successfully attacked. Mobily also shows you the critical steps in testing to determine if your log system is actually working properly.
Chapter four is devoted to explanations of cross-site scripting attacks (XSS). This is an attack where a web page is designed to accept input, but that input may be used to drive erroneous results. A simple, yet excellent demonstration of how this can be done is presented. While it is not sophisticated, it demonstrates how careful you must be when accepting even the most basic of inputs from a web page.
Chapters five and six deal specifically with security in the Apache server. Five explains the security modules available in Apache and six describes how you can lock down Apache by "putting it in jail." These specifics, of which there are many, should be required reading for anyone who has any hand in managing an Apache server. The last chapter shows you how to automate the security functions, clearly necessary if you are ever to get any sleep.
There is a great deal of source code used to describe how the features are implemented. Demo code is in Perl, but XML, HTML and database access commands are used when appropriate.
All around this country, companies and organizations are quietly paying out large sums of money to settle issues when their computer security was lax. Sometimes that payment is through the legal system, but the vast majority does not appear on the books. Reduced efficiency of the server, dropped and misplaced orders and greater effort by the staff are just some of the consequences of security problems. This book should be mandatory reading for all people who manage an Apache server, at $29.99 a copy it will probably pay for itself in less than 24 hours.
 

[Sep 17, 2002] Sams Teach Yourself CGI in 24 Hours by Rafe Colburn

Paperback: 544 pages
Publisher: Sams; 2 edition (September 17, 2002)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0672324040
ISBN-13: 978-0672324048
Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 1.1 x 9.1 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds

A customer, on November 4, 2001

I am impressed

The content of the book impressed me. Prior to reading the book, I had taught myself Perl programming, and had learned the basics of forms processing. I didn't understand some of CGI jargon I came across in more than one Perl book that glossed over CGI in a single chapter somewhere toward the back of the book. But this book on CGI programming gave me all the information I needed to feel like a CGI pro, someone who could keep his cool in any discussion where "CGI" was spoken.

Some of the information in this book is worth writing down, so you can remember the clear understanding that reading the book gave you, and so you can regurgitate that understanding to other people later, say after months of no complex CGI programming. This book offers enough explanation to make you see things from a webmaster's perspective, but also a UNIX programmer's perspective. Without more than a basic idea of how the UNIX command-line works.

I will confess that if you don't know Perl, I don't think you'd have the same reaction I did. But CGI books shouldn't have to teach you Perl, and at the same time, Perl is THE language for CGI programming.

The "brief" coverage that this book gives to other CGI languages is not meant to underplay their relative importance, but rather to give Perl the attention that it's due. Also, realize that PHP is not a CGI language, and I wouldn't classify JSP as one, either, so you definitely won't find mention of them in Rafe's book as anything other than alternatives to CGI.

So learn some Perl, say from the new "Beginning Perl" book from OReilly, and then get Rafe's book, to learn CGI. "Teach Yourself CGI in 24 Hours" is worth buying and studying.
 

[Sep 1, 1996] Instant Web Scripts With Cgi Perl by Selena Sol,

**** [Advanced] This is a rare and great book. Scripts actually work...
  • Paperback: 809 pages
  • Publisher: M & T Books (September 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558514902
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558514904
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds

Selena Sol, et al / Paperback / Published 1996

This book provides dozens of useful, professionally written scripts that Web professionals can instantly use on their pages and customize to their individual needs. Using the scripts on the CD-ROM and detailed explanations in the book, readers will be able to manage database applications, automatically generate HTML code from their pages, and manage interactive Web Chats.

Dave@classicc.com on April 26, 1998

Great for intermediate & above users

I think this book is more informational than practical. Although I've been able to successfully customize some of the CGI scripts, I've had a bear of a time relating to the procedures and found no help what so ever in the error or troubleshooting department. All in all the scripts in this book are extremely powerfull, just make sure you make time for deciphering!

A Customer on March 25, 1997

Clear, practical and immediately usefull

If you are looking to add "Professional" functions and features to your web site, this book is a must have. The introductory section tells you everything you need to know about installing, debugging and modifying these perl scripts.

Includes every conceivable function the professional web sites use such as search engines, advertising banners, chat, shopping carts and much more.

Most scripts need no modification to be immediately used. If you do choose to modify a script, the code is clearly commented and each chapter breaks down the functions in the program so that the reader can easily modify the code.

This book does require knowledge of server software (Unix, or windows NT) sufficient to install the scripts properly. In addition, knowledge of Perl is required to modify the scripts. However, this reviewer had little knowledge of Perl and was able to successfully modify and use several scripts with minimal effort, and even learned a lot about Perl along the way!

Even if you are a Perl expert, why re-invent the wheel? Get this book and jumpstart your web site!

[Dec 1 1996] Teach Yourself Cgi Programming With Perl 5 in a Week by Eric Herrmann

Paperback: 590 pages
Publisher: Sams Publishing; 2nd edition (December 1996)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1575211963
ISBN-13: 978-1575211961
Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 7.5 x 9.2 inches

A Customer on September 13, 1996

Year's Best CGI Tutorial/Reference Technical Guide.

Recently, after examining a number of CGI/Perl type books, I purchased a wonderful instructional book titled,"Teach Yourself CGI Programming with Perl in a Week" by Eric Herrman. I had no prior experience with CGI or Perl, but had gained an interest in the subject after talking to several friends at my work place. After reading this book, I have written several CGI scripts that are currently being used in my department.

This book is organized into seven lessons that correspond to the seven days of the week. I found day one (the introduction) to be a little technical and over my head, but the author explained that this information would be covered in detail in the Chapters to follow. Once I made it to day two I was on the road to becoming a CGI script programmer. The Author makes excellent use of visuals andworking programs to explain how Web Pages interact with CGI Scripts and then back to the Web.

The author explained that he chose Perl as the language for writing the CGI scripts because it works well with UNIX environments, but the scripts could be written in a number of languages. Upon completion of this book I felt very comfortable with Perl as a primary programming language and would highly suggest this book to anyone that is interested in programming with the Web.

My only suggestion to anyone that is considering to purchase this book is that unless they have a lot of spare time, be prepared to spend more than one week to complete this book. I read this book in my leisure after work and I estimate that it took me two weeks to complete the reading and feel confident in my knowledge.

[Oct 1, 1996] CGI Programming Unleashed  by  Daniel J. Berlin, Shuman Ghosemajumder, Kenneth J. Hunt

A customer on March 21, 1998

A good book, but not enough actual source code.

I was very happy to find the extra book mounted on the CD, Perl 5 in 21 days, but the actual book itself would describe general concepts without actually giving enough concrete examples of how to do it. This book is definitely intended for those who are already fairly experienced with programming in Perl. Also, the author could stand to be a little less dry and his code should be more readable (indentation and white space).

 A customer, on June 20, 1997

Learn CGI for Perl programmer

It gives good overview of CGI and many examples. It explains basic operation of CGI in the beginning, then illustrates numerous application afterwards.

However, the author seems to have a strong favor for Perl. There are very few C, C++, and Java examples available. After reading, C/C++ programmer will feel like to study ISAPI or NSAPI that can replace CGI. The source code provided in this book is written for UNIX based web server NOT for Windows NT (IIS) Web server.
Overall, it is designed for novice and intermediate level reader.

Running Weblogs with Slash

Slash is the open source software that implements Web sites known as Weblogs. This book provides an overview of Slash, then takes you step by step through the process of installing the software, editing stories, managing topics, customizing templates, and much more. If you're a content manager or a system administrator, or you just want to know how to run your own online community newspaper, this book shows you how to use Slash to get your Weblog site up and running.

Sample Chapter 4, Editing and Updating Stories, is available online.

Open Source Linux Web Programming 

Christopher A. Jones, Drew Batchelor / Paperback / Published 2000

Programming the Perl Dbi : Database Programming for Perl and Cgi

SG24-5415      1999-01-29      Redpiece
    Getting Started with Data Warehouse and Business Intelligence, SG24-5415-00

Digital Darwinism : 7 Breakthrough Business Strategies for Surviving in the Cutthroat Web Economy 

Evan I. Schwartz / Hardcover / Published 1999

Webonomics : Nine Essential Principles for Growing Your Business on the World Wide Web

Evan I. Schwartz / Paperback / Published 1998

Introductory

Perl and Cgi for the World Wide Web : Visual Quickstart Guide

Elizabeth Castro / Paperback / Published 1998
Our Price: $15.19 ~ You Save: $3.80 (20%)

CGI Programming 101

Jacqueline D. Hamilton / Paperback / Published 2000
Our Price: $17.47 ~ You Save: $7.48 (30%)
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars

        See online version  CGI Programming 101 - Learn CGI Today!

Programming the Perl DBI

Alligator Descartes, Tim Bunce / Paperback / Published 2000
Our Price: $24.47 ~ You Save: $10.48 (30%)
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars

Official Guide to Programming With Cgi.Pm

Lincoln Stein / Paperback / Published 1998

Average Customer Review: ****

From the author of cgi.pm.  Read an excerpt from this title.  He is also the author of Web Security : A Step-By-Step Reference Guide

The author, Lincoln Stein <lstein@cshl.org> , June 19, 1998
Create Web CGI scripts in Perl with simplicity and elegance
When I first discovered the power of Perl for writing Web CGI scripts, I was on the top of the world. "I can do anything!" I thought. A few weeks later the gloss had worn away a bit as I found myself in the vexing position of rewriting the same tedious pieces of code multiple times, and, worse, making the same mistakes repeatedly. So I did what programmers have always done: I wrote a small subroutine library to make my life easier. I called it "CGI.pm." This library takes care of all the details of parsing fill-out forms, producing syntactically correct HTML, and creating the HTTP header. A complete interactive page can be as short and sweet as this one:

#!/usr/bin/perl
use CGI ':standard';

print header,
start_html(-title=>'Short and Sweet'),
h1("'Tis a Gift to be Simple"),
start_form,
"Type your name:",textfield(-name=>'Name'),
submit,
end_form;

print "You entered ",param('Name') if param();

print end_html;

Over a long period of time, this library grew and became more sophisticated. I added support for frames, for cookies, for JavaScripting, and for such esoterica as server push. And as it grew, more and more people discovered it and began to use it for their own CGI scripting. When Perl 5.004 was released, it was adopted as the standard library for Perl CGI scripting.

With this book, I share with you all the secrets of CGI.pm, showing you how to use it to create elegant and sophisticated applications of your own, and how to extend and customize the library for your own purposes.

Customer Comments
Average Customer Review: **** Number of Reviews: 4

A reader from Richmond, Virginia , August 30, 1999 ***
Information is invaluable but organization needs work
This is an invaluable book for using an invaluable library module (if you do CGI coding). There is absolutely no substitute for CGI.pm. However, this book is very frustrating to use because the Reference Guide section is organized into different weird categories instead of just listing all the functions in CGI.pm in alphabetical order (like in Perl books, for example). Therefore the reader has to try to figure out what category a function in the module belongs in in order to look it up. Very very aggravating! In fact I trained a group of developers in using CGI.pm and many of them avoided using it because it takes so long to find what you're looking for in the reference section of the book. I am hoping for a new edition of the book SOON with this problem corrected. The material is invaluable, but I have to give three stars because of poor organization.

J_A_King@msn.com from San Francisco , January 14, 1999 *****
A Must Buy
Examples solve real life programming needs. It is a real time and life saver. (note to publisher:Print it darker. It is hard to tell difference between commas and periods.

Joseph N. Hall (joseph@5sigma.com) from Chandler, Arizona , September 30, 1998 ****+
Excellent text; questionable typography
I've enjoyed this latest book of Lincoln's, and recommend it highly. This is an interesting book with many good examples. I am happily using it as a text in my Programming the World Wide Web classes. This is one of very, very few books on CGI programming that use fluent Perl (Perl 5 constructs in particular) *and* up-to-date language features (CGI.pm, obviously). The only drawback of the book, and the only reason I didn't give it 5 stars, is that I think the typography is lousy. In particular, the font for the code samples is too light, and the excessive leading in general makes the book harder to read. The book has its share of first printing typos, but then again, mine had them too, so I can hardly complain about that. :-) Good work, Lincoln!

Larry Hunter (lhunter@acm.org) from Austin TX , June 18, 1998 *****
A potential winner with a few first-edition problems.
This book will be an absolute necessity for CGI programmers writing in Perl. It's a description of a must-use tool by the tool's creator. It goes well beyond the online and POD documentation for CGI.pm. The example code snippets and programs are well chosen. There are a few problems: the organization of the reference section is confusing, and the descriptions of table(), Tr(), and td() don't explain how to enter attributes. (But the table examples show how to do that, so it's not much of a problem.) Summary: if you write CGI in Perl, get this book and use it.

Cgi Programming With Perl

Shishir Gundavavum, Shishir Gundavaram / Paperback / Published 2000
Our Price: $26.36 ~ You Save: $6.59 (20%) (Not Yet Published -- On Order)

Teach Yourself Cgi Programming in a Week (Teach Yourself...)

Rafe Colburn, Krish Menon / Paperback / Published 1998
Our Price: $23.99 ~ You Save: $6.00 (20%)
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars

scalper@worldmailer.com from Framont, California. U.S.A , January 15, 1999 5 out of 5 stars
A best book for CGI beginner
I have bought 5 CGI books, only this one does teach me something from the beginning. By reading through the first chapter, I fully understand the structure of a site, what is the document root, why index page in the /usr/local/http/htdocs directory is automaticlly loaded if www.xxxx.com is used, as well as why cgi-bin is treated as in the same directory under the document root as your html document eventhough the cgi-bin is one level higher than htdocs, etc, ... These are all the questions I have in my mind since I started to learn CGI, this book enlightened me starting in the first chapter! (Certainly not only one chapter can do all). No other books take a approach as this one to teach you from the very beginning, which is very crucial to any one who is new to CGI I believe. This is a book for any one who wants to learn CGI from the very beginning. But I think if you have some html and unix knowledge, it would be much easier for you to quickly learn CGI by reading this book. I have one year html experience and know some basic unix and perl, I feel very comfortable reading through this book and finished with it just in a week. If you are looking for some advanced CGI, maybe O'Reilly's "Programming in CGI" will do much better for you.

Building Cyberstores : Installation, Transaction Processing, and Management by Martin Nemzow

**+ Junk

A simple overview of HTML, web design, and the internet
Nemzov eagerly catalogues a vast collection of factoids he has collected. The book is roughly organized into: how to build a web site, how complicated it can be dealing with an ISP, more web trivia about what to put in your web site, and some very dated opinions about outdated web sites.

There is almost nothing on database integration, transactions, or the management of a commercial site, as had been promised in the subtitle.

This book is for non-technical managers who would like to sound cool but have no interest in the topic. There is no vision, no strategy, no direction, no future, nothing but a nonstop breathless recitation with an occasional banal opinion.

Mike Manning (mmanning@digev.com) from Los Angeles, CA , March 24, 1998 2 out of 5 stars
Just another fluff-filled tome
I bought this book hoping it would live up to some of its promises, and really give a detailed look a EDI or POS integration or transactions or tying into existing accounting systems (all bullet points on the back cover). I'll be returning it tomorrow because it failed to fulfill any of them. I was able to blast through this 500 page book in a single sitting because there wasn't a single new concept or piece of information to slow my reading...

This would probably be a good intro to ecommerce for a novitiate, but it's a waste of time for anyone who's ever built a store before.

As side-notes, 1) I was amazed that any "tech-savvy" book could repeatedly mis-spell "embed" as "imbed" and 2) this book could have been dramatically improved by restructuring grouping of the information, and breaking long, winding chapters into more insightful, tight, shorter chapters.

Advanced

Writing Apache Modules with Perl and C  

Cgi for Commerce : A Complete Web-Based Selling Solution ~ Usually ships in 24 hours

Gunther Birznieks, et al / Paperback / Published 1997
Amazon price: $31.96 ~ You Save: $7.

The Cgi/Perl Cookbook by Craig Patchett, et al

A reader from Boston, MA , June 10, 1999
Great help for new CGI developers
My favorite Web development book! Great scripts, terrific explanations of how they work, and a style of programming and writing that is easy to understand for a change. (The installation instructions could have been better, but the explanation how the scripts work, which I was most interested in, was outstanding.) I'm not sure if I would recommend this book to someone who just wants ready-to-use scripts, but for anyone wanting to learn about CGI programming it's definitely a must-have.

A reader from California , June 5, 1999
The code in this book is terrible
I friend of mine has this book, and I thought I'd take a look at a couple of the example they give, becaue I am trying to write a search engine. Their code, while basically funcional, has little real worth... the code is amateurish...

A reader from Arlington, Virginia , May 28, 1999
Lots of code, some buggy and no real CGI security usage.
What I really needed was a CGI/PERL/Security book. What I got was This Book, and it went back to the store the next day. I didn't like that the first line of code I saw lacked the -T (taint) flag, and it must be a 5.003 bug or me, but I could not use PUSH to add my library to @INC, but instead had to USE it. www.booksonline (SCBC) is offering this book for $15, and that is about what its worth.

Visual Developer Web Commerce Programming With Visual C++ 

Don Gaspar / Paperback / Published 1997

A reader from San Jose, CA , August 23, 1998
The CGI Programming was very helpful.
This book should be labeled CGI/ISAPI programming since the examples show how to do this in ample detail with a Web server. The usage of STL was very helpful, and is obviously written for advanced programmers.

A reader from California, US , August 23, 1998
Excellent technical book for CGI and ISAPI programming.
The examples were clear and helpful, the STL focus showed me some things I had never done before with the stream iterators. This is the only worthwhile book that shows how to do CGI programming in C++! The ISAPI and ODBC samples helped me enable retail merchandise from my web site within a few weeks. Combined with the credit card validation examples in C++ makes this recommended.

Web Commerce Technology Handbook ; Daniel Minoli, Emma Minoli

**+

(McGraw-Hill Series on Computer Communication)

A reader from Connecticut , November 23, 1998
Exhaustively detailed tome
This work is an excellent up to date work covering the various components of e-commerce. It addresses not only the technical security issues regarding e-commerce but the advantages and disadvantages of particular e-commerce platforms and schemes. The author also presents a well thought out road map for the future of web commerce. This borders on being a scholarly work, as it is detailed and well documented. Therefore, I would NOT recommend this book for beginners (such as me) or those who are looking for a how-to book to get them up and running.

**+ Java Electronic Commerce Sourcebook : All the Software and Expert Advice You Need to Open Your Own Virtual Store ~ Usually ships in 24 hours

Cary A. Jardin / Paperback / Published 1997
Amazon price: $31.96 ~ You Save: $7.99 (20%)

only buzzwords
I found this book carelessly composed and edited, fairly useless in terms of helping to understand the issues. In addition, it features one proprietary technology (obviously developed by the author ??) which leaves a bad feeling for a reader who is interested in objective information.

It seems to me that this is another book hastily scribbled together around a few buzzwords.

A reader , July 28, 1997
Look elsewhere if you want to do electronic commerce.
This book starts off with a useless introduction to the web followed by code generated by Symantec Cafe. None of which did I find useful. The book doesn't cover SET (secure electronic transactions) OR JECF (Java electronic commerce framework). These are essential technologies for doing web commerce and should have had coverage.
 

[May 27, 1999] Book Review Website Automation Toolkit

Junk

Writing Apache Modules With Perl and C

Lincoln Stein, et al / Paperback / Published 1999
Amazon price: $27.96 ~ You Save: $6.99 (20%)

***+ Web Client Programming With Perl

Clinton Wong / Paperback / Published 1997

1st Edition March 1997
1-56592-214-X, 228 pages, $29.95

The Cgi/Perl Cookbook

Craig Patchett, et al / Paperback / Published 1997

Instant Web Scripts With Cgi Perl

Selena Sol, et al / Paperback / Published 1996

CGI Programming with Perl

Shishir Gundavaram / Paperback / Published 1998

Web Programming With Perl5

Bill Middleton, et al / Paperback / Published 1997

 

Designing Systems for Internet Commerce; G. Winfield Treese, Lawrence C. Stewart

Understanding Electronic Commerce (Strategic Technology Series); David R. Kosiur

Electronic Selling : Twenty-Three Steps to E-Selling Profits; Brian Jamison, et al

Creating Stores on the Web ~ Usually ships in 24 hours

Joe Cataudella, et al / Paperback / Published 1998
Amazon price: $26.36 ~ You Save: $6.59 (20%)

MP3 Power! with Winamp With CDROM

Justin Frankel, et al / Paperback / Published 1999
Amazon price: $23.96 ~ You Save: $5.99 (20%) (Not Yet Published -- On Order)


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