On Perl

Perl for Students and Professionals
by Jugal K. Kalita

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The book has an introductory chapter that gets the reader started quickly with programming in Perl. The initial part of the book discusses Perl expressions, statements, control flow, built-in data types such as arrays and hashes, and complex data structures built using references. The chapter on regular expressions is exemplary with about fifty well-motivated example programs that make this useful topic particularly accessible. The book has an excellent chapter on modules and object-oriented programming. On Perl has several chapters covering specialized topics. The chapter on socket-based network programming deals with forking and using fork to write complex interactive client-server programs. There is a chapter with in-depth discussion of CGI programming including error-handling and security issues that arise. The chapter on web-client programming deals with writing programs that access Web pages, fill up GET and POST forms, handle cookies and redirected Web pages. The chapter on persistent data discusses DBMs, ties, serialization and relational database access.

The book has several unique chapters not found in any other book on Perl in the market. The chapter on security discusses hashes such as MD5, message authentication codes (MACs), digital signature schemes, and encryption techniques such as DES, Rijndael, and RSA. Other chapters deal with writing recursive programs that work with files and directories; this chapter also discusses predefined modules that deal with portability in file names and paths across operating systems, recursive traversal of file hierarchies and tarring and untarring of filles. The chapter on functional programming illustrates that Perl functions are first-class, can be used to write closures and can be composed to form more complex functions. In particular, this can be useful for programming in artificial intelligence. Finally, the chapter on scientific computation describes topics that could be vital use to mathematical, scientific and engineering programming .

The author has taught Perl in the university setting for eight years (as of 2003) and has also used Perl extensively in the company setting. He is well-versed in pedagogy having received the "Best Teacher" award at the university level. The writing is lucid, at times brisk. The book has over three hundred example programs, small and large. There are also almost two hundred suggested exercises for self-learning or as homework assignment. View or Post a Review at

About the Author

Jugal Kalita has a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylavania and has taught at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs for over ten years. He is an excellent teacher having received several teaching excellence awards. He also consults with startup companies during his summers off from academia.


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