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Learning Perl, Second Edition by Randal L. Schwartz, Tom Christiansen

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19.10. Perl and the Web: Beyond CGI Programming

Perl is used for much more than CGI programming. Other uses include logfile analysis, cookie and password management, clickable images, and image manipulation.[15] And that's still just the tip of the iceberg.

[15] See the GD.pm module on CPAN for a Perl interface to Thomas Boutell's gd graphics library.

19.10.1. Custom Publishing Systems

Commercial web publishing systems may make easy things easy, especially for nonprogrammers, but they just aren't infinitely flexible the way a real programming language is. Without source code, you're locked into someone else's design decisions: if something doesn't work quite the way you want it to, you can't fix it. No matter how many whiz-bang programs become available for the consumer to purchase, a programmer will always be needed for those special jobs that don't quite fit the mold. And of course someone has to write the publishing software in the first place.

Perl is great for creating custom publishing systems tailored to your unique needs. It's easy to convert raw data into zillions of HTML pages en masse. Sites all over the Web use Perl to generate and maintain their entire web site. The Perl Journal (http://www.tpj.com) uses Perl to generate all its pages. The Perl Language Home Page (http://www.perl.com) has nearly 10,000 web pages all automatically maintained and updated by various Perl programs.

19.10.2. Embedded Perl

The fastest, cheapest (it's hard to get any cheaper than ...

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