Perl Annotated Archives

This book does not aim to teach you every aspect and function that is available within the Perl environment. Nor is it intended to be an example of the perfect path to a particular goal using Perl. There are a number of ways and methods in which different goals can be achieved in any language, and Perl is no exception to this rule. Instead, my aim is to demonstrate the use of Perl in real-world situations, showing examples and detailed reasons as to why the programmer followed a certain path and structure for the script.Many of the scripts in this book are taken directly from my own toolkit of scripts and utilities that I have been using for many years. Others have been taken from the Internet, with the author’s permission, and are included in this book in the same consistent style, with the same level of annotations. In all cases, I’d like to make it clear that the scripts are not taken to be the ultimate or perfect method of achieving a particular goal. What I can say is that all of the scripts work, and they all do what they set out to do.Who the book is forI’ve not targeted the book at any one specific group of Perl users. To put it simply, if you program in Perl, then you will find this book useful. For beginners, the book provides a useful introduction to how programs are structured and how the different functions and constructs in Perl allow you to do both simple and more complex tasks.For the intermediate programmer, this book should give you ideas and pointers to improving your Perl programming, and what tools and modules to use when approaching different problems with Perl. For the more advanced user, these scripts can help augment and form the basis of other projects you are working on, and they may even open doors to other solutions for particular problems that you had not originally considered.In all cases, I have designed the scripts to be standalone examples of how to achieve different goals. All of the scripts can be taken directly from the book’s CD-ROM and used within your own systems, albeit with minor modifications to take account of your local setup. Any required modules and extensions are supplied. The latest versions of the chapter scripts are available here for download – use the download panel on the right hand side of the window.How to use Perl Annotated ArchivesThere is no natural progression through the book, so you can pick it up at any point in any chapter, and you should be able to follow the scripts. Keep in mind, though, that a number of the chapters include a module as one of the first annotations. Although reading one of the later scripts without having first studied the module may leave some gaps in your understanding, the script ought to make sense.Where applicable, the annotations include possible script modifications and updates so you can customize it for your own environment or expand its capabilities and features. Alternatively, if the script does exactly what you want, and you are not interested in the annotations, just go ahead and use the script!