Perl (Practical Extraction and Report
Language) is not a CGI-specific programming language. In fact, it
is a powerful language with many applications far beyond the needs
of CGI. Thus, as a CGI programmer, your mastery of Perl need only
extend initially to a small subset of the Perl universe.
For the first half of today, we will try
to identify the most commonly appearing Perl functions used with
CGI applications in order to give the beginner a quick and dirty,
but by no means all-inclusive, introduction to Perl.
If you are a beginner to Perl as well
as to CGI, this review should give you the very basic foundation
that you will need in order to understand most CGI scripts.
Intermediate and advanced Perlites might want to hang around
because though the information will be familiar, the discussion
will be in terms of CGI that has its own quirks.
If you would like more than a cheat-sheet,
I strongly recommend that you go out and buy "Learning Perl" by
Randall Schwartz and "Programming Perl" by Randall Schwartz and
Larry Wall that are published by O' Reilly and Associates Inc.
Both of these books outline Perl completely and, as such, are
invaluable resources for the CGI programmer.