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davorg (18)

davorg
  dave@dave.org.uk
http://dave.org.uk/
Yahoo! ID: daveorguk (Add User, Send Message)

Hacker, author, trainer

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Journal of davorg (18)

Tuesday February 19, 2002
06:12 AM

Script Kiddies Books (and Book Titles)

[ #2953 ]

Over the last few months, I've been doing a lot of thinking about the kinds of people who get into Perl simply to put guestbooks and hit counters on thier web site. To me this seems to be currently the way that most people start using Perl. I've summarised my current ideas on this subject in my Idiotic Perl talk.

One of the problems that I've identified is that there isn't a book that one of these people will buy which teaches good Perl. The good beginners Perl books (Learning Perl, Elements of Programming with Perl and Beginning Perl for example) all look far too scary to someone whose "programming" experience is writing a bit of HTML. The kinds of books that they will buy all teach bad Perl.

This isn't new. I've been saying for months that we need a new beginners Perl/CGI book which addresses this market. I've also been saying that I thought I wasn't the right person to write it.

Over the last few weeks tho' my opinion has been changing. With the interest in nms and my recent article on perl.com I'm starting to think that maybe I could be the person to write the book. A number of people at the German Perl Workshop seemed to think that it was a good idea.

So my current plan is to see if I can find a publisher interested in the idea. I'd need to choose a publisher carefully as I don't think that my target audience even look at O'Reilly or Manning books. The go for big, colourful books with titles like Learn Everything Fast!. If you've an idea about publishers that might be interested then please let me know.

Oh, and titles are important too. kudra and kane presented me with this web page where people can suggest a title for the book - togther with some of their best efforts :) Please join in with your suggestions.

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  • Inside joke here, because it won't fit on the page.

    19th Feb.
    Wrote email script. V easy. Off to pub to celebrate. Oop fellover.

  • this just happened last night...

    I was cruising through my local Borders doing a vanity search (you know...), my daughter (20 months) picking up various ORA titles ("tiger!" "well, it's a cheetah, actually." "mouse!" "yes, that's a mouse on Gunther's book..."), when this guy comes up and picks up a CGI programming book. It happens to be the very non-nms book, but it has a snazzy title so I guess it stands out. Of course, CGI and Perl are together in the section (which is called "CGI/Perl" and still bugs m
  • Perl for Web Site Management [amazon.com] is a terrific book so you might have a look at it to make sure you aren't reinventing the wheel.

    • I can't speak for the book, but I enjoyed the author's article on oreillynet on the same subject. That said, however, I think davorg's focus might be a bit different. And besides, since when are computer book publishers concerned about reinventing the wheel?

      Oh right, since the dot-com crash. Never mind. ;-)
      • I don't think so as I'm very familiar with the book and its intended audience is the same as daves more or less...it even has the tried and true guestbook chapter. For the absolute beginner I think it's an excellent book...and even the not so absolute beginner.

    • I'm aware of that book, but I haven't had a chance to have a close look at it yet. I will, of course, take a closer look before very long.

      From what I've seen tho' it's not really targeting the same audience that I'm thinking of.

      I'm talking about the people who buy Perl and CGI for the World Wide Web [cookwood.com] or CGI 101 [cgi101.com][1] or who think that Matt's scripts will help them. I don't think that these people look at O'Reilly books on the shelves. The go for something a little flashier. I pains me to say it, but I could

  • I mean it should include the word easy in the title:

    • Easy CGI
    • Easy CGI with Perl
    • CGI made Easy
    • Easy Introduction to CGI with Perl
    • CGI is Easy with Perl
    • Teach your dummy self CGI in 24 easy minutes

    Maybe the last one wouldn't fly because of various copyright issues, but I like it the best though. I would also suggest a small format and a spiral binder. And of course you could use the clever "mini-fan + post-it over the text" trick to simulate the blink tag, which should at least get the

  • Some point remain unclear to me :

    Will it be a book about CGI in Perl or just Perl ?
    I suggested a title a bout just Perl, beccause I'm tired to hear "Perl ? Isn't it a language to write CGI ?"

    But you can decline it at will :

    Perl : The easy way
    CGI in Perl : The easy way
    Learning Perl : The easy way

    Or even : Learning Perl in 21 days for the dummies : The easy way
    ;-)
  • The target audience of this book won't know what `CGI' or `Perl' are and so will probably be frightened off any books with those words (or similar) in the title.

    Call it something that describes what they want to do, so need to know how to do, so want to learn from your book.

    Just my $0.02...