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merlyn (47)

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Journal of merlyn (47)

Wednesday March 19, 2003
06:50 AM

More Matt-Wright-like nonsense

[ #11107 ]
I stumbled across Joe Burns Perl Primer from a googlenews search for Perl.

As I started looking at the site, I got more and more scared. This guy has written multiple books in the HTML-space, and based on the dozen or two pages I saw in the Perl-space, the HTML stuff (which I didn't look at) must be cargo-cult "please upgrade to the latest one of two browsers" junk.

Specifically, the Perl stuff involved the use of lifted copies of MSA's WWWBoard (CERT-warning for cross-site-scripting vulnerability) and (known as an easy spam relay). Every CGI script also began with the silly hand-decoder for form parameters.

And don't get me started that he calls it PERL instead of Perl.

I sent a nice long letter directly to Joe this morning, especially pointing out the security holes and threats to the health of the net if his advice is followed, and gave a pointer to NMS. But I thought the rest of you might get a chuckle at just what kind of stuff passes for "good info" out there.

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  • Is the Joe Burns, PhD! Really. Who gives a damn? All it means is you spent too long in academia!


  • It seems like there are still plenty of antiquated references around; at least in the HTML world. They're leftovers from the time when everyone and their dog had a "cool" HTML reference website. As far as outdated perl scripts go, Selena Sol [] appears to be up and running still, just with a new address.

    Perhaps you could put up "merlyn's super-awesome perl reference-o-matic!" =D

  • The last paragraph is a hoot:

    "So let's begin. Take your time. Understand what you read before you attempt to implement it on your own site. PERL isn't as nice as JavaScript. Errors don't pop up in nice little boxes. Sometimes things go wrong and nothing tells you why."

    Not as nice as JavaScript? Yikes! However, the last sentence may be the best bit of unintended philosophy about life and programming in general.
  • Did you get a reply to your email? I'm interested to hear what he said.

    • He says that the site is no longer under his control. It was bought by EarthWeb (the same people who destroyed the Perl Journal). And then that was sold again. He said the only way anything would change there is for me to write the webmaster. Which I've done. And gotten no response.


      • Randal L. Schwartz
      • Stonehenge