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Book Review: Web Development with Apache and Perl

posted by pudge on 2002.07.22 23:26   Printer-friendly
belg4mit writes "I picked up Web Development with Apache and Perl thinking it would be about mod_perl, in my mind Apache + perl = mod_perl. It's not."
"Mod_Perl is certainly mentioned and paid respects, but it is not the focus of this book. Despite the potentially misleading title, the preface is accurate in describing the audience of the book. In my own words this book is best for:
  • PHBs: It should be able to provide them with adequate clue to have some sense of what their people may be talking about. It makes far more sense on a boss' desk than say the camel.
  • IS: Network administrators, etc. that have a general computing background and may be interested in becoming involved with development, or better understand all the developer requests.
  • Novices: Somebody who may have worked through Learning Perl, and is not sure what to do next.

I started off reading word for word but after the first few chapters it became a little difficult, I just wasn't into the book, I'd been exposed to all this before. I did 'read' the rest of the book though. The author gives a very broad coverage of all things web related for such a small book (~400 pg), although the coverage of templating systems seemed a bit excessive err thorough.

I was quite surprised at some of the things mentioned in the book, several software packages that I would think to be less than well known such as mod_backhand, lingerd, and WebDAV. In a way this book could be approached as a list of the sundries required do an adequate job as a webmaster. As such, a few things do seem to be lacking. Source control is not paid any significant lip service, and the book could do well to mention products such as perforce if it did. I also wonder why Apache::DBI or sqlrelay were not mentioned in the performance management section.

This is a well-written book and should be more than adequate for its target audience."

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  • I think making the assumption that "Web Development with Apache and Perl" can only come via mod_perl is a really poor assumption.
    • If the title of the book was "Effective Web Development with Apache and Perl", then one would expect it be deal extensively with mod_perl. Sure, you don't have to use mod_perl to use perl CGI programs on Apache. Just as I can undertake software development without any form of source code control and version management.

      Both approaches are fine for "mickey mouse" projects. Once you start to do commercial level development, you use proper change management practises. The same applies with Web Development.

    • I beg your pardon. I never implied only.
      However when Apache and Perl are spoken
      in the same breath this usually means
      mod_perl. Therefore, this is not a poor
      assumption. An incorrect one, yes.
      I felt it was an assumption many might
      make, so I drew particular attention to
      this in the review.
      --
      Were that I say, pancakes?