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Web Programming with Perl5

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Web Programming with Perl5

by Bill Middleton, Brian Deng, and
Chris Kemp

Copyright(c) 1997 by Publishing


All rights reserved. No part of this book shall be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission from the publisher. No patent liability is assumed with respect to the use of the information contained herein. Although every precaution has been taken in the preparation of this book, the publisher and author assume no responsibility for errors or omissions. Neither is any liability assumed for damages resulting from the use of the information contained herein. For information, address Publishing, 201 W. 103rd St., Indianapolis, IN 46290.

International Standard Book Number: 1-57521-112-2

Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 96-71503

2000 99 98 97 4 3 2 1

Interpretation of the printing code: the rightmost double-digit number is the year of the book's printing; the rightmost single-digit, the number of the book's printing. For example, a printing code of 97-1 shows that the first printing of the book occurred in 1997.

Composed in Courier, AGaramond, and MCPdigital by
Macmillan Computer Publishing

Printed in the United States of America

All terms mentioned in this book that are known to be trademarks or service marks have been appropriately capitalized. Publishing cannot attest to the accuracy of this information. Use of a term in this book should not be regarded as affecting the validity of any trademark or service mark.


The monumental task of writing and developing this book, while keeping up with my real job, classes, and the rest of my life, would simply not have been possible without the support of many people. First, I would like to thank Grace Buechlein for giving me the opportunity to write this book and for her unswerving faith and persistence during the past few months. To Anne, Brian, Raj, and the rest of the editors who made sure that what I was writing actually made sense to someone other than myself. Special thanks go to Renaissance Internet Services, the best ISP in Huntsville, which never went down and always got my e-mails through.

Last but not least, to my family and friends who haven't seen me very much in the past few months. To my friends Jimmy Alford, Jim Anderson, Ed Landers, and Patrick Mackin, who have always supported me since I first made a computer say "Hello World." And to my parents, George and Estelle Kemp, who have always supported me in everything I do.

And to you for buying this book. Perl5 can do almost anything, so get to it!

--Chris Kemp About the Authors Bill Middleton works as a computer scientist for Adobe Systems in San Jose, California. His primary duties include automated testing for Adobe products, for which he uses Perl extensively. He also has the privilege of working with some of the original movers and shakers of the computer era at Adobe. Prior to working at Adobe, he worked for Motorola as a UNIX systems administrator. In early 1991, Bill cofounded an Internet service provider in Dallas, Texas, one of the very first ISPs in the country, called Metronet. He holds a B.S. in math/stats, with a minor in Computer Science. Bill currently lives in Sunnyvale, CA, where he enjoys fishing, hiking, shooting pool, and drinking fine wine.

Brian Deng is a computer scientist working at Adobe Systems. He has roughly eight years of experience in computer science, mainly in the field of configuration management and test automation. Before joining Adobe, he worked at IBM as development lead on a small shrink-wrapped Windows and OS/2 product. He has a B.A. in mathematics from Earlham College.

Chris Kemp is a systems engineer at Silicon Graphics, pursuing a B.S. degree in computer engineering at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. He has written Perl5-based commerce and shopping solutions and real estate software, and is a freelance software developer and consultant. He is an avid Silicon Graphics, Amiga, and Macintosh fanatic and has experience with all major operating systems. He lists his hobbies as "writing, video production, programming, hiking, inline skating, tennis, skiing, and crashing RC helicopters."

You can reach Chris Kemp via e-mail at or on the World Wide Web at Tell Us What You Think! As a reader, you are the most important critic and commentator of our books. We value your opinion and want to know what we're doing right, what we could do better, what areas you'd like to see us publish in, and any other words of wisdom you're willing to pass our way. You can help us make strong books that meet your needs and give you the computer guidance you require.

Do you have access to CompuServe or the World Wide Web? Then check out our CompuServe forum by typing GO SAMS at any prompt. If you prefer the World Wide Web, check out our site at


If you have a technical question about this book, call the technical support line at

As the publishing manager of the group that created this book, I welcome your comments. You can fax, e-mail, or write me directly to let me know what you did or didn't like about this book--as well as what we can do to make our books stronger. Here's the information:

FAX: 317-581-4669


Mail: Dean Miller Publishing
201 W. 103rd Street
Indianapolis, IN 4629o