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revisiting web development in Perl...where to start?

 
 
TheGist
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      08-14-2009
It has been a very long time since I have done
web programming. The last time I did this
was circa 2000 and at the time, like, most
of the world I wrote CGI pages in Perl.
In the years since the projects I have worked
on have (thankfully!) been in other directions.
Recently I have decided to get back into
some Web programming.
I really don't want to go down some other
road such as a Ruby or Java based solution.
Surely CGIs are
no longer widely used, right? What is the modern
way to do dynamic web pages in Perl?
I have noticed that O'Reilly hasn't updated
the Perl CGI book since 2000! People still use
Perl for web programming, right?
 
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Xho Jingleheimerschmidt
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      08-14-2009
TheGist wrote:
> It has been a very long time since I have done
> web programming. The last time I did this
> was circa 2000 and at the time, like, most
> of the world I wrote CGI pages in Perl.
> In the years since the projects I have worked
> on have (thankfully!) been in other directions.
> Recently I have decided to get back into
> some Web programming.
> I really don't want to go down some other
> road such as a Ruby or Java based solution.
> Surely CGIs are
> no longer widely used, right?


I use CGI's all the time.

> What is the modern
> way to do dynamic web pages in Perl?


The modern way is probably to write Perl which generates JavaScript
which generates Flash which redirects through 18 layers of web services,
AOP, SLAs, IoC, XML, SOBs, and web 2.0.0.0.0.0, finally producing a pale
blue square with a blinking orange message that says "unknown error,
please try again". Modernity isn't all its cracked up to be.

Xho
 
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Jens Thoms Toerring
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      08-14-2009
TheGist <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> It has been a very long time since I have done
> web programming. The last time I did this
> was circa 2000 and at the time, like, most
> of the world I wrote CGI pages in Perl.
> In the years since the projects I have worked
> on have (thankfully!) been in other directions.
> Recently I have decided to get back into
> some Web programming.
> I really don't want to go down some other
> road such as a Ruby or Java based solution.
> Surely CGIs are
> no longer widely used, right? What is the modern
> way to do dynamic web pages in Perl?
> I have noticed that O'Reilly hasn't updated
> the Perl CGI book since 2000! People still use
> Perl for web programming, right?


"Web programming" is a wide field, so any useful answer
probably will start with "it depends" I wouldn't see
what's wrong with CGI for simple problems. But then, if
you want to do something more complex, you definitely
should take a look at

http://www.catalystframework.org/

which makes a lot of difficult things rather simple (and
does most of the boring things all by itself. Mix that
with running Apache with mod_perl

Regards, Jens
--
\ Jens Thoms Toerring ___ http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed)
\__________________________ http://toerring.de
 
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Randal L. Schwartz
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      08-14-2009
>>>>> "TheGist" == TheGist <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:

TheGist> Surely CGIs are no longer widely used, right?

Please don't confuse the CGI technology with the use of Perl.

CGI technology (which can be used with many different languages) is still
perfectly fine for websites needing under a dozen dynamic pages a minute, which
is 95% of the market.

Perl is most often these days used with mod_perl (Perl inside Apache), for
both large legacy apps and even some "green shoots" that I'm aware of.

It's far from dead, or outdated. It's the mainstream web. In fact, dynamic
languages are seeing a resurgence these days, as the promises made by the Java
Server folks are coming up a bit hollow, and people want to get back to rapid
(and sane development models.

print "Just another Perl hacker,"; # the original

--
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<(E-Mail Removed)> <URL:http://www.stonehenge.com/merlyn/>
Smalltalk/Perl/Unix consulting, Technical writing, Comedy, etc. etc.
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Nathan Keel
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      08-14-2009
TheGist wrote:

> It has been a very long time since I have done
> web programming. The last time I did this
> was circa 2000 and at the time, like, most
> of the world I wrote CGI pages in Perl.
> In the years since the projects I have worked
> on have (thankfully!) been in other directions.
> Recently I have decided to get back into
> some Web programming.
> I really don't want to go down some other
> road such as a Ruby or Java based solution.
> Surely CGIs are
> no longer widely used, right? What is the modern
> way to do dynamic web pages in Perl?
> I have noticed that O'Reilly hasn't updated
> the Perl CGI book since 2000! People still use
> Perl for web programming, right?


Nothing wrong with CGI, it hasn't gone anywhere, it's still widely used
(and not just Perl using CGI). You have options if you don't want to
use CGI though. Mod_perl has been around for a very long time, you can
check into that, or even write your own Apache modules (if you use
Apache) and those modules themselves can be written in Perl if you
prefer not to use C, for example. Perl is used by a lot of large sites
for web stuff, it doesn't have to have anything to do with CGI.
Anyway, most people I know use Perl over PHP, Python or other
languages, it's just a choice.
 
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Bart Lateur
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      08-15-2009
Xho Jingleheimerschmidt wrote:

>> What is the modern
>> way to do dynamic web pages in Perl?

>
>The modern way is probably to write Perl which generates JavaScript
>which generates Flash which redirects through 18 layers of web services,
>AOP, SLAs, IoC, XML, SOBs, and web 2.0.0.0.0.0, finally producing a pale
>blue square with a blinking orange message that says "unknown error,
>please try again". Modernity isn't all its cracked up to be.


Thanks for the chuckle...

--
Bart.
 
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sln@netherlands.com
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      08-16-2009
On Fri, 14 Aug 2009 07:09:43 -0700, (E-Mail Removed) (Randal L. Schwartz) wrote:

>>>>>> "TheGist" == TheGist <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:

>
>TheGist> Surely CGIs are no longer widely used, right?
>
>Please don't confuse the CGI technology with the use of Perl.
>
>CGI technology (which can be used with many different languages) is still
>perfectly fine for websites needing under a dozen dynamic pages a minute, which
>is 95% of the market.


You lost me. Its got to be the CGI interface to a perl script that apparently
slows the pace to what 12 dynamic pages/minute? Because I could easily generate
100's per second dynamic pages in Perl.

The cgi modules to perl are pretty standard, no? Its not perl that would slow
page generation, must be the cgi.

Glad to give any demonstrations on page generation/sec in a perl program.

-sln

 
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Nathan Keel
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      08-16-2009
(E-Mail Removed) wrote:

> On Fri, 14 Aug 2009 07:09:43 -0700, (E-Mail Removed) (Randal L.
> Schwartz) wrote:
>
>>>>>>> "TheGist" == TheGist <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:

>>
>>TheGist> Surely CGIs are no longer widely used, right?
>>
>>Please don't confuse the CGI technology with the use of Perl.
>>
>>CGI technology (which can be used with many different languages) is
>>still perfectly fine for websites needing under a dozen dynamic pages
>>a minute, which is 95% of the market.

>
> You lost me.


That's not difficult.

> Its got to be the CGI interface to a perl script that
> apparently slows the pace to what 12 dynamic pages/minute? Because I
> could easily generate 100's per second dynamic pages in Perl.
>
> The cgi modules to perl are pretty standard, no? Its not perl that
> would slow page generation, must be the cgi.
>
> Glad to give any demonstrations on page generation/sec in a perl
> program.
>
> -sln


Yes, CGI spawns overhead, not Perl, and CGI is slow (compared to dso or
core modules), but it's not so slow that it's really that big of a
deal, unless you have a massive amount of traffic. Good code in any
language for CGI is still better than using a web server module like
mod_perl if the code is bad or has memory leaks. But, in mod_perl, it's
going to handle more traffic if the code is good. Yes, you should be
able to have a more than 12 dynamic page requests per minute, maybe he
meant per second.
 
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TheGist
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      08-17-2009
Randal L. Schwartz wrote:
>>>>>> "TheGist" == TheGist <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:

>
> TheGist> Surely CGIs are no longer widely used, right?
>
> Please don't confuse the CGI technology with the use of Perl.
>
> CGI technology (which can be used with many different languages) is still
> perfectly fine for websites needing under a dozen dynamic pages a minute, which
> is 95% of the market.
>
> Perl is most often these days used with mod_perl (Perl inside Apache), for
> both large legacy apps and even some "green shoots" that I'm aware of.
>
> It's far from dead, or outdated. It's the mainstream web. In fact, dynamic
> languages are seeing a resurgence these days, as the promises made by the Java
> Server folks are coming up a bit hollow, and people want to get back to rapid
> (and sane development models.

I think it is pretty awesome that one of the people
responding to my CGI thread is the author of one of the
books I
used to write my first CGI scripts!
Chapter 19 of the Second Edition of Learning Perl
helped me immensely when I was trying this stuff out
ten years ago.
Anyway, I think now is a good time to look into Catalyst
and Mason.
Based on this thread and other readings I do now
see how plain CGI scripts are still perfectly fine.
 
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ccc31807
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      08-17-2009
On Aug 14, 12:38*am, TheGist <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> Surely CGIs are
> no longer widely used, right? What is the modern
> way to do dynamic web pages in Perl?
> I have noticed that O'Reilly hasn't updated
> the Perl CGI book since 2000! People still use
> Perl for web programming, right?


I have found that this is a controversial topic. Ask a question and
you'll get twenty different answers. People will also tell you are
insane to use any solution other than their pet solution.

I write web based front ends for databases for a living. I can tell
you how I do it, and can tell you that it works for me. I can also
tell you that this is specific for reading and writing to databases,
and that 'web programming' probably implies a lot of other
functionality than I will mention here.

I use mod_perl with Apache, writing scripts as standard CGI scripts. I
don't mess with generating HTML using CGI functions, although I do use
CGI.

I write an SQL module for my SQL queries and connection to the
database. I write an HTML module that contains templates for my
standard HTML, like menus, buttons, and so on. I write scripts that
output HTML pages, CSS, and JavaScript, calling HTML.pm and SQL.pm as
appropriate.

I don't do fancy Flex or Flash or anything like that. I produce basic
HTML. Most of my development effort goes into the database side. This
probably doesn't answer your question, and may not work for your
conception of 'web programming', but I can assure you that Perl is
alive and well for spitting out HTML, CSS, and JavaScript in August,
2009.

CC

 
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