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This complete toolbox of techniques shows you how to harness the open-source power of Linux -- and create world-class Internet applications. Offering a step-by-step approach to building an e-commerce site, a human resources site, bringing corporate data online, and more, expert Web developers Christopher Jones and Drew Batchelor explain the complexities of 3-tier Web applications, distributed architecture, and object-oriented programming -- and demonstrate how to use open source tools such as Perl, XML, and Java to build scalability, flexibility, and performance into your Internet site.
In Open Source Linux Web Programming, authors Christopher A. Jones and Drew Batchelor have written a noteworthy text to enhance the conceptual and functional proficiencies of beginning Web programmers. Perhaps of more value, they describe the Internet from a viewpoint that would benefit the mildly confused information managers whose technical generation gap makes the state of the art seem like an ongoing jumble of acronyms of clients, servers, interfaces, and markup languages.
The first two-thirds of the book reads like a well-thought-out college syllabus for a single-semester course in Web programming. Revealing their preferences for Perl and XML, Jones and Batchelor introduce the pieces of Web programming with a potentially deceptive mix of the practical and the theoretical.
In a series of compact 50-page chapters, the authors move with laudable efficiency through Web architecture, the Apache server, Perl and its uses in the CGI applications, and to HTML and its generalization as XML. The course ends with an intriguing pedagogical project: a client-based Web content administrator with XML. Does that seem like a security problem for real-world applications? No doubt, but Jones and Batchelor never address security problems of any kind. They are justified in ignoring security as long as their students and readers are planning to study Internet security in later classes or books.
The final third of the book introduces a forward-looking model of the Internet: Java applets and the Java/XML interface. While XML belongs more to the future than the present, the future is clearly now for Java. The final chapters on server error-handling and Web site administration are little more than an annotated outline of key issues with bits of code. These chapters should be browsed for nuggets of practical advice, but the authors' tutorial energies are spent on XML applications and run dry before the practical aspects of Web management are addressed.
In a quirky but unobjectionable way, Jones and Batchelor and their editors at M&T Books have fathomed and met the need for a hurry-up guide to Web programming. Security, databases, and auxiliary applications like PHP3 are missing, but not missed. --Peter Leopold
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