Welcome to Mike Gossland's Perl Course!

Mike Gossland’s Perl Tutorial Course for Windows

Introductory Perl Tutorial Course for Windows

This introductory Perl tutorial course for Windows will introduce you to the beginning concepts of Perl in a familiar Windows environment and show you how to set it up for CGI with a web server running on your own box.

I wrote this course as an accompaniment to a classroom course in Perl, but now this website is visited by Perl students from around the world.

In addition to the basic Perl content, an appendix contains instructions on installing Perl and suggestions for a couple of web servers to run on your Windows PC.

If you are following this course on your own, please follow it in sequence. The ideas are presented carefully so that each section builds on the sections before. Please email me at info234@gossland.com if you have comments or questions about the content.

Course Prerequisites

A student should be familiar with basic operation of a computer, how to open a DOS session, how to download and install a software package. Familiarity with at least one other programming language is not required, but it would be a definite asset. Since this course is directed at CGI programming, it is understood that the student should have a good working knowledge of HTML.

Note on typeface conventions: Throughout this site, explanatory text is written in this font. Sometime it is indented to set off the sample text. This font is descriptive rather than rigorous, so it is not "ready to run" as a perl script. Don't expect to run text in this font without getting errors.

On the other hand,

# This type of text represents real perl code that
# is intended to be copied from the browser
# and pasted into your perl scripts. Each block
# should run as is.

Also, later in the course some of the perl scripts will pop up in their own windows. You can save these as text files, or copy and paste the window contents into text files and then save them. Be aware that these are actually HTML pages and not plain text, so be careful when you save them that they turn out as just plain text. 

Course Outline:

1. Introduction to Perl

What's Perl?
Task Examples
Running It
Variables and Types
Flow Control
Some Simple Scripts

2. Pattern Matching

Introduction to Matching
The Binding Operator
Regular Expressions
Examples
Substitution
Advanced Ideas

3. Functions

Introduction to Functions
String Functions
Array Functions
Test Functions
User Functions

4. Files

Introduction to Input and Output
Standard Output, STDOUT
Writing to Files
Standard input, STDIN
Reading from Files
Reading Directories
Editing File Contents
Recursive Editing

5. Introduction to CGI

Introduction to CGI
First Page to Browser
Printing HTML
Serving HTML Files
Serving Edited Files

6. The CGI Module

Introduction to GET and POST
The CGI Module, CGI.pm
Handling Forms
Handling Form Errors
Handling Fatal Errors

7. CGI In Use

CGI In Use
Site Search
Presenting Data from a Database
Handling Cookies
Uploading Files to the Server
Requesting Info from other Servers

Appendix:

Perl Installation

Web Server Installation

Perl via a Web Server

Perl Resources

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