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The ACCU passes on review copies of computer books to its members for them to review. The result is a large, high quality collection of book reviews by programmers, for programmers. Currently there are 1918 reviews in the database and more every month.
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Title:
CGI How-To
Author:
Stephen Asbury et al
ISBN:
1 57169 028 X
Publisher:
Waite Group
Pages:
544pp+CD
Price:
£36-85
Reviewer:
Tim Tobin
Subject:
cgi; internet
Appeared in:
10-2
The aim of this book is to provide answers to a number of common CGI related questions. These questions and their answers range from very basic ones such as calling a CGI script to those that deal with such issues as security and (on the CD) Java.

To get the most from this book the reader should have some knowledge of either C or Perl and HTML. Teaching these topics is not one of the aims of this book.

The questions are introduced under headings of the form 'How do I...'. The answer is given in five parts - The Problem, Technique, Steps, How It Works and Comments. This format works quite well for most of the topics, but not all of them. For instance, some of the sections about security issues don't really fit into this structure very well. In other places some of these sections are obviously unnecessary and seem to be there just to pad the book out. For example, quite often the contents of the How It Works section is largely composed of the code that was given in the Steps section.

Other hints at the quality of the book can be found within one of the first sections of example code, where there are a number of places where the comments within the code quite obviously don't match either the code itself or the given explanation of the code.

Overall, this book gives me the impression that it was written and published in rather a hurry and without sufficient attention to detail. I wouldn't be prepared to buy this book at the published price; it's too expensive. I think that for my money I would choose a book that covered a wider range of related subjects, such as CGI, Perl and HTML.