Introduction to the 2007 online edition

In 2002, I published the book Perl & LWP with O'Reilly, after about two years of sporadic yet frenzied writing.

I was pleased to see that the book was was rather well received, which is fancy publishing talk for "people bought it and liked it."

But now, after five years, as the book has begun shimmying its way into the long tail (and/or onto a dozen crappy Russian warez sites), I've decided to post the text of the book online, along with occasional corrections and years-later musings.

The after-the-fact musings look like this, with this special fancy formatting! Yay, CSS!

Now, this isn't a "second edition" of the book, but it's a bit more than just a "first edition with corrections". Let's just call it "edition 1.1".

Although most of the example sites mentioned in the book (for example, Fresh Air's) have been totally redesigned in these past five years, that shouldn't at all affect your reading of the sections that discuss them-- unless you are the odd reader that wants to run exactly that sample code on exactly that site, in which case you are, indeed, an odd reader.

In general, the material of the book is basically as relevant today (2007 as I write this) as it was five years ago, and I myself still use the LWP classes on a daily basis, as I scrape and manipulate data in various ways. And I'll also note that the newer technologies of AJAX (i.e., finally-it-works JavaScript) are in many ways so similar to LWP that knowing one makes it almost trivial to learn the other (and usually, in the process, LWP comes out looking saner, by the way).

Enjoy your read! If you want to thank me in some material form, consider my Amazon wishlist, and note I'm just as delighted with used books as new. If you want to read more of things I've written, then here's my book on RTF (including instructions on making an origami CD case, and featuring dirty limericks in Latin); and here's a book containing a fun bunch of articles that I wrote for The Perl Journal. You can also read these things on O'Reilly's online book site, Safari.

Sean M. Burke
Ketchikan, Alaska, 2007