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As a system programmer, you habitually work with command-line interfaces. Perhaps you've lost track of how easy it can be to wrap existing functionality with a lightweight graphical user interface (GUI). New Perl/Tk releases make it timely to remember that sometimes high quality accompanies ease of use.


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Perl is one of the most popular languages out there, and is used for everything from mission-critical projects to Web applications to "glue." It is not, however, often used for GUI programming and prototyping. Philipp K. Janert thinks it should be, and you probably will too -- after this look at some of the more complex widgets available for Perl/Tk.


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In this installment, Ted reviews three Perl coding books, bringing you summaries of the key information contained in the books and how the new versions have been updated.


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Ted Zlatanov explains some of the peculiarities in Perl 5.6 for C and Java programmers, who may actually be pleasantly surprised by some familiar features hailing from sources other than Perl, like operator ambiguity, multiple ways of doing the same thing, punctuation, regular expressions, and variable mechanism. All of them put variety and power at your fingertips. The point is, Perl isn't too far from anyone's familiar territory and may be useful to even C and Java programmers at some point. So here's your opportunity to enhance your Perl 5.6 skills.


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Only recently have the doors been open to Microsoft Excel, the most popular spreadsheet application for the desktop. This article takes a look at reading and writing Excel files in Windows and Linux, using Perl and a few simple modules. The author of this article, Teodor Zlatanov, is an expert in Perl who has been working in the community since 1992 and who specializes in, among other things, open source work in text parsing.


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Ted continues his look at manipulating and guessing MP3 tags with Perl, FreeDB, and various CPAN models via his autotag.pl application.


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RDF Site Summary (RSS) is catching on as one of the most widely used XML formats on the Web. Find out how to create and use RSS files and learn what they can do for you. See why companies like Netscape, Userland, and Moreover use RSS to distribute and syndicate article summaries and headlines. This article includes sample code that demonstrates elements of an RSS file, plus a Perl example using the module XML::RSS.


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The cfperl project, a cfengine interpreter written in Perl, is developed from the top down. In this article, we'll discuss the groups and classes, and how unknown input is handled.


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In this installment, Ted explains the workings of cfperl's top-level and compound-class parsers and moves us towards a clearer understanding of the important roles parsers play.


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Perl expert Ted Zlatanov continues his top-down development of the cfperl project, a cfengine interpreter written in Perl, starting with the control flow and configuration handling. This chapter is from Ted's book, At the Helm, being published serially on the Web in the developerWorks column The road to better programming.


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Perl expert Ted Zlatanov embarks on a new coding project to create cfperl, a cfengine interpreter written in Perl. Starting where any well-developed project should -- at the beginning -- Ted investigates licensing options and version control, sets up a schedule for completing the work, and does a little research to make sure he's not copying anyone.


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This series of articles on developerWorks comprises a complete guide to better programming in Perl. In this fifth installment, Teodor explains what Object Oriented Programming is, when to use it, and how it works in Perl. Object Oriented Programming (OOP) is a powerful programming technique, but it is not a panacea. Good programmers must understand how to use it, and must also know when to rely on more traditional programming techniques. Using OOP in Perl is easy. Unlike more restrictive OOP languages like C++ and Java, OOP in Perl places very few arbitrary constraints on the programmer. OOP is an essential addition to every programmer's toolkit, and a very useful technique for expanding the range of problems that may be solved with Perl.


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This series of articles on developerWorks comprises a complete guide to better programming in Perl. In this fourth installment, Teodor introduces functional programming and several essential Perl idioms important for Perl programmers looking for speed and elegance in their code, such as the map() and grep() functions, and the Schwartzian and Guttman-Rosler transforms.


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This series of articles on developerWorks comprises a complete guide to better programming in Perl. In this third installment, Teodor gives a quick introduction to the Perl loop syntax, conditional statements, and writing clean code. While not intended to teach Perl from the ground up, this chapter will be useful for the beginner or intermediate Perl programmer interested in learning how to apply Perl better to everyday work.


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This series of articles on developerWorks comprises a complete guide to better programming in Perl. In this second installment, Teodor dissects comments in code. The comments in a program's code are perhaps as important to the long-range goals of a software team as the actual code itself. Unfortunately, they are also often the most neglected. Through tips, quips, examples, and anecdotes, Teodor takes an in-depth look at the imperative nature of commenting a program's language from beginning to end.


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The success or failure of any software programming group depends largely on its ability to work together as a team. From manager to members, to well-conceived, yet dynamic guidelines, the team as a whole is defined by the unison of its parts. Shattering the myth of the faultless programmer, Teodor dismantles the uninspired software group and then builds it up again into a synchronized, energized ensemble in his complete guide to better programming in Perl. In this first installment, Teodor introduces his book and looks at coding guidelines from a fresh perspective.


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Every self-respecting computer and music fan needs to be able to manipulate MP3s -- the defacto standard for recreational digital music use. In this article, Ted looks at ways to manage and manipulate MP3s (searching, tagging, renaming, commenting, etc.) using the autotag.pl application. Ted takes you through the application, illustrating how CPAN modules enable the application.


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Many people talk about Perl and many more about regular expressions but unless you are a programmer you probably never use either. We will discuss a few unique and very useful ways to use both of them. Have you ever needed to parse multiple files to remove or modify a certain string? Have you ever needed to parse multiple files in subdirectories to change content in them? If so then this tutorial will certainly give you the insight you need.


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