Perl and XML shows how to combine two key Web technologies. Perl is a great language for server-side Web scripting, but XML parsers are generally written in Java or C++. Even so, Perl is everywhere, its strong text processing features make it a good partner for XML, and the chances are that Perl developers will need to work with XML sooner or later. Written with lively good humour, this title explains how to parse, validate and generate XML using a variety of techniques. It does not teach Perl, but does include an excellent short introduction to XML itself.
After setting the scene, the authors set out the basics of XML parsing and writing, using the XML::Parser and XML::Writer modules. This is a good place to start, but the book makes it clear that the future of Perl and XML is in standard interfaces like SAX, which is the subject of another chapter. There is also an explanation of tree processing using XML::Simple or the standard DOM. (Document Object Model). The last chapters cover other XML technologies including XPath, XSLT and SOAP.
Packed with plenty of example code, this title is very much a guide rather than a reference. It does a great job of presenting XML from a Perl perspective, showing why it is useful and how to go about finding and installing the right modules. A couple of short but complete examples at the end help to put it all together, and there are lots of handy tips and warnings sprinkled throughout the book.--Tim Anderson