In this installment, Ted looks at Perl and databases. Specifically, he works with the Class::DBI CPAN module and MySQL to introduce you to embedding Perl in database tables. Databases and the applications that use them are essential to today's computing infrastructures. They are everywhere, from plain-text databases such as the UNIX® /etc/passwd file to large databases such as those that track shopping habits or fight credit card fraud.
Based on the Darwinian principle of survival of the fittest, genetic programming uses mutation and replication to produce algorithms for creating ever-improving computer programs. In this column, you'll get to know the genetic algorithm in simple terms. Ted provides Perl implementations for some specific tasks, which you can adapt for generic use. To demonstrate the genetic algorithm, Ted breeds numbers for fitness to a formula, and letters to form English words.
UNIX system administration, always a thorny problem, is easier with the right tools. In this installment, Teodor presents ideas on the use of Perl to streamline and foolproof system administration. The system configuration engine, cfengine, is an extremely important tool in this context.
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.