It is no longer enough for today's software engineers to be able to program the computer and debug programs - the modern programmer needs to know how to program the network and debug communications. This book shows you how, using Perl.
Originally created as a tool for System Administrators, the Perl programming language has matured into a powerful, yet easy-to-use, general-purpose programming language. Widely used on the Internet, Perl is the programming language of choice when it comes to adding dynamic content to websites using the Common Gateway Interface (CGI). Its strengths - simplicity, power and adaptability - make it an excellent vehicle with which to study computer networking and to program computer networks in general.
In Programming the Network with Perl, Paul Barry applies Perl to the study of traditional computer networking topics. After an introductory tutorial to the Perl programming language appropriate for the non-Perl programmer, five key computer networking topics are examined from the perspective of the software engineer using Perl.
Each chapter concludes with a set of Print and Web Resources, as well as suggested Exercises to support further study by the reader.
- Snooping details the creation of a successively more functional set of Ethernet Network Analysers and cumulates in the development of The Network Debugger, a tool for monitoring the traffic generated by both standard and custom-built networked applications.
- Sockets details how to use Perl to create custom networked applications by programming the TCP/IP transport protocols (TCP and UDP), using the Client/Server Model and the standard Berkeley Socket API.
- Protocols details just how easy it is to program the HTTP (web), SMTP (e-mail), NNTP (news) and TELNET (remote login) protocols with Perl. HTML parsing is also described.
- Management uses Perl to program the Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), the cornerstone network management technology on the modern Internet.
- Mobile Agents is a presentation of one of the technologies that can be added to Perl to provide for the development of custom networked applications that can transport themselves from network-device to network-device while executing.
The associated website provides Perl links, downloadable source code, errata, presentation materials (in PDF format), and instructions for joining the perlnetbook discussion mailing-list.
Paul Barry lectures in Computer Networking at the Institute of Technology, Carlow in Ireland. He is also a contributor to Linux Journal magazine and website. He brings to teaching and writing his experiences as a professional programmer, network expert and IT manager.
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