January 15, 2003
Using Perl to Create and Manipulate Graphics for the Web: O'Reilly Releases "Perl Graphics Programming"
Sebastopol, CA--Graphics programmers aren't the only ones who need to
be proficient with graphics. Web and applications programmers know that
with the use of well-planned graphic elements, a dull web page can be
transformed into one that's interesting and lively. Fortunately, the
skills of a fulltime graphics programmer aren't required to use
graphics effectively. From access counters and log report graphs to
scientific plots and on-the-fly animated GIFs, graphics scripting is
within the grasp of most web programmers. Using open source software,
like Perl, they have the power to dynamically generate graphics based
on user input and activity, easily manipulate graphics content, and
optimize graphics for compression and quality. O'Reilly's new book,
Perl Graphics Programming by Shawn Wallace (US $39.95), is a
comprehensive guide to creating and manipulating the graphics that
bring web pages to life.
Geared toward Perl users and webmasters, "Perl Graphics Programming"
focuses on open-source scripting programs that can be used with
graphics files on the Web. The book demystifies the manipulation of
graphics formats for newcomers with a practical, resource-like
approach. "This book is not really geared at graphics programmers,"
Wallace explains. "A typical user could be someone who already knows
Perl and is handed a job that requires thousands of pieces of text from
a database to be pieced together into a collection of PDF files. Or, it
could be a webmaster who wants to dynamically generate
SVG/PNG/JPEG/GIF/etc. files from CGI scripts."
"Perl Graphics Programming" begins with a tour of the most common web
graphic file formats--PNG, JPEG, GIF, SWF, SVG, Postscript, and PDF.
Readers will then explore the most powerful tools and Perl modules
available for manipulating these graphics, such as GD, PerlMagick, and
GIMP. Included in this part of the book is a thorough description of
the Ming module for creating on-the-fly Flash files. Next, a "cookbook"
section includes practical, all purpose recipes: GIF animation,
generating images within a dynamic application, communicating between
SWF front-end and Perl back-end, XSLT transformations, compression, and
much more. Readers will learn how to:
- Generate dynamic web graphics with charts, tables, and buttons
- Automate graphics tasks (thumbnails and borders)
- Create dynamics web documents (PDF, Postscript)
- Produce rich internet experiences with Flash and SVG
Perl programmers naturally turn to Perl to tackle whatever challenge
they have at hand, and graphics programming is no exception. "Perl
Graphics Programming" provides all the tools they'll need to begin
programming and designing graphics for the Web immediately.
Perl Graphics Programming
ISBN 0-596-00219-x, 462 pages, $39.95 (US), $61.95 (CAN), 28.50 (UK)
O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.
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