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Slashdot: Perl for System Administration [Book Review]

Dec 13, 2000, 00:11 (0 Talkback[s])

"Despite being what some call 'the purest distillation of Unix thought,' Perl has earned a place on many Windows and Macintosh machines for its power and flexibility. Unix administrators have developed and honed small scripts for decades, but their brethren elsewhere have had no such luck until recently. Enter ActiveState, IndigoPerl, and MacPerl, to provide the tools, this book the knowledge. Floating subtle suggestions between pragmatic tips and tricks, David N. Blank-Edelman weaves nets, strong and sophisticated, for the perpetual battle against encroaching entropy."

"Anything that saves a beleagured sysadmin time is very good. Any one chapter read in isolation will yield at least one new idiom, if not many ideas on improving efficiency and accuracy. The central theme of the book ('make things better by using a database to store all of your information') is an excellent and timely idea. It's not essential to the presented examples, but has the potential to simplify your work dramatically. Besides maintaining a central repository for usernames, accounts, network information, and passwords, it allows automated configuration file building. Imagine never hand-editing DNS records again, or having to enter user data only once."

"The sample code is clean and understandable, taking full advantage of many CPAN modules. When competing modules exist, Blank-Edelman demonstrates each, with an eye to advantages and disadvantages. This pragmatic analysis governs other discussions, especially concerning cross-platform and Pure Perl versus glue-code isses. Realizing that most networks combine many different clients (Unix flavors, the Windows cousins, and Apple machines), the author provides solutions to the same problem on all applicable platforms."

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