0.5. Conventions Used in This Book
0.5.1. Programming Conventions
We give lots of examples, most of which are pieces of code that should go into a larger program. Some examples are complete programs, which you can recognize because they begin with a #! line. We start nearly all of our longer programs with:
#!/usr/bin/perl -w use strict;
or else the newer:
#!/usr/bin/perl use strict; use warnings;
Still other examples are things to be typed on a command line. We've used % to show the shell prompt:
% perl -e 'print "Hello, world.\n"' Hello, world.
This style represents a standard Unix command line, where single quotes represent the "most quoted" form. Quoting and wildcard conventions on other systems vary. For example, many command-line interpreters under MS-DOS and VMS require double quotes instead of single ones to group arguments with spaces or wildcards in them.
0.5.2. Typesetting Conventions
The following typographic conventions are used in this book:
0.5.3. Documentation Conventions
The most up-to-date and complete documentation about Perl is included with Perl itself. If typeset and printed, this massive anthology would use more than a thousand pages of printed paper, greatly contributing to global deforestation. Fortunately, you don't have to print it out, because it's available in a convenient and searchable electronic form.
When we refer to a "manpage" in this book, we're talking about this set of online manuals. The name is purely a convention; you don't need a Unix-style man program to read them. The perldoc command distributed with Perl also works, and you may even have the manpages installed as HTML pages, especially on non-Unix systems. Plus, once you know where they're installed, you can grep them directly. The HTML version of the manpages is available on the Web at http://www.perl.com/CPAN/doc/manual/html/.
When we refer to non-Perl documentation, as in "See kill(2) in your system manual," this refers to the kill manpage from section 2 of the Unix Programmer's Manual (system calls). These won't be available on non-Unix systems, but that's probably okay, because you couldn't use them there anyway. If you really do need the documentation for a system call or library function, many organizations have put their manpages on the Web; a quick search of Google for crypt(3) manual will find many copies.
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