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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is PB?

A: PB is a Perl script designed to bring power of Perl programming language into process of generating HTML code for web sites of any complexity. Generally, PB generates output by merging templates of any kind with data from Perl subroutines and other sources, although, it can also invoke applications that produce outputs some other way.

Q: Who can use PB?

A: Most likely Web Programmers. PB requires some knowledge of syntax of Perl programming language and benefits those with basic programming skills. It lets a web developer insert programming logic, includes and subroutine calls into html templates which will be generating dynamic content for the web site.

Q: What kind of applications is PB good for?

A: PB can perform any action permitted through the web server and produce any kind of output. This makes PB suitable for just about anything, whatever Perl is good for. However, the most common application would be generating HTML web pages, data streaming and customizable file downloads using templates, databases, other web sites and other applications.

Q: What are the benefits of using PB?

A: [a] Ease, [b] Flexibility, [c] Low requirements, [d] Power of Perl and [e] Clear web logic.
[a] PB language is extremely easy, it has only about five basic commands, defines two kinds of loops and implements conditional statements. Syntax of loops and conditional statements in PB is pretty much identical to syntax of loops and conditional statements in Perl and C, except for being transformed into HTML logic tags.
[b] PB is built in such a way when it can be used simply as a cgi-script, as a web server's handler of PB project files or as a remote command system with or without output; it's behaviour and look can be easily customized for a specific web project; PB tags can be nested unlimited number of times and can be produced by other PB tags in unlimited number of levels; no limits on use of Perl statements inside of html templates and no limits on writing html inside of Perl subroutines; easy linking Perl subroutines packages on project level, web page level or subroutine level; html templates can also embed other languages like PHP, VB, ASP, etc. if they are planned to be used in different environments.
[c] PB doesn't require any special installations of itself or anything else. All it nees is Perl, everything else is optional and can be linked on per project basis.
[d] Another benefit is in selecting Perl as the base for PB. Perl is probably the most common and powerful programming language on all Unix platforms ( well, maybe after C), it carries a lot of similarities with C, but doesn't require compilation of the code, and Unix shells. There is a huge collection of software already written in Perl that can be used in PB based projects. And the beautiful thing - it's free!
[e] PB makes an attempt to separate web logic from programming data output and server side actions. The idea is to make web logic clear by keeping it all in html templates, while Perl packages are just libraries of subroutines supplying data to the templates. Perl subroutines provide pure data with no html code mixed in it and html templates lay it out in a web page. This way libraries of Perl subroutines can be reused for different web projects while html templates hold only layouts.



If these answers don't address your concerns, please contact us at pbs@zayki.com
2002-03