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CSc 231 Perl Syllabus

  CSc 231 Perl

CSc 231
Selected Language Programming: Perl
Spring, 2007 1 Credit

Instructor: Tom Bennet
Office: 302 MCC
Phone: 925-3815
Text: Learning Perl, By Randal L. Schwartz and Tom Christiansen (second ed.).
Web Page:

A study of the syntax and features of the Perl language

According to its creator, Larry Wall, Perl stands for either "Practical Extraction and Report Language," or "Pathetically Eclectic Rubbish Lister." It is a popular scripting language which grew up in the Unix environment, and has been ported to other systems, including the ubiquitous MS Windows. Perl, the "Swiss army chain saw" of systems administration is ideal for working with text files. While still often used to automate Unix systems administration, Perl has gained new popularity as a tool to write CGI scripts for the World-Wide Web. Perl can also be used to quickly create "glue" programs that translate the output of one program for input to another, leading to another nickname: "the duct tape of the Internet."

Perl is also blessed with a large number of modules which extend the language and simplify writing programs. Some major ones include the CGI module for writing CGI scripts, the Tk module for writing GUI programs, and the LWP module (actually a bundle of modules) for writing networking clients.


Points in this course will be assigned as follows:
Activity Points
Programming Projects 300
Midterm exam 50
Comprehensive Final Exam 75

Points Percent Grade
382 - 425 90%- 100% A
340 - 381 80%- 89% B
297 - 339 70%- 79% C
255 - 296 60%- 69% D
0 - 254 0%- 59% F
There will be several programming assignments of varying difficulty, two regular exams, and a comprehensive final exam. The final will be on Friday, May 4, 2007. The last day to drop this course is Friday, March, 23.

The semester point total may vary due to unforeseen circumstances. Any variance will be small. Final grades will be based on these same percentages of the actual total.


There is no formal lab section for this course; students are expected to complete programming projects outside of class. The Linux machine is available for your use, as are the public PC labs. Any student who does not have an account on Sandbox should apply for one. Free executables of Perl are available for your own PC, on most any OS.

Projects should be handed in on time, and late projects are charged 10 points for each day late. However, each student has five free late days which may be spent on any programming project in any combination. Free late days are not transferable, and expire at the start of the final exam.


The following topics will be covered.


Mississippi College class attendance policies as described on pp. 46 and 47 of the college catalog will be enforced. Absences may be excused for illness or other appropriate cause. Exams missed due to circumstances beyond the student's control may be made up at a mutually agreeable time and place. Adequate documentation of the cause of an absence may be required.

Academic Honesty

Mississippi College regulations regarding the integrity of academic work, policy 2.19 will be enforced. The computer science group has established the following addendum:

In a computer science class individual effort is expected. Student misconduct not only includes cheating on tests, but also extends to copying or collaborating on programming assignments, projects, lab work or research unless otherwise specified by the instructor. Using other people's accounts to do your work or having others do your work is prohibited. Close proximity in lab does not mean collaboration is permitted. NOTE: Discussing logical solutions to problems is acceptable, exchange of code, pseudocode, designs, or procuring solutions from the Web, other texts, the Internet or other resources on or off campus is not acceptable.

First offense: grade of 0 for all parties involved unless the guilty party can be determined. Second offense: grade of F in the course.