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PTM is a Perl/HTML hybrid, that uses inline, HTML-style tags to implement
Perl within your dynamic web development file tree. It acts as a developers'
front-end for commonly used Perl interfaces such as the CGI and DBI modules,
while allowing you to drop your Perl code in right where you need it.
PTM effectively streamlines development time by wrapping HTML form data,
cookies, and database functionality into neat, predefined functions and
variables. Additionally, it provides functionality that would, otherwise,
take a lot of time to implement even for a single use; such as encoded ID
cookie-based sessions and a well rounded set of wrapper functions that can
currently be used on nearly every major database type on the market,
including MySQL, MS SQL, mSQL (Mini SQL), Oracle, Sybase, Informix, and ADO,
just to name a few. And those aren't different functions; the SAME functions
can be used across all database types, so there aren't an infinite number of
new functions and syntaxes to learn every time you switch databases.
Most importantly, PTM is entirely written in Perl -- the very language it
was written to implement. This has a variety of advantages, but primarily
there are three (3) that prominently stand out.
First, the ONLY requirements to run PTM are that you are on an Apache host
server that has Perl/CGI support installed. Considering over 70% of the
world's web servers run Apache, and almost all of them have Perl installed
(SIGNIFICANTLY more than PHP or ASP), that's a great requirement set.
Secondly, your host doesn't even need to support PTM for you to get started
with it right away! Unlike alternatives such as PHP or ASP, your host doesn't
even need to install PTM for you to use it. You can fully emulate server
support simply by dropping the PPA (PTM Parser Application) into your cgi-bin
and the prewritten .htaccess file in your root web accessible directory and
your ready to go. This is also great if your host is running an older
version of PTM, and you'd like to upgrade to a new one -- particularly if
they aren't keeping their software up to date.
Third, because PTM is written in Perl, and implements Perl, odds are that
your average PTM developer can go so far as to modify PTM itself. Unlike many
other languages, PTM doesn't restrict the developer to it's predefined list
of functions and global variables. Users can write and reuse their own plugin
modules, and, for the particularly crafty Perl programmers, even modify the
language itself to fit their needs.