PerlHoo, Part I | WebReference

PerlHoo, Part I

PerlHoo, Part I


In our continuing effort to save the world in less than one hundred lines of Perl code, we will now embark on a quest to build a complete Yahoo-like Web directory. The evolution of PerlHoo will occur over the next few issues of Mother of Perl. In this issue, we will build a simple implementation in (you guessed it) less than 100 lines of code.

The popularity of Web directories began with the World Wide Web Virtual Library which allowed anyone to add a new resource without restriction. The directory grew so large that it became a victim of it's own success. Then came Yahoo which allowed anyone to submit a new resource, but it was only published after being reviewed by an editor. NewHoo, which recently joined Netscape and the Mozilla project, is another directory similar to Yahoo, except the editors are all volunteers.

Unfortunately, there are not many options for building your own Web directory unless you're going to roll your own; so, that is what we're going to do. If you don't know why a Web directory is useful, allow me to provide an example. Many Web sites are comprised of hundreds, sometimes thousands of pages. It can be difficult to navigate through the mass of information. Some have experimented with various navigation widgets that are often less than useful, annoy users, and upset the user's focus. The addition of a keyword search engine is useful, but it can be too useful at times. A Web directory is a tool you can offer your users that is less intrusive than a Java or Java-script widget and allows users to browse information on your site in an hierarchical manner. View source | Try it
This script implements a simple Yahoo-like Web directory using regular directories and comma delimited data files.

Produced by Jonathan Eisenzopf and
Created: Mar. 18, 1999
Revised: Mar. 22, 1999