October 12, 2001, 12:10 PM — Based on some excellent suggestions from a few readers, I am making a change in the format of the listings and listing explanations in these articles. One reader suggested that listings would be easier to cut and paste if they did not include line numbers. Another pointed out that a long explanation of a long listing causes the reader to have to flip up and down the screen to refer to the text of the explanation and then the text of the listing. To accommodate both of these very good suggestions, I have changed the listing/explanation format to start with a description of what the program or listing does, followed by a complete copy of the listing without line numbers. If the program requires a further explanation broken down line by line, the unnumbered full listing will be followed by a detailed explanation composed of alternating explanations and line numbered listing fragments in the text. This should handle both problems, and, I believe, will improve the usefulness and readability of these articles. Let me know what you think.
In the last issue we took Perl logic up to the point of generating a simple menu program which I repeat here in the following listing: