CSE3395 Perl programming - Semester 1 , 2007 unit guide

Semester 1, 2007

Chief Examiner

Jon McCormack


Clayton : Jon McCormack


The subject explains to students what Perl is and what applications it has in programming, especially what it is good for and what it is not good for. The subject will cover the basics of the language such as syntax and programming constructs, to enable the students to program proficiently in the language. Once the basics have been covered, programming techniques necessary for developing applications will be taught, including text pattern-matching and other tools unique to Perl. Students will be encouraged to use Perl-specific idioms that they will encounter in real-world Perl programs. Additionally there are initial introductions to object-oriented progamming techniques and the Common Gateway Interface standard, used in interactive World Wide Web pages. Throughout the subject students will be encouraged to find out additional information about the language on their own.


Knowledge and Understanding
  • Knowledge of the tools for understanding Perl code written by others.
  • A knowledge of some of the idioms, idiosyncrasies, advantages and limitations of Perl.
  • An understanding of the programming techniques used in rapid prototyping (fast rough development of code).
  • A knowledge of the basic principles of object-oriented coding techniques as they apply to Perl.
Practical Skills
  • Basic programming skill in Perl, at a level approaching their ability to program in C (or whatever language they studied at Level 1).
Relationships, Communication and TeamWork
  • An ability to effectively find additional information about Perl from sources other than the lectures.
  • The ability to create and maintain interactive (CGI-based) Web pages such as search-engines and guestbooks.


Before attempting this unit you must have satisfactorily completed any second-semester level 1 computer programming subject, such as CSC1030 or CSE1303 or CSE1203 or CFR1124 or GCO1812., or equivalent.

Unit relationships

CSE3395 is an elective unit in the BCS/BSE degrees.

You may not study this unit and CSE2395 in your degree.

Texts and software

Required text(s)

Highly recommended texts are:

Learning Perl, forth edition. Randal Schwartz and Tom Phoenix. O'Reilly and Associates, 2005

Programming Perl, third edition. Larry Wall, Tom Christiansen and Jon Owrant. O'Reilly and Associates, 2000

Textbook availability

Text books are available from the Monash University Book Shops. Availability from other suppliers cannot be assured. The Bookshop orders texts in specifically for this unit. You are advised to purchase your text book early.

Software requirements

A Perl Interpreter.

Software may be:

  • downloaded from http://www.perl.com/

Hardware requirements

Students may use the facilities available in the computing labs. Information about computer use for students is available from the ITS Student Resource Guide in the Monash University Handbook. You will need to allocate up to 6 hours per week for use of a computer, including time for newsgroups/discussion groups.

Recommended reading

Recommended as references:

  • Learning Perl Objects, References & Modules, Randal Schwartz and Tom Phoenix, O'Reilly & Associates (first edition 2003).
  • Advanced Perl Programming, Sriram Srinivasan, O'Reilly & Associates (first edition 1997).
  • The Perl Cookbook, Tom Christiansen and Nathan Torkington, O'Reilly & Associates (second edition 2003)
  • Programming the Perl DBI, Alligator Descartes and Tim Bunce, O'Reilly & Associates (first edition 2000)
  • CGI Programming with Perl, Scott Guelich, Shishir Gundavaram and Gunther Birznieks, O'Reilly & Associates (second edition 2000)
  • Object-Oriented Perl, Damian Conway, Manning (first edition 1999)
  • Library access

    You may need to access the Monash library either personally to be able to satisfactorily complete the subject.  Be sure to obtain a copy of the Library Guide, and if necessary, the instructions for remote access from the library website.

    Study resources

    Study resources for CSE3395 are:

    The CSE3395 web site on MUSO, where lecture slides, weekly tutorial requirements, assignment specifications, sample solutions and supplementary material will be posted.

    Unit website


    Structure and organisation

    Week Topics
    1 Introduction to Perl
    2 Working with Scalars
    3 Lists and Arrays
    4 Subroutines
    5 Hashes
    6 Regular expressions
    Non teaching week
    7 Input output
    8 Databases
    9 Web and CGI
    10 References
    11 Objects
    12 Summary/Review
    13 Exam Preparation


    The timetable for on-campus classes for this unit can be viewed in Allocate+


    Assessment weighting

    Assessment for the unit consists of 1 assignment with a weighting of 20% and an examination with a weighting of 80%. Read this section VERY carefully.

    Assessment Policy

    To pass this unit you must:

    Achieve a mark of at least 10/20 in the assignment.

    Achieve a total score (assignment mark + exam mark) >= 50%

    Your score for the unit will be calculated by:

    total_mark = assignment mark + exam mark;

    final_mark = (assignment mark < 10) ? min(44, total_mark) : total_mark;

    Assessment Requirements

    Assessment Due Date Weighting
    Assignment 1 11 May 2007 20%
    The exam is 3 hours long and is closed book. Exam period (S1/07) starts on 07/06/07 80 %

    Assignment specifications will be made available via MUSO.

    Assignment Submission

    Assignments will be submitted by electronic submission via the Submit program. On-campus Students Do not email submissions. The due date is the date by which the submission must be received/the date by which the the submission is to be posted.

    Extensions and late submissions

    Late submission of assignments

    If you miss the deadline for submission of assignment 1, and still want to submit an assignment, you must do a late submission. Late submissions will be open up to 10 days past the due date.

    To do a late submission, follow the normal submit procedure, however for the Assessment code use "late1" (rather than "ass1").

    Marks are deducted for a late submission based on the following penalty marks formulae:

    • 2 marks per day (24 hour period) for submissions up to ten days late.

    The late penalty calculation is accurate up to the second when you submitted, so if you submit 5 minutes and 20 seconds past the deadline your penalty will be: 0.07361 marks. If you submit the first assignment on Sunday (at 12 midnight), meaning exactly 2 days late, after your project is marked, 2 x 2 = 4 marks will be deducted.


    Valid Reasons for Late Submission

    If you have a serious illness or emergency that has prevented you from completing the assignment on time, you must notify the lecturer via e-mail within 24 hours of your return to university. You then must complete an Absentee Form with medical certificate or a letter of explanation attached and hand it in to the FIT General Office (Bldg 63, ground floor) on the day you return to university.

    Failure to follow this procedure may result in a fail result for the practical work not supplied, and hence possibly a fail result for the entire course.

    None of the following reasons is considered valid for late submission of assessed materials:

    • Excessive workload in other subjects;
    • Due dates for submissions in other subjects;
    • Workload in this unit;
    • Minor short-term illness;
    • Minor extra-curricula problems.

    This policy is strict because comments or guidance will be given on assignments as they are returned, and sample solutions may also be published and distributed, after assignment marking or with the returned assignment. 


    It is your responsibility to structure your study program around assignment deadlines, family, work and other commitments. Factors such as normal work pressures, vacations, etc. are seldom regarded as appropriate reasons for granting extensions. 

    It is your responsibility to structure your study program around assignment deadlines, family, work and other commitments. Factors such as normal work pressures, vacations, etc. are seldom regarded as appropriate reasons for granting extensions.

    Grading of assessment

    Assignments, and the unit, will be marked and allocated a grade according to the following scale:

    Grade Percentage/description
    HD High Distinction - very high levels of achievement, demonstrated knowledge and understanding, skills in application and high standards of work encompassing all aspects of the tasks.
    In the 80+% range of marks for the assignment.
    D Distinction - high levels of achievement, but not of the same standards. May have a weakness in one particular aspect, or overall standards may not be quite as high.
    In the 70-79% range.
    C Credit - sound pass displaying good knowledge or application skills, but some weaknesses in the quality, range or demonstration of understanding.
    In the 60-69% range.
    P Pass acceptable standard, showing an adequate basic knowledge, understanding or skills, but with definite limitations on the extent of such understanding or application. Some parts may be incomplete.
    In the 50-59% range.
    N Not satisfactory failure to meet the basic requirements of the assessment.
    Below 50%.

    Assignment return

    We will aim to have assignment results made available to you within two weeks after assignment receipt.


    Feedback to you

    You will receive feedback on your work and progress in this unit. This feedback may be provided through your participation in tutorials and class discussions, as well as through your assignment submissions. It may come in the form of individual advice, marks and comments, or it may be provided as comment or reflection targeted at the group. It may be provided through personal interactions, such as interviews and on-line forums, or through other mechanisms such as on-line self-tests and publication of grade distributions.

    Feedback from you

    You will be asked to provide feedback to the Faculty through a Unit Evaluation survey at the end of the semester. You may also be asked to complete surveys to help teaching staff improve the unit and unit delivery. Your input to such surveys is very important to the faculty and the teaching staff in maintaining relevant and high quality learning experiences for our students.

    And if you are having problems

    It is essential that you take action immediately if you realise that you have a problem with your study. The semester is short, so we can help you best if you let us know as soon as problems arise. Regardless of whether the problem is related directly to your progress in the unit, if it is likely to interfere with your progress you should discuss it with your lecturer or a Community Service counsellor as soon as possible.

    Plagiarism and cheating

    Plagiarism and cheating are regarded as very serious offences. In cases where cheating  has been confirmed, students have been severely penalised, from losing all marks for an assignment, to facing disciplinary action at the Faculty level. While we would wish that all our students adhere to sound ethical conduct and honesty, I will ask you to acquaint yourself with Student Rights and Responsibilities and the Faculty regulations that apply to students detected cheating as these will be applied in all detected cases.

    In this University, cheating means seeking to obtain an unfair advantage in any examination or any other written or practical work to be submitted or completed by a student for assessment. It includes the use, or attempted use, of any means to gain an unfair advantage for any assessable work in the unit, where the means is contrary to the instructions for such work. 

    When you submit an individual assessment item, such as a program, a report, an essay, assignment or other piece of work, under your name you are understood to be stating that this is your own work. If a submission is identical with, or similar to, someone else's work, an assumption of cheating may arise. If you are planning on working with another student, it is acceptable to undertake research together, and discuss problems, but it is not acceptable to jointly develop or share solutions unless this is specified by your lecturer. 

    Intentionally providing students with your solutions to assignments is classified as "assisting to cheat" and students who do this may be subject to disciplinary action. You should take reasonable care that your solution is not accidentally or deliberately obtained by other students. For example, do not leave copies of your work in progress on the hard drives of shared computers, and do not show your work to other students. If you believe this may have happened, please be sure to contact your lecturer as soon as possible.

    Cheating also includes taking into an examination any material contrary to the regulations, including any bilingual dictionary, whether or not with the intention of using it to obtain an advantage.

    Plagiarism involves the false representation of another person's ideas, or findings, as your own by either copying material or paraphrasing without citing sources. It is both professional and ethical to reference clearly the ideas and information that you have used from another writer. If the source is not identified, then you have plagiarised work of the other author. Plagiarism is a form of dishonesty that is insulting to the reader and grossly unfair to your student colleagues.


    Communication methods

    Dr. Jon McCormack Room 174, Building 75, Clayton. Phone: 9905 9298 E-mail: Jon.McCormack@infotech.monash.edu.au


    Notices related to the unit during the semester will be placed on the Notices Newsgroup in the Unit Website. Check this regularly. Failure to read the Notices newsgroup is not regarded as grounds for special consideration.

    Consultation Times

    Consultation (Clayton): Tuesday 5pm - 6pm (other times by appointment)

    Help desk availability: 3-4pm Thursday in Room 140, Building 75 during semester 1, 2007.

    If direct communication with your unit adviser/lecturer or tutor outside of consultation periods is needed you may contact the lecturer and/or tutors at:

    Dr Jon McCormack
    Senior Lecturer
    Phone +61 3 990 59298
    Fax +61 3 990 55157

    All email communication to you from your lecturer will occur through your Monash student email address. Please ensure that you read it regularly, or forward your email to your main address. Also check that your contact information registered with the University is up to date in My.Monash.

    Last updated: Feb 28, 2007