Our look is the result of reader comments, our own experimentation, and feedback from distribution channels. Distinctive covers complement our distinctive approach to technical topics, breathing personality and life into potentially dry subjects.

The animal on the cover of Mastering Perl for Bioinformatics is a North American bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana). It is native to the central and eastern United States, as well as southern portions of Canada. However, this bullfrog has since been introduced as far away from its native habitat as Asia, Europe, and Hawaii.

The North American bullfrog is the largest true frog in North America and can weigh over a pound. It can grow up to eight inches in length, although the norm is four to five inches. The gender of the bullfrog is ascertained by comparing the size of the external ear (the tympanum) relative to the size of the eye.

Bullfrogs are predators and also are cannibalistic. Their role in the environment is to control the population of insect pests as well as snakes and mice. In fact, the zeal of the North American bullfrog threatens to drive other frog species to extinction.

The generic name (rana) comes from the Latin for frog, while the species name (catesbeiana) honors an English naturalist. In the 18th century, Mark Catesby (1683-1749) produced the authoritative and exhaustive record of the flora and fauna found in the New World. Wealthy patrons in England eagerly received Catesby's regular shipments of specimens, including plants, birds, reptiles, insects, and frogs.

Mary Anne Weeks Mayo was the production editor and copyeditor, and Marlowe Shaeffer was the proofreader, for Mastering Perl for Bioinformatics. Jane Ellin and Colleen Gorman provided quality control. Marlowe Shaeffer, Mary Agner, and James Quill provided production assistance. John Bickelhaupt wrote the index.

Ellie Volckhausen designed the cover of this book, based on a series design by Edie Freedman. The cover image is a 19th-century engraving from the Dover Pictorial Archive. Emma Colby produced the cover layout with QuarkXPress 4.1 using Adobe's ITC Garamond font.

David Futato designed the interior layout. This book was converted by Andrew Savikas to FrameMaker 5.5.6 with a format conversion tool created by Erik Ray, Jason McIntosh, Neil Walls, and Mike Sierra that uses Perl and XML technologies. The text font is Linotype Birka; the heading font is Adobe Myriad Condensed; and the code font is LucasFont's TheSans Mono Condensed. The illustrations that appear in the book were produced by Robert Romano and Jessamyn Read using Macromedia FreeHand 9 and Adobe Photoshop 6. The tip and warning icons were drawn by Christopher Bing. This colophon was written by Reg Aubry.

The online edition of this book was created by the Safari production group (John Chodacki, Becki Maisch, and Madeleine Newell) using a set of Frame-to-XML conversion and cleanup tools written and maintained by Erik Ray, Benn Salter, John Chodacki, and Jeff Liggett.