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Just another Perl Hacker's blog
  1. What is CGI?
  2. CGI Programming with Perl, 2nd Edition by Gunther Birznieks, Shishir Gundavaram, Scott Guelich
  3. CGI Programming Part 1 - Perl Hacks
  4. CGI linkage

Before discussing the source code, next take a look at Listing 2.

Perl Tutorial 54 - - Generate Tables on the Fly

This listing shows the output that this CGI program generated when it was run from an Apache web server. Seeing the output generated by the program will help you understand how the program functions.

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As you can see from Listing 2, all this program does is print out a the name, and b the value, of the environment variables that the CGI program is aware of. The first three lines of code leading up to the foreach statement are pretty simple to figure out:.

What is CGI?

The first line tells the Unix server to use the Perl interpreter to interpret the contents of this file when it is executed. The second line prints a "content-type" statement that the Apache server and remote browser will need. This line tells them what's about to be printed. In my opinion this makes the output of this program easier to read. It's not required, but I think the default proportional font is more difficult to read in this case. For appearance sake, put an HTML paragraph tag at the end of the print statement so each print statement appears as a separate line in the user's browser.

CGI Programming with Perl, 2nd Edition by Gunther Birznieks, Shishir Gundavaram, Scott Guelich

If you haven't used associative arrays in Perl before, that might have been a little confusing. If it was, just look at the output in Listing 2 again, and then look at the print statement.

Setting up Perl CGI Support, Writing Perl CGI Scripts, Debugging Perl, etc

We didn't define it anywhere, so I'm thinking it must be some type of special array, right? It doesn't have any special meaning for CGI scripts - you can run this same program from your Unix command line and get totally different results. Of course before you do that you might want to get rid of the HTML tags and add a carriage return at the end of the print statement.

The program prints the name of each environment variable, as well as the value of each variable. Get the book and learn how to work with MySQL databases, how to build your own shopping cart, how to password-protect your site, and more! Sample Chapters CGI Programming will show you how to add guestbooks, page counters, shopping carts and other interactive elements to your website.

CGI Programming Part 1 - Perl Hacks

Introduction What is CGI? Why learn it? What do you need to get started? If you run the program on the command line, you'll see that it does exactly what you'd expect. Once you've set it correctly, you should be able to browse to it and see the page displayed live on your server. This tells the browser that the document coming after the two newlines is going to be HTML.

CGI linkage

You must send a header so the browser knows what type of document is coming next, and you must include a blank line between the header and the actual document. Once the header is sent, it's just a matter of sending the HTML document itself. In the above example, we're using a here-doc to simplify printing a large chunk of plain text.