CGI Programming with Perl

Front Cover
"O'Reilly Media, Inc.", 2000 - Computers - 451 pages
Programming on the Web today can involve any of several technologies, but the Common Gateway Interface (CGI) has held its ground as the most mature method--and one of the most powerful ones--of providing dynamic web content. CGI is a generic interface for calling external programs to crunch numbers, query databases, generate customized graphics, or perform any other server-side task. There was a time when CGI was the only game in town for server-side programming; today, although we have ASP, PHP, Java servlets, and ColdFusion (among others), CGI continues to be the most ubiquitous server-side technology on the Web. CGI programs can be written in any programming language, but Perl is by far the most popular language for CGI. Initially developed over a decade ago for text processing, Perl has evolved into a powerful object-oriented language, while retaining its simplicity of use. CGI programmers appreciate Perl's text manipulation features and its CGI.pm module, which gives a well-integrated object-oriented interface to practically all CGI-related tasks. While other languages might be more elegant or more efficient, Perl is still considered the primary language for CGI. CGI Programming with Perl, Second Edition, offers a comprehensive explanation of using CGI to serve dynamic web content. Based on the best-selling CGI Programming on the World Wide Web, this edition has been completely rewritten to demonstrate current techniques available with the CGI.pm module and the latest versions of Perl. The book starts at the beginning, by explaining how CGI works, and then moves swiftly into the subtle details of developing CGI programs. Topics include:
  • Incorporating JavaScript for form validation
  • Controlling browser caching
  • Making CGI scripts secure in Perl
  • Working with databases
  • Creating simple search engines
  • Maintaining state between multiple sessions
  • Generating graphics dynamically
  • Improving performance of your CGI scripts
 

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About the author (2000)

Scott Guelich graduated from Oberlin College in 1993 with a philosophy degree and decided to "only take a few years off" before continuing with graduate school. Unable to find any listing for "Philosopher Wanted" in the classifieds, and having done some programming while growing up, he quickly found himself working with computers. He discovered the Internet the following year and Perl the year after that. Scott has been a web developer for the past few years and currently contracts in the San Francisco Bay Area. He enjoys taijiquan, mountain biking, wind surfing, skiing, and anything that gets him outside and closer to nature. Despite the hours he spends working online, Scott is actually a closet Luddite who doesn't own a television, hasn't bought a cell phone, and still intends to make it to graduate school . . . some day.

Shishir Gundavaram graduated from Boston University with a BS in Biomedical Engineering in May of 1995. For his undergraduate thesis, he developed a Windows application for the Motor Unit Lab of the NeuroMuscular Research Center that allowed researchers to acquire and analyze muscle force output from patients to indirectly observe the electrical activity of muscles. He was the sole author of CGI Programming on the World Wide Web, published by O'Reilly & Associates, Inc., in 1996.

Gunther Birznieks is currently the chief technology officer for eXtropia.com, best known for its open source web programming archives and online tutorials in a variety of subjects related to web programming (Perl, CGI, Java). Before this, Gunther did web programming and infrastructure for the Human Genome Project. Most recently, he was an associate director at Barclays Capital where he had been the global head of web engineering.