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Sams Teach Yourself CGI in 24 Hours, 2nd Edition

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Sams Teach Yourself CGI in 24 Hours, 2nd Edition


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  • Copyright 2003
  • Edition: 2nd
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-672-32404-0
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-672-32404-8

Sams Teach Yourself CGI in 24 Hours teaches the reader the next step beyond simple HTML Web pages. This new edition covers implementing CGI with both C and Perl, and it discusses CGI¿s relative strengths and weaknesses in comparison with other Web programming technologies like JavaScript, Java, and PHP. It also covers recent developments in templating systems and mod_perl server add-ons.

The book takes the reader from the basics of CGI¿learning, for example, how to implement and customize existing CGI programs that have been written by others¿to the point where he can use CGI to create his own programs from scratch.

The book also provides numerous real-life examples of CGI scripts¿database search tools, survey forms, interactive games, order forms, guest books, and more.



The CGI programs developed in the book - 52 kb -- code.zip

Sample Content

Online Sample Chapters

Downloading, Installing, and Debugging CGI Scripts

Downloading, Installing, and Debugging CGI Scripts

Table of Contents



Hour 1. Overview of CGI Programming.

Types of Web Applications. A History of CGI. What Is a CGI Program? How CGI Programs Work. Pros and Cons of CGI. CGI Programming Languages. Summary. Q&A. Workshop.

Hour 2. Setting Up Your CGI Environment.

The Web Server Itself. Web-Server Operating Systems. The CGI Environment. Web Servers. Setting Up Your CGI Development Environment. Summary. Q&A. Workshop.

Hour 3. Downloading, Installing, and Debugging CGI Scripts.

Downloading Scripts from the Internet. Installing a Downloaded Script. Example: Downloading and Installing a Guestbook Script. Debugging CGI Scripts. Tools and Techniques for Debugging Your Program Code. Summary. Q&A. Workshop.

Hour 4. Writing Your First CGI Program.

Parts of CGI Programs. A URL-Redirection Program. How File Redirection Works. Working with Files in Perl. Common Statements Used in Perl. The if Statement. Perl Expressions. Summary. Q&A. Workshop.


Hour 5. Creating HTML Forms.

The <form> Tag. The <input> Tag. Other Form Fields. Workshop: Building an Entire Form. Summary. Q&A. Workshop.

Hour 6. Working with HTTP.

HTTP Basics. What Takes Place During an HTTP Session. Request Methods. Server Response Codes. Response Headers. NPH Scripts. Content Types. Secure Connections. Summary. Q&A. Workshop.

Hour 7. Validating User Input.

Using JavaScript for Form Validation. Designing Easily Validated Forms. Incorporating Validation into the Form-Processing Code. An Example of Form Processing. Validating Values. Summary. Q&A. Workshop.

Hour 8. Creating an Email Feedback Form.

What Kinds of Applications Involve Sending Email? How Email Works. Example: Sending Email from a CGI Script. Summary. Q&A. Workshop.


Hour 9. Web Application Architecture.

Application Design. Round-trip Scripts. Declarative Programming. Handling Many Types of Requests. Sharing Code Among Scripts. Using CGI::Application. Summary. Workshop.

Hour 10. Delving Further into Perl.

CGI.pm. Accessing CGI.pm from Your Program. Decoding Form Data via CGI.pm. Generating HTTP Headers and HTML Tags via CGI.pm. cgi-lib.pl. Handling Errors with CGI::Carp. Resources for Perl Programmers. Summary. Q&A. Workshop.

Hour 11. Other Popular CGI Programming Languages.

Will My Favorite Language Work for CGI? Writing CGI Programs Using the Bourne Shell. Creating Gateways to UNIX Commands. Working with Query Strings. Writing CGI Programs in C. The cgic Library. A C Example. Writing CGI Programs in Python. A Python Example. Summary. Q&A. Workshop.

Hour 12. Pros and Cons of Alternate Technologies.

Looking Back. J2EE. PHP. ASP.NET. Macromedia ColdFusion. The Apache mod_perl Module. Summary. Q&A. Workshop.


Hour 13. Using Flat Files for Data Storage.

What Is a Database? Flat-File Databases. File Operations. Building a Database Application. Summary. Q&A. Workshop.

Hour 14. Creating a CGI-Based Message Board.

The Structure of the Application. The File Format. The Display Script. The Posting Script. Summary. Q&A. Workshop.

Hour 15. Session Management.

Why Use Session Management? Basic Authentication. Hidden Fields in Forms. Hidden Form Fields Example. Using Cookies. Session Management with Cookies. Summary. Q&A. Workshop.

Hour 16. Building a Simple Shopping Cart.

How the Sample Shopping Cart Works. The Catalog. The Contents of the Shopping Cart. Checkout. Summary. Q&A. Workshop.

Hour 17. Content Management with CGI.

Why Content Publishing? Types of Content Publishing Systems. Data Storage for Content Publishing Systems. A Content Publishing Example. Free Content Management Systems. Summary. Q&A. Workshop.


Hour 18. Working with Relational Databases.

The Relational Database Model. Structured Query Language. Database Design. Relational Data Types. Summary. Q&A. Workshop.

Hour 19. How to Use the Structured Query Language.

Structured Query Language. Database Interfaces. ODBC. DBI and DBD. Summary. Q&A.

Hour 20. Creating an Online Store.

The Database Design. The Catalog Script. The Shopping Cart Script. The Checkout Script. Summary. Q&A. Workshop.


Hour 21. Handling Other Content Types.

Content Types. Handling Binary Content. An Authenticated Download Application. Creating Your Own Ad Server. Tracking User Activity. Summary. Q&A. Workshop.

Hour 22. Securing CGI Scripts.

Why Security? Securing Your Web Server. Common CGI Security Holes. Safe Programming. Summary. Q&A. Workshop.

Hour 23. Creating Custom Error Documents.

What Is an Error Document? Configuring Your Web Server for Custom Error Documents. Using HTML to Create a Basic Error Document. Using CGI to Create an Advanced Error Document. Handling an “Unauthorized” Error. Summary. Q&A. Workshop.

Hour 24. Server Side Includes.

How Server Side Includes Work. Setting Up Your Web Server for SSI. Using SSI Directives. Designing Pages Using SSI. XSSI. Summary. Q&A. Workshop.


Appendix A. MIME Types.
Appendix B. Response Codes and Reason Phrases.
Appendix C. Environment Variables and Request Headers.
Appendix D. Summary of Regular Expressions.
Appendix E. ASCII Tables.


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