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Using CGI with forms

From: XHTML and HTML Essential Training

Video: Using CGI with forms

CGI stands for Common Gateway Interface and it's the back end of how forms work. Strictly speaking, it's the protocol that the web browser uses to talk to the server and to send it the data that you filled in, in the form. On the back end, CGI programs can be written in a number of languages. They are commonly written in Perl or PHP or ASP or something like that. These are languages that are commonly used with CGI. I have provided in the exercise files a couple of CGI scripts.

Using CGI with forms

CGI stands for Common Gateway Interface and it's the back end of how forms work. Strictly speaking, it's the protocol that the web browser uses to talk to the server and to send it the data that you filled in, in the form. On the back end, CGI programs can be written in a number of languages. They are commonly written in Perl or PHP or ASP or something like that. These are languages that are commonly used with CGI. I have provided in the exercise files a couple of CGI scripts.

One is the test script that we saw demonstrated in the last lesson. It's very simple and this is provided so that you can install it on your server. Now, how to install it on your server is going to depend a lot on your server and there is some guidance available in another course that I have on lynda.com called Using Perl with CGI but I have provided here for your use if you would like to use it. Likewise, there is another CGI script here called mailform.cgi and this I have also provided for your use if you have a way to use it and if you have the skills or have somebody with the skills to install it on your server.

It's a very simple mail-form script, you can put in your email address up here and the mail too and it will very safely and securely go ahead and send you an email. I just want to make a note that there are other scripts out there called mailform.cgi that do have security issues. So if you go to install this on your server, your ISP may complain that Oh! That's an insecure script. You can tell them this is not the one that's insecure and they are welcome to take a look at it or even to communicate with me, and we can set their worries at ease.

Also, on my website at cgi.bw.org, there are a number of other CGI scripts including a much more sophisticated mail- form script which you can use as an alternative. Again, that's more complicated to install, and you might need some other skills to install that, and you can certainly refer to my Using Perl with CGI course for some guidance on how to do it. So again, this is about the back end. These are scripts that you can use on the back end. The purpose of the test script is simply to test your forms and also to test the process of installing scripts on your server and the mail-form script is available, or should you want to use it for sending yourself email with the form data whenever somebody submits a form on your website.

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This video is part of

Image for XHTML and HTML Essential Training
XHTML and HTML Essential Training

59 video lessons · 80307 viewers

Bill Weinman
Author

 
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  1. 5m 10s
    1. Welcome
      1m 16s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 23s
    3. Choosing a text editor
      2m 31s
  2. 15m 46s
    1. Introducing HTML and XHTML
      2m 53s
    2. Understanding versions of HTML and XHTML
      2m 25s
    3. Exploring a simple XHTML page
      4m 47s
    4. Understanding the structure of an XHTML document
      2m 58s
    5. Understanding document containers
      54s
    6. Creating and using templates
      1m 49s
  3. 42m 4s
    1. Understanding how empty space is formatted in XHTML
      2m 42s
    2. Using paragraph tags
      2m 42s
    3. Aligning paragraphs
      2m 49s
    4. Understanding block-level and inline tags
      1m 24s
    5. Controlling line breaks and spaces
      5m 43s
    6. Formatting text with phrase element tags
      3m 28s
    7. Formatting text with font markup elements
      3m 24s
    8. Adding document structure with headings
      3m 25s
    9. Formatting quotations and quote marks
      2m 19s
    10. Preserving pre-formatted text
      1m 30s
    11. Selecting a typeface
      4m 33s
    12. Selecting a type size
      2m 11s
    13. Using ordered and unordered lists
      5m 54s
  4. 7m 48s
    1. Using inline images
      3m 17s
    2. Flowing text around an image
      2m 4s
    3. Breaking lines around an image
      2m 27s
  5. 22m 34s
    1. Working with hyperlinks
      7m 46s
    2. Using relative URLs
      3m 5s
    3. Specifying a base URL
      2m 4s
    4. Linking within a page using fragments
      4m 28s
    5. Creating image links
      5m 11s
  6. 22m 56s
    1. Introducing tables
      4m 37s
    2. Formatting tables with CSS
      8m 50s
    3. Aligning images with tables
      5m 7s
    4. Reviewing an alternative solution using CSS
      4m 22s
  7. 14m 31s
    1. Introducing frames
      7m 56s
    2. Hiding frame borders
      3m 15s
    3. Creating inline frames using iFrame
      3m 20s
  8. 20m 50s
    1. Introducing forms: part 1
      10m 37s
    2. Introducing forms: part 2
      7m 45s
    3. Using CGI with forms
      2m 28s
  9. 25m 42s
    1. Introducing CSS
      3m 11s
    2. Understanding levels of inheritance
      6m 10s
    3. Learning CSS syntax
      11m 23s
    4. Using units of measure in CSS
      4m 58s
  10. 1h 45m
    1. Comparing table layout and CSS layout
      1m 25s
    2. Exploring the finished web site
      2m 37s
    3. Building a document header
      8m 18s
    4. Placing a banner and a contact button
      8m 13s
    5. Laying out a main menu
      6m 55s
    6. Creating a layout template: main body area
      13m 31s
    7. Creating a layout template: sidebar area
      5m 17s
    8. Creating a layout template: footer content
      4m 46s
    9. Building a main home page: main body content
      11m 24s
    10. Building a main home page: sidebar content
      8m 52s
    11. Creating a page with a menu, graphics, and formatted links
      13m 26s
    12. Creating a page containing an ordered list
      6m 44s
    13. Creating a page containing video
      10m 45s
    14. Touring the finished site
      3m 45s
  11. 53s
    1. Goodbye
      53s

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