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CGI Bible

Overview

Only some Web browsers support Java and JavaScript, only some VBScript -- and few people upgrade to new releases fast enough to suit the creativity of Web developers. Luckily, there's CGI (Common Gateway Interface), which allows fancy functionality, processing, and interactivity to take place on a Web server, so it doesn't much matter whether it's Netscape Navigator or Microsoft Internet Explorer, version 2 or...
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Overview

Only some Web browsers support Java and JavaScript, only some VBScript -- and few people upgrade to new releases fast enough to suit the creativity of Web developers. Luckily, there's CGI (Common Gateway Interface), which allows fancy functionality, processing, and interactivity to take place on a Web server, so it doesn't much matter whether it's Netscape Navigator or Microsoft Internet Explorer, version 2 or version 4 on the client side.

If you've programmed in other languages, you'll find CGI scripting pretty straightforward once you get the hang of it. If you've never programmed before, CGI is a good place to start. In either case, you'll find CGI Bible an indispensable resource and guide as you begin using CGI scripting to add valuable functionality to your Web pages.

CGI Bible provides concise, authoritative solutions to...

  • Creating interactive forms for exchanging information with users
  • Using CGI to connect to SQL (Standard Query Language) databases
  • Handling complex user interactions with clickable image maps and search engines
  • Securing customer communications using the latest security standards
  • Adding sound and video clips and building intelligent user agents

Four popular authors have combined efforts to give you the ultimate start-to-finish tour of CGI programming in this update of the best-selling Foundations of WWW Programming with HTML and CGI. You could ask for no more CGI-savvy authors than Ed Tittel, Mark Gaither, Sebastian Hassinger, and Mike Erwin.

Plus, on the bonus CD-ROM you get with CGI Bible, you'll find...

  • Complete URL listings from the book
  • Ready-to-use source code
  • And excellent HTML and CGI developer utilities.

Even though the Internet changes daily, CGI is still a popular tool that works with any web server. A revision of the bestselling Foundations of WWW Programming with HTML and CGI, this book lays down the basics for readers' Web education and helps them master new features of HTML and CGI. The CD-ROM contains the complete text of the book in HTML format plus all code and examples.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780764580161
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/1/1996
  • Series: Bible Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 750
  • Product dimensions: 7.39 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 1.91 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction
Parts Is Parts
Part I: The Foundations of HTML and CGI
Part II: The Bridge to CGI Implementation
Part III: Basic CGI Programming Elements and Techniques
Part IV: Advanced CGI Programming Tools and Techniques
How to Use This Book
Conventions Used in This Book
But Wait, There's More!
Bon Voyage!

Part I: Foundations of HTML and CGI

Chapter 1: Basics of the World Wide Web
The Internet: An Amorphous Blob
The HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP)
How HTTP Works
HTTP Character Sets
The Common Gateway Interface
The HyperText Markup Language (HTML)
How to Read an HTML Document
Descriptive Markup
Hierarchical Document Structure Plus Interconnections
The Formal Specification
Human- and Computer-Readable Representation
Summary
Chapter 2: An Introduction to SGML
What Is SGML?
The SGML Philosophy
SGML's Primary Characteristics
Descriptive Markup
Hierarchical Plus Interconnections
Flexible Tags
Formal Document Specification
Human and Computer Readable Representations
SGML Document Structure
The SGML Declaration
The DTD
Elements
Element Attributes
Entities
Marked Sections
Marked section keywords
Rules for marked sections
General SGML Rules
SGML and HTML
Summary
A Brief SGML Bibliography
Chapter 3: The HTML DTDs
History of HTML
Workings of the IETF HTML Working Group
IETF Level 1 DTD
Terms
The Level 1 DTD
IETF Level 2 DTD
DTD Feature Test Entities
New Elements of HTML 2.0
FORM
INPUT
SELECT
OPTION
TEXTAREA
META
Enhanced Elements of HTML 2.0
Deprecation in HTML 2.0
IETF Level 3 DTDs
Netscape Extensions
Migrating from HTML 2.0 to 3.2
Summary
Chapter 4: HTML and Validation
What Is HTML, and How Should You Use It?
What Is Valid HTML?
Doing the "DTD Thing"
Testing for Compliance
HTML 2.0: The Reigning DTD
HTML 3.0: The Coming DTD
It's No Accident That Mozilla Is Named after a Monster!
Choosing an HTML DTD
Adding Value to Your Web Site
Advantages of Validation
Disadvantages of Validation
Validation Tools
Ignorance Isn't Always Bliss!
Get the Right Tool for the Job
The Not-So-Hidden Beauties of Compliance
WebTech's HTML Validation Service
WebTechs HTML Check Toolkit
Weblint
htmlchek
HoTMetaL
sgmls and sp
The DTD Is Prolog to the Future
DTD Reference Methods
Validation Alone Is Not Enough
What's in a Process?
The simple, manual approach
The simple, programmatic approach
Summary
Chapter 5: The Future of HTML
A Closer Look at HTML 3.0
New HTML 3.0 Elements
Tables
Figures
Math Equations and Formulae
HTML Style Sheets
Summary
Chapter 6: The Common Gateway Interface
What Is the Common Gateway Interface?
The CGI Specification: Extending HTTP
A Cast of Environment Variables
Accessing CGI Variables
The CGI Command Line
CGI Data Input
CGI Data Output
Summary
Chapter 7: CGI Programming Languages
Choosing a CGI Programming Language
The Five Primary Considerations
Public Source Code Repositories
Language Support
Your Level of Knowledge and Understanding
Desirable Data Throughput
Desirab"ilities"
Compiled CGI Programming Languages
C
C++
Interpreted CGI Programming Languages
UNIX Shell Scripting Languages
Tcl
Python
Visual Basic
Compiled/Interpreted CGI Programming Languages
Perl
Java
Summary
Chapter 8: CGI Input and Output
A Different Sort of Input Method
GET It While You Can
Using the GET method
They're at the POST!
The Ins and Outs of <FORM> Data
<FORM> Tags and Attributes
An Example Form
The Inside Scoop on CGI Output
Summary
Chapter 9: Designing CGI Applications
A Language for All Seasons
Design of the Registration Form
Mapping Fields to Variables
Variable Error Checking
Alternate Methods of Data Capture
Designing the Output File Format
Designing a Report Writer
Building in Counters and Status
Overall Design Thoughts
Reusability
Portability
Expandability
Archiving
Summary

Part II: The Bridge to CGI Implementation

Chapter 10: Building and Installing CGI Applications
html4dum.register.pl: Anatomy of a Perl Script
Setup and Initialization
Processing User Input
Closing Arguments
Debugging Is a State of Mind
The Raw Data File
Registration Statistics Summarizer
The Final Output
Final Touches
What's Next?
Summary
Chapter 11: Testing and Installing CGI Applications
It's a Dirty Job, but...
Setting Up a Test Environment
The Test Web Is the Best Web!
Installing a Test Server
The Root of All Testing
An Alias by Any Other Name
The Act of Creation Is Best Done in Private
The Good, the Bad, and the Boundary
A Simple Test Strategy
Summary
Chapter 12: Our Development Environment
Basic Assumptions
For Better or Worse, Our Platform Is UNIX
Our Language of Choice Is Perl4
We'll Work with Either CERN or NCSA httpd
We Take Good Tools Wherever We Can Get Them!
Summary
Chapter 13: Locating CGI Resources
Going Straight to the Internet Sources
Internet Resource Types
For Every Resource Type, There's a Search Method
CGI-Related Newsgroups
CGI-Related Mailing Lists
Parties Interested in CGI
CGI-Focused Groups and Organizations
CGI-Related Publications and Off-Line Resources
Searching for Satisfaction
Summary
Chapter 14: CGI Return Page Templates
What's in a Page?
Static Versus Dynamic Content
Give Me Some Static!
The Happy Medium: Dynamic but Constant
The Truly Dynamic
Building the HTTP Header
Building the HTML Header
The HTML Document Body
The Beginning of the Body
Dealing with Recurrent Elements
Incorporating Preformatted Text
Encoding HTML Markup
Handling HTML Document Footers
Other Template Tricks
Summary
Chapter 15: The Major CGI Libraries
Looking for CGI Nirvana
Round Up the Usual Suspects
Ask an Expert!
Do Some Reading
Some Select CGI Sites
http://hoohoo.ncsa.uiuc.edu/cgi/interface.html
http://www-genome.wi.mit.edu/ftp/pub/software/WWW/cgi_docs.html
http://www.cosy.sbg.ac.at/www-doku/tools/bjscripts.html
http://www.oac.uci.edu/indiv/ehood/perlWWW/
http://WWW.Stars.com/Vlib/Providers/CGI.html
http://www.w3.org/hypertext/WWW/Daemon/User/CGI/Overview.html
http://www.webedge.com/web.dev.html
http://www.yahoo.com/Computers/World_Wide_Web/CGI_Common_Gateway_Interface/
Using CGI Programs Effectively
Publish and/or Perish!
Summary
Chapter 16: <FORM> Alternatives
From <FORM> to Text
From HTML Back to Text
Registration Form, Part 1
Registration Form, Part 2
Registration Form, Part 3
Registration Form, Part 4
Registration Form, Part 5
Shipping the Text-Only Form File
Summary
Chapter 17: Gotchas, Warnings, and No-Nos
HTML's Barest Necessities
CGI Programming Gotchas
Miscellaneous
Summary

Part III: Basic CGI Programming Elements and Techniques

Chapter 18: Mastering MIME
The Marriage of MIME and HTTP
Divergence of HTTP from MIME
MIME and CGI Applications
The MIME ".mailcap" File
Global and Personal .mailcap Files
Summary
Chapter 19: Using WAIS with CGIs
WAIS Architecture Unmasked
WAIS Protocols
WAIS as a Client and a Server
WAIS Databases Revealed
Indexing 101
How Is the Index Used?
Do I Need a Gateway? What for?
Finding WAIS Gateways
Exploring WAIS as a User
What's the Difference between waisq and waissearch?
Other WAIS Information
SWISH
Indexing Hierarchies of HTML Documents
WAIS and HTTP Integration
Usenet News Archives
Mailing Lists
Futures and Cool Engines
Summary
Chapter 20: Indexing Your Web Site
What to Include
Installing and Configuring freeWAIS
Using CGIs to Format the Output
Using SWISH to Index Your Site
Customizing Search Results
Other OS Options
Apple Macintosh
Windows 95/Windows NT
Summary
Chapter 21: Getting Hyper: Principles of Hypertext Design
Stringing Pages Together, the Old-Fashioned Way
Hierarchies Are Easy to Model in HTML
Multiple Tracks for Multiple Audiences
The RFC Library
The Principles of Hypertext
Annotate All External References
Indicate the Scope and Size of Your Materials
Limit the Complexity of Your Index
Match Your Structure to Your Content
Present Distinct Topics as Distinct Documents
Provide Appropriate Access Methods
Supply Easy, Consistent Navigation Tools
Use Links as References
Summary
Chapter 22: Monitoring Web Server Activity
Talking with the Log Lady: HTTP Log Analysis, Parsing, and Summaries
Swiss Army Statistics from getstats
Bean Counter's Wet Dream: WWWstat
Mac See, Mac Do: WebStat
Figure Painting: Making the Leap from ASCII to GIF
getgraph.pl
gwstat
wusage
Statistics in 3-D
Case Studies
Commercial-Grade Statistics
Future Logging Models
Summary
Chapter 23: Robots, Spiders, and WebCrawlers
A Robot Taxonomy
Is the World Ready for Yet Another Robot?
A Rationale for Robot Creation
Identify Yourself and Your Robot
Spread the Word
Stay in Touch
Notify the Authorities
Don't Be a Resource Hog
Stay in Charge
Share Your Robot's Wealth
A Standard for Robot Exclusion
More Robot Hangouts
Summary
Chapter 24: Webifying Documents
The Zen of Webification
Conversion
Transformation
Translation
Filtering
Tools and Environments
The Integrated Chameleon Architecture
Rainbow
Other Publicly Available Tools
Life after Translation
Chunking
Integration
Summary
Chapter 25: Image Maps
The Art of GIF-Giving
Aids to Navigation
Great Frames for Interactive Input
Other Exotic Applications
Making Image Maps Work
Creating Hot Spot Definitions
WebMap for Macintosh
mapedit: Creating Image Maps in Windows
Web-based Image Map Utilities
Map Conversion Utility
Imagemap CGIs
NCSA imagemap
CERN htimage
Client-side Image Map Format
Image Maps on Macintosh Web Servers
MacImagemap
MapServe
Oddities and Cool Stuff
Glorgox
Cyberview3D Document Generator
Caveats and Tips to Click
Small Is Beautiful
Present Alternatives
Keep It Simple
Keep It Professional
Use Your Imagination!
One More Very Important Point
Summary
Chapter 26: HTML Document Creation On-the-Fly
Browsing Mail
mail2html
Webified man Pages
man2html
FTP Browsing
ftpb
Oddments, Helpers, and Horizons
Ghostscript: GIFs-on-the-Fly
netcloak
Additional CGI Elements
Summary
Chapter 27: Getting the Best Buy For Your Bucks
Where to Begin
Getting Connected
Housing a Server at Your Site
Housing Your Server at the ISP
What Do I Need to Watch For?
Comparing UNIX Servers
Other Platforms
Choosing a Mac Server
Choosing a DOS/Windows PC Server
Choosing a Windows NT Server
Web Server Miscellany
Proxies
Load Balancing Strategies
Summary

Part IV: Advanced CGI Programming Tools and Techniques

Chapter 28: File Access Through the Web
All Browsers Are Not Created Equal
Through a Glass, Darkly
FTP Versus HTTP as a File Retrieval Protocol
Lister, You Lazy Sod!
File Index Searching
Archie
c|net: The Computer Network
Local Indices
Individual File Retrieval and Whatnots
Attack of the Killer httpd Server
Summary
Chapter 29: Database Management Tools
What Makes One Database Unlike Another?
Relational Databases Overview
Why Connect a DBMS to the Web?
Composing an Interface
Build a Simple CGI from Scratch
Database Access Methods
Further Directions in Databases
What Is CORBA?
CORBA and the Web
The Microsoft Direction
Summary
Chapter 30: The Net's Multimedia Resources
Video
MPEG
Would You Care for a Refreshed Image?
Traffic Watch
Robotics
Weather
Constantly Refreshed Pictures
Real-Time Video
QuickTime
Video Standards
Audio
MIDI
Waveform
Codecs
RealAudio
Automatic Talking Machine
Blue Dog Can Count
Internet Telephony
Telephony-ready Computers
A/V: Together at last...
CU-SeeMe
Java
Virtual Worlds Await...
Shockwave for Director
Adding HTML Interactivity
Addlink
Guestbook
Summary
Chapter 31: Electronic Mail Gateways
Have Your CGI Mail My CGI
Proprietary Tagging
Building a Better Mail Handler
Too Complex? E-Mail Gets Simpler
Next Verse, Same as the First (on MacOS)
Mailing List Interface
Search and Retrieval
List Administration Tools
Summary
Chapter 32: WWW Server and CGI Security
An Open Door Is Not Always Good...
Security Is Like Mowing the Lawn...
What Risks Am I Taking? Isn't the Web Public Anyway?
A Typical UNIX httpd Configuration
UNIX Permissions and Ownerships
Limiting Access to Internal Servers
access.conf
.htaccess Gives You Power
To UNIX or Not to UNIX?
How Can I Tell if Someone Has Broken the System?
The Benefits of Secure Transit
Secure-HTTP
Other WWW Security Mechanisms
SSL
Technical Details of SSL
The Relationship Between SSL and SHTTP
Some Places to Go...
Summary
Chapter 33: Customizing a Site for a Visitor
Information You Need to Know
Click Here for Your Browser Type
When Man Stares into the Web, the Web Stares Back
Information Delivered by HTTP_USER_AGENT
Agents of Our (Page) Construction
Breaking Browsers Down
Serving a Tailored Document
Serving It Up with getagent.pl
Serving Special Markup from within a Document
<TABLE> versus <PRE> From Within a Document
Resources for Browser Information
What's the Most Popular Browser?
Comparing Browser Capabilities
Summary
Chapter 34: CGI Bible: The CD-ROM
Summary

Glossary

Contact List

Index

License Agreement

CD-ROM Installation Instructions

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