Let's expand our earlier example to show how to incorporate CGI:
<FORM ACTION="/cgi-bin/mycgi.pl"> favorite color: <INPUT name="favecolor"> <INPUT TYPE=SUBMIT VALUE="Submit"> </FORM>
which gives us
Here's what the new pieces mean:
<INPUT TYPE=SUBMIT VALUE="Submit">
Here's the chain of events when the user hits "Submit":
So there are three pieces to the CGI process: the form on your web page, the web server, and the CGI program. This guide deals with the first part: how to use HTML to make a form. Your web administrator handles the web server, and for a good guide on how to write CGIs, we recommend James Marshall's excellent (and short) CGI Made Really Easy.
NOTE: If you want to get started writing HTML forms but don't have a CGI set up yet, you can use our publicly available CGI at ../cgi-bin/mycgi.pl. This CGI will produce a web page of all the fields sent to it, so you can see if the forms work the way you intended. Most of the forms on the rest of this page will use this CGI.
Technically speaking there is no such thing as "a CGI". "CGI" is a standard protocol, not an actual implementation. However, it has become common to refer to a program which uses the CGI standard as "a CGI", and we will follow that custom here.
One of the reasons CGI is so popular is that the CGI program can be written in just about any programming language: C, C++, Perl (the most popular language for CGI), Visual Basic, etc. CGI was designed to allow great flexibility in processing the form data, while still allowing the results to be returned as HTML (or other formats, but HTML is the most popular).Copyright 1997-2002 Idocs Inc. Content in this guide is offered freely to the public under the terms of the Open Content License and the Open Publication License. Contents may be redistributed or republished freely under these terms so long as credit to the original creator and contributors is maintained.