CGI? - Off Topic, Please Tell Me Where To Post This.

L

Larry Lindstrom

Hi Folks:

Sorry for this OT post, I'll try to keep this short.

10 years ago I did some CGI scripting on Solaris, using C++.

I haven't done much since, but I'm trying to get back into web
development.

I'm an independent consultant, so I can't tell you what types of
projects I'll be working on. I'm interested in either platform
independent, or Unix/Linux centric tools.

Javascript still seems to be popular, but an article in Wikipedia
left me with the feeling that CGI is growing long in the tooth and
other technologies are emerging to take it's place.

Under the section entitled "Alternatives", Wikipedia says "The
popular Web servers developed their own extension mechanisms that
allows third-party software to run inside the web server itself, e.g.
Apache modules". What Apache modules would these be?

I'm looking for a site, newsgroup or forum that I can use to help
me decide if I should dust off my neglected CGI skills, or use this as
a new beginning with a clean break from CGI.

Thanks
Larry
 
R

rf

Larry Lindstrom said:
Hi Folks:
I'm looking for a site, newsgroup or forum that I can use to help
me decide if I should dust off my neglected CGI skills, or use this as
a new beginning with a clean break from CGI.

Have you considered something as simple as PHP?
 
J

Jukka K. Korpela

Larry said:
I'm an independent consultant, so I can't tell you what types of
projects I'll be working on.

Well, it anyhow matters a lot what you do, when considering how it should be
done.
Javascript still seems to be popular,

Hammers are still very popular too, and so are toothpicks. They both have
their scope of applicability, though some people, possessing a hammer they
are very proud of, see all problems as nails.
but an article in Wikipedia
left me with the feeling that CGI is growing long in the tooth and
other technologies are emerging to take it's place.

Oh, please wait a few minutes while I rewrite the article... no, I don't
bother, but the point is that Wikipedia is just an unstable pile of material
created and modified by anonymous people.

Still, CGI has lost relative popularity to other techniques that are simpler
or more efficient or more powerful, at least in some situations in someone's
opinion. Does it matter? Well, it depends on what you want to do.
I'm looking for a site, newsgroup or forum that I can use to help
me decide if I should dust off my neglected CGI skills, or use this as
a new beginning with a clean break from CGI.

Again, the first question is what you would like or need to do. The second
question is then what technologies are available in the environment where
you work (basically the server environment, though authoring tools matter,
too).

Usenet isn't what it used to be, and comp.infosystems.www.authoring.cgi is
probably dead (no activity for months, except the usual share of spam), but
I don't think you basically want to know about CGI now. Besides, CGI as such
is almost trivial and you must already know it - it's just an interface.
 
L

Larry Lindstrom

Well, it anyhow matters a lot what you do, when considering how it should be
done.


Hammers are still very popular too, and so are toothpicks. They both have
their scope of applicability, though some people, possessing a hammer they
are very proud of, see all problems as nails.

Thanks Jukka:

I'm guilty of that thinking. Who else would write their CGI
scripts in C++?

I realize that no tool is the best for all situations. But I'd
like to start with a tool that is flexible enough to handle a range of
user's applications.
Oh, please wait a few minutes while I rewrite the article... no, I don't
bother, but the point is that Wikipedia is just an unstable pile of material
created and modified by anonymous people.

Still, CGI has lost relative popularity to other techniques that are simpler
or more efficient or more powerful, at least in some situations in someone's
opinion. Does it matter? Well, it depends on what you want to do.

I'm trying to understand some of those other techniques. Can you
give me some names?
Again, the first question is what you would like or need to do. The second
question is then what technologies are available in the environment where
you work (basically the server environment, though authoring tools matter,
too).

Where I work? That would be in my home, with any PC, OS and tools
I choose to put on it. Right now that's a PC running OpenSolaris with
Apache.

Clients will use hosting services or purchase their own servers and
outfit them on my recommendation. Hosting services I'm talking to now
have virtual private servers. Their sales departments tell me this
allows them to be configured with any tools I want.
Usenet isn't what it used to be, and comp.infosystems.www.authoring.cgiis
probably dead (no activity for months, except the usual share of spam), but
I don't think you basically want to know about CGI now. Besides, CGI as such
is almost trivial and you must already know it - it's just an interface.

"but I don't think you basically want to know about CGI now",
leaves me where I started.

PHP? JSP? FastCGI? SCGI? WCGI? XMLHttpRequest? This mysterious
Apache module that renders CGI obsolete? Something cool I'm
overlooking? I'm trying to understand my options.

Jukka, I appreciate your response.

Thanks
Larry
 
L

Larry Lindstrom

It would be on topic in comp.infosystems.www.authoring.cgi


… but you'd end up talking to CGI scripters like me.

Thanks Steve:

I was unaware of the existence of that news group.

The last relevant post was at the end of September. Two months
ago. Oh, wait, let me check again. Make that September of 2006!

I'm not slagging CGI. I read Boutell's book and paid for a license
to use his CGI library. I have an extensive collection of my own C++
code to serve as a general interface to that library and the
application code to serve as examples for future projects.

I'm just trying to understand my options.

Thanks
Larry
 
N

Nik Coughlin

Larry Lindstrom said:
PHP? JSP? FastCGI? SCGI? WCGI? XMLHttpRequest? This mysterious
Apache module that renders CGI obsolete? Something cool I'm
overlooking? I'm trying to understand my options.

A good framework is very important. I'd recommend one of the many MVC
frameworks.

My preference would be ASP.NET MVC, Ruby on Rails or PHP with Symfony. In
that order.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ASP.NET_MVC_Framework
http://www.asp.net/(S(l0ewhlne33mwdh55fxjcfm45))/mvc/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruby_on_Rails
http://rubyonrails.org/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symfony
http://www.symfony-project.org/
 
J

Jan C. Faerber

   Under the section entitled "Alternatives", Wikipedia says "The
popular Web servers developed their own extension mechanisms that
allows third-party software to run inside the web server itself, e.g.
Apache modules".  What Apache modules would these be?

I think for cgi or mysql databases e.g. those two mods:
http://httpd.apache.org/docs/2.2/mod/mod_cgi.html
http://httpd.apache.org/docs/2.2/mod/mod_dbd.html

Somewhere I read that you can choose something like
if you prefer to run php as an apache module or as cgi.
   I'm looking for a site, newsgroup or forum that I can use to help
me decide if I should dust off my neglected CGI skills, or use this as
a new beginning with a clean break from CGI.

alt.apache.configuration - this is a goog group concerning apache.
not especially cgi but maybe they can help you there.
 
J

Jan C. Faerber

alt.apache.configuration - this is a good group concerning apache.
not especially cgi but maybe they can help you there.

alt.html, alt.apache.configuration -

oh my god - I did not see that before - you post here already.
 
E

Edward A. Falk

Hmmm. A lot has changed in 10 years. I'm afraid you may have a lot of
catching up to do.

My opinions, worth what you paid for them:

CGI is still king. Python makes an excellent scripting language for it.
I wouldn't bother with C/C++ unless performance was becoming an issue.

If your app requires it, you can customize Apache with modules.
There must be a good way to find off-the-shelf modules to do what you
want if CGI won't do it. Not worth writing your own unless your site
becomes big enough to justify the effort/expense.

PHP still sees very wide use. I started to learn it once, but decided
it wasn't worth the effort. If you intend to become a web professional,
you'll need to learn it.

CSS: You need to know this.

Javascript: You need to know this.

DOM Aka "Document Object Model": The internal structure of html web pages
has been formally defined and made available to javascript, leading to ...

DHTML aka "Dynamic HTML": A web page that can modify itself through
javascript. This can *hugely* improve the user's experience, since it
allows many interactions to happen inside the browser without making the
user wait for the remote server. You need to know this to be a serious
web professional. DHTML in turn leads to ...

AJAX aka "Asynchronous Javascript and XML": Allows javascript to make
its own server calls to fetch more data to further modify the web page.
Using AJAX, your entire app can exist in a single web page, updating
itself as it goes. Never wrote any AJAX myself, but then I'm not a
web professional.


Here's the hard part: Most of what you want to do is already out
there in the form of some third-party software. Knowing how to find
it and which packages to use is the true secret of being a serious web
professional, IMHO.

Ever read the section on software archeology in Vernor Vinge's "Deepness
of the Sky"? It's like that.
 

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