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Welcome to the second Tips for Power Users column. In this
column we will talk about CGI scripts and how they affect you, as a CCN
What they are
CGI-bin scripts have added a new dimension to the WorldWideWeb. That
dimension is interaction. CGI stands for Common
Gateway Interface, and is a way of running programs on a
remote server. A CGI script on a WWW server in Tasmania could, for
example, process a form, print the current local time, or even run a
program on that server. Many other things are also possible with CGI.
How does this affect me?
CGI is of particular interest on the Chebucto Community Net. Chebucto
Community Net runs on top of a WWW interface and a user must be logged in
to run programs that are made available through the 'lynxexec:' gateway
(example: Pine email). However, all Word Wide Web users can use the CGI
programs that do not share this restriction. While CCN users may not place
CGI programs of their own in the cgi-bin directory where they will be able
to run them, they may use the programs made available by the CCN system
Any WWW user in the world, including you, can run scripts on CCN's
server, using an http://www.ccn·cs·dal·ca/cgi-bin/
link. For example, to
run the finger script, you would use the URL http://www.ccn·cs·dal·ca/cgi-bin/finger.
There are a few gems in this directory, and I'll describe them briefly
Please note, not all of these programs are officially supported by
CCN. As a power user, you should be able to figure out how to use them
- asks you for a month and year, then displays formatted calendar
- outputs the current date and time, in case that you forget
- allows you to finger a specific account from CCN. You press the
/ key and then enter an email address, for example
- allows you to include imagemaps in your homepage -- at least, I think
so. More on this in a later column, after I figure it out.
- creates a mail form for you. This script provides a better interface
than the mailto link. To use it, put an URL like
in one of your Web pages.
- makes your session pause for 10 minutes (600 seconds). And no, I
didn't find this out the hard way! 8-)
- displays the current time, the time since the last reboot, the number
of users currently online, and the system load average
- can be used to find out the number of hits yesterday, last month and
so far this month for a specified page. To find out how many times your
pages have been "hit", use the URL http://www.ccn·cs·dal·ca/cgi-bin?ME.
To find out how many times the pages of user zz999 have been hit, use the
More complete documentation on urlstats is available at the Help Desk.
- This utility will check for broken links, starting at a specific URL
and searching downward through link hierarchies until it reaches the end
of a specified "search radius".
In the next column
That's all for now. Next month, we'll talk about some advanced
features of HTML, including imagemaps (that is, if I can figure them
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Chebucto Connections TIPS FOR POWER USERS
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Last Month: July 1995
Month: October 1995