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Chapter 24. Developing Web Applications > Programming CGI Applications in Perl

Programming CGI Applications in Perl

Perl, which you were introduced to in Chapter 18, “Developing Applications and Widgets Using Scripting Languages,” provides a quick and easy way to start developing your own web applications. Although not as elegant as PHP, Perl is an excellent starting point for learning about how web applications work. It is also a nearly universal cross-platform language with thousands of freely downloadable applications.

WHAT IS A CGI?

CGI stands for Common Gateway Interface. A CGI application is written to conform to a web server/application communication standard (the CGI). CGI applications pass and read their information to and from an underlying web server. The generic definition of CGI is just a standalone web application.

This chapter looks at two types of CGI applications: those programmed within a traditional language, such as Perl, and others based on embedded programming languages, such as PHP. The latter is not truly considered a CGI language because it uses a different mechanism for exchanging information with the web server, but the end result of each is a web application.



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