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Chapter 12. Need Feedback? Create a Form! > Oh say, can you CGI? - Pg. 141

Need Feedback? Create a Form! 141 Ask your provider Many people want to add simple guest books and feedback mechanisms to their sites, but they don't want to have to bother with the programming aspect. So, in response to their customers' needs, most web hosting providers make some simple CGI scripts (programs) available to their customers. For example, one common type of script grabs form data, extracts the field names and values, and sends them to an e-mail address you specify (like my MailForm program). Check with the provider's administrator or webmaster to see if it has any CGI scripts that you can use. And if you haven't settled on a provider yet, you should ask in advance if it has CGI programs available. The CGI-Joe Route A more expensive alternative is to hire the services of a CGI wizard (also known as a CGI -Joe in web programming circles) to create a custom program for you. Most web hosting providers are only too happy to put together a nice little program tailored to your needs. There's also no shortage of hired guns on the web who create programs to your specifications. As a starting point, check out some of the resources mentioned in the next section. Check out the web's CGI resources. If your service provider or web hosting provider doesn't have ready-to-run CGI programs that you can use, there's no shortage of sites on the Net that are willing and able to either teach you CGI or supply you with programs. This section runs through a list of some of these sites (see cgisites.htm on this book's CD): Webmaster Wisdom Note that if you grab a program or two to use, you need to contact your service provider's administrator to get the full lowdown on how to set up the program. In most cases, the administrator will want to examine the program code to make sure it's up to snuff. If it passes muster, it is put in a special directory (usually called a cgi-bin), and then you can refer to the program in your form. · Bravenet.This site offers lots of free scripts and other webmaster goodies. See www.brave- · CGI 101.As its name implies, this site offers beginner-level training and tutorials for CGI wanna- be programmers. It also offers CGI hosting, links to other CGI sites, and much more. See · The CGI Collection.This is a nice site with lots of links to scripts, tutorials, mailing lists, books, and much more. See · The CGI Directory.This site is bursting at the seams with great CGI info. There are tutorials, book reviews, an FAQ, links to other CGI sites, and hundreds of scripts. See