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Perl Chapter 9

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  1. Perl Chapter 9 CGI Programming with Perl

  2. Assume familiar with Web and HTML • Hypertext Markup Language: describes layout of documents • Web browsers (clients) • Web servers: run on computer connected to Internet; provides documents to browsers • Documents accessed by URL • Need computation? Write programs in a programming language like Java, php, Perl

  3. Common Gateway Interface (CGI) • provides a standard way a browser can call, pass data to and receive response from programs on server • CGI: interface between server program and other software • HTML results from program returned to server using CGI • Way to dynamically create web pages

  4. Necessary tasks • decode text values (text manip) • CGI program needs access to ENV (servers use ENV variables to pass info to CGI) • access to other software and utilities (Unix shell command) • Perl fulfills these requirements • Usually Perl CGI programs in specific place on server - folder called cgi-bin

  5. Simple Linkage to CGI Programs • Simple – no data from web page; produces only text string as output • <A HREF = http://cs.mwsu.edu/~stringfe/cgi-bin/hello.pl> call hello </A> • call hello is the link, the path is where the CGI program hello.pl is at

  6. CGI program hello.pl must create HTML version of communication • Connection to client is through STDOUT  server  client … SO USE print • First line of HTML output must specify content type of output (most text/html). print “Content-type:text/html\n\n”; • must be a blank line!!!

  7. Demos • show hello.htm; view source • show hello.pl • NOTE: #!/usr/bin/perl • show SSH client • show SSH FTP • show simple Unix commands

  8. Handling Forms • Way to get information from browser • Need forms: collection of widgets to solicit responses • MUST INCLUDE a submit button • When clicked, it sends a string representation of values of widgets to server • string widget_name=widget_value pairs

  9. 2 means of communicating values in form to CGI program • Get (default) • data string sent through environment variables • Post • sent through standard input so CGI program can read it • use tag METHOD=“POST”

  10. To create HTML form, need a <FORM> tag • attribute is ACTION: specifies URL of CGI program that process values of widget <FORM ACTION=http://.../prog.pl METHOD=“POST”>

  11. Kinds of widgets • all begin with <INPUT> tag TYPE is an attribute • text widget • <INPUT TYPE=“text” NAME=“name” SIZE=30> • user can type text, default size is 20 • multiline, use <TEXTAREA> tag … will give you a scroll bar

  12. checkbox widget – toggle switch <INPUT TYPE=“checkbox” NAME=“AutoRemember”> • www.amazon.com checkbox gift card • radio widget • collection of closely related buttons • buttons have same name, but different values <INPUT TYPE=“radio” NAME=“payment” VALUE=“visa” CHECKED> Visa <BR> <INPUT TYPE=“radio” NAME=“payment” VALUE=“mc” CHECKED> Mastercard <BR>

  13. menu widget • scrolled list • <SELECT> caluse • SIZE attribute  number of items visible • <OPTION> tag – specifies items of a menu <SELECT name=state id=“sel_state” SIZE=1 class=content-sm> <option value=“”>All other destinations </option> <option value=“TN-Tennessee”>TN</option> • http://travelocity.com/Hotels • widgets often aligned by placing in tables. • <TABLE> <TR> <TH> and <TD> tags. • View sources of web pages to learn more

  14. form must have submit button and a reset button • two buttons with type “submit” and “reset” • values are labels (text showing on button) • submit cause 2 actions • value of form sent to server • CGI program executed • reset erases values of all widgets

  15. Examples • web pages – view source • round.htm • nutsales.htm • survey.htm

  16. Value string of form • value string of form has names and values of all widgets • names and values separated by = • adjacent pairs separated by & • special chars coded %HH (2 hex digis) • space is %20 in hex, tilda is %7E

  17. query string of form is transmitted to CGI program by either GET or POST • radio button collection called fruit name=Max%20Marks&fruit=apples%21

  18. Get • query string attached to URL (of CGI program) with ? between URL?query_string • attached at submit • server removes query string and assigns it to env’t variable QUERY_STRING, accessible to CGI program • Disadv: some browsers/servers imose limit on length of URL and truncate

  19. Post • query string is read by CGI program as STDIN • length of query string is available in CONTENTLENGTH environment variable • Advantage: No length limit • (Doesn’t seem to work with CGI.pm)

  20. Converting form input to useful format • put query string in $string_var • 2 ways determined by Get or Post • split $string_var on & to set array of strings @name_value_pairs=split(/&/, $query_string); • split each element of array on = ($name, $value)=split(/=/, $name_value);

  21. plus signs in values translated to blanks with tr operator $value =~ tr /+/ /; • convert coded special char into ordinary chars using substitute op s $value =~ s/%([\dA-Fa-f][\dA-Fa-f])/pack(“C”, hex($1))/eg; • find pattern starting with % followed by 2 hex digits • [ ] indicates optional • ( ) saved in $1 by matching op • hex function - $1 as parameter, does replacement part • pack into a byte using “C” as first parameter • use global option – more than one occurrence

  22. See nuts.pl • nutsales2.htm

  23. Basics of CGI.pm • many repeatable parts in a CGI program • CGI.pm is a Perl module containing functions to do common things • gives you short cuts • available by including use statement • import parts by categories or collection • most useful in general are standard and html3 use CGI qw(:standard :html);

  24. Some common things print header( ); print start_html(‘Sebesta’s Home Page’); print end_html(); same as print “Content-type: text/html\n\n”; print “<HEAD> \n”; print “<TITLE> Sebesta’s Home Page </TITLE> \n”; print “</HEAD> \n”; print “<BODY> \n”; print “</BODY> </HTML> \n”;

  25. getting parameter values can be done in single step using param function my $name=param(“name”); my ($name, $fruit)=(param(“name”), param(“fruit”)); • See nuts2.pl

  26. Reading/Writing Files • WHEN THEY COULD BE ACCESSED by 2 or MORE executions of CGI program $lock=2; $unlock=8; open (INFILE, …) flock (INFILE, $lock); … flock(INFILE, $unlock); close(INFILE); • can open file, read, close it, open file, write, close it, … • that’s okay if it is a small file

  27. can open file, read, close it, open file, write, close it, … • that’s okay if it is a small file

  28. Tables • Can display perl program results in table • tedious to generate without CGI.pm print table ({-border => undef}, #standard default border caption(“Caption”), Tr( [th([“Col1”, “Col2”, “Col3”]), th(“row1”).td ([“val1”,”val2”]), … th(“rown”).td ([“val1”,”val2”]) ] ) ); • Notes: tr is a pattern matching function • Using scalar strings

  29. Using arrays for each row of data • @row1, @row2, …@rown • use unshift to put titles of row categories into first position of row arrays unshift(@row1, “row1”); • make headings array @headings=(“ mon”, “tue”, …”sun”);

  30. put headings and rows into table @rows=th(\@headings); push(@rows, td(\@row1), … td(\@rown)); • so rows contain addresses of arrays print table ({-border=undef},caption(“Caption”), Tr (\@rows) );