CGI scripting was the main reason I set up this system. The Common Gateway Interface, or CGI, is what lets your server pass on material it received from a browser to other programs that can interpret, store, or return a response to it. The EMWAC, WebSite, and Netscape servers are great for this, letting you put any CGI program you create in the /cgi-bin folder. WebSite comes with several key sample programs, most importantly the imagemap program that lets you create clickable maps. If the provided examples get dull (and except for imagemap, that's pretty likely) you can start creating your own scripts with Perl. Perl is up to version 5 now, though 4 is what you'll find ported to NT. Perl is kind of like C, kind of like grep, and really on a planet of its own. If you want to manipulate forms information, and work easily with text, Perl is for you. It's the primary language currently used for scripting, and libraries for tasks like form handling and database management are readily available.
Of course, if Perl isn't your dream language, you can use other development environments - C, C++, Delphi, or even your favorite database programs. Using a PC and Windows makes this part easy - and NT makes it work well enough that it's dependable.
The most important thing about your newly created server is just that: it's yours. You can do anything you want on this box. Go ahead an develop whatever seems like fun, try tocome up with the most interactive systems you can imagine. You now have a development environment that will let you do anything you're willing to learn.
Back to the instructions outline
Copyright 1995 by Simon St.Laurent. All rights reserved. You may print this document for yourself or others at no charge, but commercial distribution without permission is prohibited.