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An Introduction to
The Common Gateway Interface

1. Data Communication on the Web
2. Figure: Flow of Data on the Web
3. The Common Gateway Interface
4. References to Additional Information

And also: CGI Programming Tricks (mostly Perl)

1. Data Communication on the Web

A Web client program (such as a web browser) can access data from many different servers, such as Gopher, FTP, NNTP (Usenet) or HTTP. The HTTP server was designed specifically for the Web, and employs a protocol (system of messages) that supports sending documents from the server to a browser, and that also support sending complex data from the client back to the server. There are several HTTP methods for doing this (in HTTP, methods is a technical term for the way in which data are sent between a client browser and server). The most common methods are

These methods are discussed in more detail in the HTTP documentation section. For this discussion, it is sufficient to know that data can be sent from the client browser to the HTTP server. The Common Gateway Interface, or CGI, is the mechanism used by most servers to process these client data.

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.................... Introduction to CGI