++ed by:
FANY SJOHNSTON MICHIELB SREZIC MARKSTOS

13 PAUSE users
11 non-PAUSE users.

Lincoln D. Stein

NAME

CGI - Simple Common Gateway Interface Class

ABSTRACT

This perl library uses perl5 objects to make it easy to create Web fill-out forms and parse their contents. This package defines CGI objects, entities that contain the values of the current query string and other state variables. Using a CGI object's methods, you can examine keywords and parameters passed to your script, and create forms whose initial values are taken from the current query (thereby preserving state information).

INSTALLATION:

To install this package, just change to the directory in which this file is found and type the following:

        perl Makefile.PL
        make
        make install

This will copy CGI.pm to your perl library directory for use by all perl scripts. You probably must be root to do this. Now you can load the CGI routines in your Perl scripts with the line:

        use CGI;

If you don't have sufficient privileges to install CGI.pm in the Perl library directory, you can put CGI.pm into some convenient spot, such as your home directory, or in cgi-bin itself and prefix all Perl scripts that call it with something along the lines of the following preamble:

        BEGIN {
                unshift(@INC,'/home/davis/lib');
        }
        use CGI;

DESCRIPTION

CREATING A NEW QUERY OBJECT:

     $query = new CGI

This will parse the input (from both POST and GET methods) and store it into a perl5 object called $query.

CREATING A NEW QUERY OBJECT FROM AN INPUT FILE

     $query = new CGI(INPUTFILE)

If you provide a file handle to the new() method, it will read parameters from the file (or STDIN, or whatever). The file can be in any of the forms describing below under debugging (i.e. a series of newline delimited TAG=VALUE pairs will work). Conveniently, this type of file is created by the save() method (see below).

FETCHING A LIST OF KEYWORDS FROM THE QUERY:

     @keywords = $query->keywords

If the script was invoked as the result of an <ISINDEX> search, the parsed keywords can be obtained as an array using the keywords() method.

FETCHING THE NAMES OF ALL THE PARAMETERS PASSED TO YOUR SCRIPT:

     @names = $query->param

If the script was invoked with a parameter list (e.g. "name1=value1&name2=value2&name3=value3"), the param() method will return the parameter names as a list. If the script was invoked as an <ISINDEX> script, there will be a single parameter named 'keywords'.

NOTE: As of version 1.5, the array of parameter names returned will be in the same order as they were submitted by the browser. Usually this order is the same as the order in which the parameters are defined in the form (however, this isn't part of the spec, and so isn't guaranteed).

FETCHING THE VALUE OR VALUES OF A SINGLE NAMED PARAMETER:

    @values = $query->param('foo');

              -or-

    $value = $query->param('foo');

Pass the param() method a single argument to fetch the value of the named parameter. If the parameter is multivalued (e.g. from multiple selections in a scrolling list), you can ask to receive an array. Otherwise the method will return a single value.

SETTING THE VALUE(S) OF A NAMED PARAMETER:

    $query->param('foo','an','array','of','values');

This sets the value for the named parameter 'foo' to an array of values. Do this if you want to change the value of a field AFTER the script has been invoked before.

IMPORTING ALL PARAMETERS INTO A NAMESPACE:

   $query->import_names('R');

This creates a series of variables in the 'R' namespace. For example, $R::foo, @R:foo. For keyword lists, a variable @R::keywords will appear. If no namespace is given, this method will assume 'Q'. WARNING: don't import anything into 'main'; this is a major security risk!!!!

In older versions, this method was called import(). While the old name is maintained for compatability, use import_names() for consistency with the CGI:: modules.

DELETING A PARAMETER COMPLETELY:

    $query->delete('foo');

This completely clears a parameter. It sometimes useful for resetting parameters that you don't want passed down between script invocations.

SAVING THE STATE OF THE FORM TO A FILE:

    $query->save(FILEHANDLE)

This will write the current state of the form to the provided filehandle. You can read it back in by providing a filehandle to the new() method. Note that the filehandle can be a file, a pipe, or whatever!

CREATING A SELF-REFERENCING URL THAT PRESERVES STATE INFORMATION:

    $myself = $query->self_url
    print "<A HREF=$myself>I'm talking to myself.</A>

self_url() will return a URL, that, when selected, will reinvoke this script with all its state information intact. This is most useful when you want to jump around within the document using internal anchors but you don't want to disrupt the current contents of the form(s). Something like this will do the trick.

     $myself = $query->self_url
     print "<A HREF=$myself#table1>See table 1</A>
     print "<A HREF=$myself#table2>See table 2</A>
     print "<A HREF=$myself#yourself>See for yourself</A>

CALLING CGI FUNCTIONS THAT TAKE MULTIPLE ARGUMENTS

In versions of CGI.pm prior to 2.0, it could get difficult to remember the proper order of arguments in CGI function calls that accepted five or six different arguments. As of 2.0, there's a better way to pass arguments to the various CGI functions. In this style, you pass a series of name=>argument pairs, like this:

   $field = $query->radio_group(-name=>'OS',
                                -values=>[Unix,Windows,Macintosh],
                                -default=>'Unix');

The advantages of this style are that you don't have to remember the exact order of the arguments, and if you leave out a parameter, in most cases it will default to some reasonable value. If you provide a parameter that the method doesn't recognize, it will usually do something useful with it, such as incorporating it into the HTML form tag. For example if Netscape decides next week to add a new JUSTIFICATION parameter to the text field tags, you can start using the feature without waiting for a new version of CGI.pm:

   $field = $query->textfield(-name=>'State',
                              -default=>'gaseous',
                              -justification=>'RIGHT');

This will result in an HTML tag that looks like this:

        <INPUT TYPE="textfield" NAME="State" VALUE="gaseous"
               JUSTIFICATION="RIGHT">

Parameter names are case insensitive: you can use -name, or -Name or -NAME. You don't have to use the hyphen if you don't want to. After creating a CGI object, call the use_named_parameters() method with a nonzero value. This will tell CGI.pm that you intend to use named parameters exclusively:

   $query = new CGI;
   $query->use_named_parameters(1);
   $field = $query->radio_group('name'=>'OS',
                                'values'=>['Unix','Windows','Macintosh'],
                                'default'=>'Unix');

Actually, CGI.pm only looks for a hyphen in the first parameter. So you can leave it off subsequent parameters if you like. Something to be wary of is the potential that a string constant like "values" will collide with a keyword (and in fact it does!) While Perl usually figures out when you're referring to a function and when you're referring to a string, you probably should put quotation marks around all string constants just to play it safe.

CREATING THE HTTP HEADER:

        print $query->header;

             -or-

        print $query->header('image/gif');

             -or-

        print $query->header('text/html','204 No response');

             -or-

        print $query->header(-type=>'image/gif',
                             -status=>'402 Payment required',
                             -Cost=>'$2.00');

header() returns the Content-type: header. You can provide your own MIME type if you choose, otherwise it defaults to text/html. An optional second paramer specifies the status code and a human-readable message. For example, you can specify 204, "No response" to create a script that tells the browser to do nothing at all. If you want to add additional fields to the header, just tack them on to the end:

    print $query->header('text/html','200 OK','Content-Length: 3002');

The last example shows the named argument style for passing arguments to the CGI methods using named parameters. Recognized parameters are -type and -status. Any other parameters will be stripped of their initial hyphens and turned into header fields.

As of version 1.56, all HTTP headers produced by CGI.pm contain the Pragma: no-cache instruction. However, as of version 1.57, this is turned OFF by default because it causes Netscape 2.0 beta to produce an annoying warning message every time the "back" button is hit. Turn it on again with the method cache().

GENERATING A REDIRECTION INSTRUCTION

   print $query->redirect('http://somewhere.else/in/movie/land');

redirects the browser elsewhere. If you use redirection like this, you should not print out a header as well. As of version 2.0, we produce both the unofficial Location: header and the official URI: header. This should satisfy most servers and browsers.

One hint I can offer is that relative links may not work correctly when when you generate a redirection to another document on your site. This is due to a well-intentioned optimization that some servers use. The solution to this is to use the full URL (including the http: part) of the document you are redirecting to.

CREATING THE HTML HEADER:

   print $query->start_html(-title=>'Secrets of the Pyramids',
                            -author=>'fred@capricorn.org',
                            -base=>'true',
                            -BGCOLOR=>"#00A0A0"');

   -or-

   print $query->start_html('Secrets of the Pyramids',
                            'fred@capricorn.org','true',
                            'BGCOLOR="#00A0A0"');

This will return a canned HTML header and the opening <BODY> tag. All parameters are optional. In the named parameter form, recognized parameters are -title, -author and -base (see below for the explanation). Any additional parameters you provide, such as the Netscape unofficial BGCOLOR attribute, are added to the <BODY> tag.

Positional parameters are as follows:

Parameters:
1.

The title

2.

The author's e-mail address (will create a <LINK REV="MADE"> tag if present

3.

A 'true' flag if you want to include a <BASE> tag in the header. This helps resolve relative addresses to absolute ones when the document is moved, but makes the document hierarchy non-portable. Use with care!

4, 5, 6...

Any other parameters you want to include in the <BODY> tag. This is a good place to put Netscape extensions, such as colors and wallpaper patterns.

ENDING THE HTML DOCUMENT:

        print $query->end_html

This ends an HTML document by printing the </BODY></HTML> tags.

CREATING FORMS:

General note The various form-creating methods all return strings to the caller, containing the tag or tags that will create the requested form element. You are responsible for actually printing out these strings. It's set up this way so that you can place formatting tags around the form elements.

Another note The default values that you specify for the forms are only used the first time the script is invoked. If there are already values present in the query string, they are used, even if blank. If you want to change the value of a field from its previous value, call the param() method to set it.

Yet another note By default, the text and labels of form elements are escaped according to HTML rules. This means that you can safely use "<CLICK ME>" as the label for a button. However, it also interferes with your ability to incorporate special HTML character sequences, such as &Aacute;, into your fields. If you wish to turn off automatic escaping, call the autoEscape() method with a false value immediately after creating the CGI object:

   $query = new CGI;
   $query->autoEscape(undef);
                             

CREATING AN ISINDEX TAG

   print $query->isindex(-action=>$action);

         -or-

   print $query->isindex($action);

Prints out an <ISINDEX> tag. Not very exciting. The parameter -action specifies the URL of the script to process the query. The default is to process the query with the current script.

STARTING AND ENDING A FORM

    print $query->startform(-method=>$method,
                            -action=>$action,
                            -encoding=>$encoding);
      <... various form stuff ...>
    print $query->endform;

        -or-

    print $query->startform($method,$action,$encoding);
      <... various form stuff ...>
    print $query->endform;

startform() will return a <FORM> tag with the optional method, action and form encoding that you specify. The defaults are:

    method: POST
    action: this script
    encoding: application/x-www-form-urlencoded

The encoding method tells the browser how to package the various fields of the form before sending the form to the server. Two values are possible:

application/x-www-form-urlencoded

This is the older type of encoding used by all browsers prior to Netscape 2.0. It is compatible with many CGI scripts and is suitable for short fields containing text data. For your convenience, CGI.pm stores the name of this encoding type in $CGI::URL_ENCODED.

multipart/form-data

This is the newer type of encoding introduced by Netscape 2.0. It is suitable for forms that contain very large fields or that are intended for transferring binary data. Most importantly, it enables the "file upload" feature of Netscape 2.0 forms. For your convenience, CGI.pm stores the name of this encoding type in $CGI::MULTIPART

Forms that use this type of encoding are not easily interpreted by CGI scripts unless they use CGI.pm or another library designed to handle them.

For compatability, the startform() method uses the older form of encoding by default. If you want to use the newer form of encoding by default, you can call start_multipart_form() instead of startform().

endform() returns a </FORM> tag.

CREATING A TEXT FIELD

    print $query->textfield(-name=>'field_name',
                            -default=>'starting value',
                            -size=>50,
                            -maxlength=>80);
        -or-

    print $query->textfield('field_name','starting value',50,80);

textfield() will return a text input field.

Parameters
1.

The first parameter is the required name for the field (-name).

2.

The optional second parameter is the default starting value for the field contents (-default).

3.

The optional third parameter is the size of the field in characters (-size).

4.

The optional fourth parameter is the maximum number of characters the field will accept (-maxlength).

As with all these methods, the field will be initialized with its previous contents from earlier invocations of the script. When the form is processed, the value of the text field can be retrieved with:

       $value = $query->param('foo');

If you want to reset it from its initial value after the script has been called once, you can do so like this:

       $query->param('foo',"I'm taking over this value!");

CREATING A BIG TEXT FIELD

   print $query->textarea(-name=>'foo',
                          -default=>'starting value',
                          -rows=>10,
                          -columns=>50);

        -or

   print $query->textarea('foo','starting value',10,50);

textarea() is just like textfield, but it allows you to specify rows and columns for a multiline text entry box. You can provide a starting value for the field, which can be long and contain multiple lines.

CREATING A PASSWORD FIELD

   print $query->password_field(-name=>'secret',
                                -value=>'starting value',
                                -size=>50,
                                -maxlength=>80);
        -or-

   print $query->password_field('secret','starting value',50,80);

password_field() is identical to textfield(), except that its contents will be starred out on the web page.

CREATING A FILE UPLOAD FIELD

    print $query->filefield(-name=>'uploaded_file',
                            -default=>'starting value',
                            -size=>50,
                            -maxlength=>80);
        -or-

    print $query->filefield('uploaded_file','starting value',50,80);

filefield() will return a file upload field for Netscape 2.0 browsers. In order to take full advantage of this you must use the new multipart encoding scheme for the form. You can do this either by calling startform() with an encoding type of $CGI::MULTIPART, or by calling the new method start_multipart_form() instead of vanilla startform().

Parameters
1.

The first parameter is the required name for the field (-name).

2.

The optional second parameter is the starting value for the field contents to be used as the default file name (-default).

The beta2 version of Netscape 2.0 currently doesn't pay any attention to this field, and so the starting value will always be blank. Worse, the field loses its "sticky" behavior and forgets its previous contents. The starting value field is called for in the HTML specification, however, and possibly later versions of Netscape will honor it.

3.

The optional third parameter is the size of the field in characters (-size).

4.

The optional fourth parameter is the maximum number of characters the field will accept (-maxlength).

When the form is processed, you can retrieve the entered filename by calling param().

       $filename = $query->param('uploaded_file');

In Netscape Beta 1, the filename that gets returned is the full local filename on the remote user's machine. If the remote user is on a Unix machine, the filename will follow Unix conventions:

        /path/to/the/file

On an MS-DOS/Windows machine, the filename will follow DOS conventions:

        C:\PATH\TO\THE\FILE.MSW

On a Macintosh machine, the filename will follow Mac conventions:

        HD 40:Desktop Folder:Sort Through:Reminders

In Netscape Beta 2, only the last part of the file path (the filename itself) is returned. I don't know what the release behavior will be.

The filename returned is also a file handle. You can read the contents of the file using standard Perl file reading calls:

        # Read a text file and print it out
        while (<$filename>) {
           print;
        }

        # Copy a binary file to somewhere safe
        open (OUTFILE,">>/usr/local/web/users/feedback");
        while ($bytesread=read($filename,$buffer,1024)) {
           print OUTFILE $buffer;
        }

CREATING A POPUP MENU

   print $query->popup_menu('menu_name',
                            ['eenie','meenie','minie'],
                            'meenie');

      -or-

   %labels = ('eenie'=>'your first choice',
              'meenie'=>'your second choice',
              'minie'=>'your third choice');
   print $query->popup_menu('menu_name',
                            ['eenie','meenie','minie'],
                            'meenie',\%labels);

        -or (named parameter style)-

   print $query->popup_menu(-name=>'menu_name',
                            -values=>['eenie','meenie','minie'],
                            -default=>'meenie',
                            -labels=>\%labels);

popup_menu() creates a menu.

  1. The required first argument is the menu's name (-name).

  2. The required second argument (-values) is an array reference containing the list of menu items in the menu. You can pass the method an anonymous array, as shown in the example, or a reference to a named array, such as "\@foo".

  3. The optional third parameter (-default) is the name of the default menu choice. If not specified, the first item will be the default. The values of the previous choice will be maintained across queries.

  4. The optional fourth parameter (-labels) is provided for people who want to use different values for the user-visible label inside the popup menu nd the value returned to your script. It's a pointer to an associative array relating menu values to user-visible labels. If you leave this parameter blank, the menu values will be displayed by default. (You can also leave a label undefined if you want to).

When the form is processed, the selected value of the popup menu can be retrieved using:

      $popup_menu_value = $query->param('menu_name');

CREATING A SCROLLING LIST

   print $query->scrolling_list('list_name',
                                ['eenie','meenie','minie','moe'],
                                ['eenie','moe'],5,'true');
      -or-

   print $query->scrolling_list('list_name',
                                ['eenie','meenie','minie','moe'],
                                ['eenie','moe'],5,'true',
                                \%labels);

        -or-

   print $query->scrolling_list(-name=>'list_name',
                                -values=>['eenie','meenie','minie','moe'],
                                -default=>['eenie','moe'],
                                -size=>5,
                                -multiple=>'true',
                                -labels=>\%labels);

scrolling_list() creates a scrolling list.

Parameters:
1.

The first and second arguments are the list name (-name) and values (-values). As in the popup menu, the second argument should be an array reference.

2.

The optional third argument (-default) can be either a reference to a list containing the values to be selected by default, or can be a single value to select. If this argument is missing or undefined, then nothing is selected when the list first appears. In the named parameter version, you can use the synonym "-defaults" for this parameter.

3.

The optional fourth argument is the size of the list (-size).

4.

The optional fifth argument can be set to true to allow multiple simultaneous selections (-multiple). Otherwise only one selection will be allowed at a time.

5.

The optional sixth argument is a pointer to an associative array containing long user-visible labels for the list items (-labels). If not provided, the values will be displayed.

When this form is procesed, all selected list items will be returned as a list under the parameter name 'list_name'. The values of the selected items can be retrieved with:

      @selected = $query->param('list_name');
   print $query->checkbox_group(-name=>'group_name',
                                -values=>['eenie','meenie','minie','moe'],
                                -default=>['eenie','moe'],
                                -linebreak=>'true',
                                -labels=>\%labels);

   print $query->checkbox_group('group_name',
                                ['eenie','meenie','minie','moe'],
                                ['eenie','moe'],'true',\%labels);

   HTML3-COMPATIBLE BROWSERS ONLY:

   print $query->checkbox_group(-name=>'group_name',
                                -values=>['eenie','meenie','minie','moe'],
                                -rows=2,-columns=>2);
    

checkbox_group() creates a list of checkboxes that are related by the same name.

Parameters:
1.

The first and second arguments are the checkbox name and values, respectively (-name and -values). As in the popup menu, the second argument should be an array reference. These values are used for the user-readable labels printed next to the checkboxes as well as for the values passed to your script in the query string.

2.

The optional third argument (-default) can be either a reference to a list containing the values to be checked by default, or can be a single value to checked. If this argument is missing or undefined, then nothing is selected when the list first appears.

3.

The optional fourth argument (-linebreak) can be set to true to place line breaks between the checkboxes so that they appear as a vertical list. Otherwise, they will be strung together on a horizontal line.

4.

The optional fifth argument is a pointer to an associative array relating the checkbox values to the user-visible labels that will will be printed next to them (-labels). If not provided, the values will be used as the default.

5.

HTML3-compatible browsers (such as Netscape) can take advantage of the optional parameters -rows, and -columns. These parameters cause checkbox_group() to return an HTML3 compatible table containing the checkbox group formatted with the specified number of rows and columns. You can provide just the -columns parameter if you wish; checkbox_group will calculate the correct number of rows for you.

To include row and column headings in the returned table, you can use the -rowheader and -colheader parameters. Both of these accept a pointer to an array of headings to use. The headings are just decorative. They don't reorganize the interpetation of the checkboxes -- they're still a single named unit.

When the form is processed, all checked boxes will be returned as a list under the parameter name 'group_name'. The values of the "on" checkboxes can be retrieved with:

      @turned_on = $query->param('group_name');

CREATING A STANDALONE CHECKBOX

    print $query->checkbox(-name=>'checkbox_name',
                           -checked=>'checked',
                           -value=>'ON',
                           -label=>'CLICK ME');

        -or-

    print $query->checkbox('checkbox_name','checked','ON','CLICK ME');

checkbox() is used to create an isolated checkbox that isn't logically related to any others.

Parameters:
1.

The first parameter is the required name for the checkbox (-name). It will also be used for the user-readable label printed next to the checkbox.

2.

The optional second parameter (-checked) specifies that the checkbox is turned on by default. Synonyms are -selected and -on.

3.

The optional third parameter (-value) specifies the value of the checkbox when it is checked. If not provided, the word "on" is assumed.

4.

The optional fourth parameter (-label) is the user-readable label to be attached to the checkbox. If not provided, the checkbox name is used.

The value of the checkbox can be retrieved using:

    $turned_on = $query->param('checkbox_name');

CREATING A RADIO BUTTON GROUP

   print $query->radio_group(-name=>'group_name',
                             -values=>['eenie','meenie','minie'],
                             -default=>'meenie',
                             -linebreak=>'true',
                             -labels=>\%labels);

        -or-

   print $query->radio_group('group_name',['eenie','meenie','minie'],
                                          'meenie','true',\%labels);


   HTML3-COMPATIBLE BROWSERS ONLY:

   print $query->checkbox_group(-name=>'group_name',
                                -values=>['eenie','meenie','minie','moe'],
                                -rows=2,-columns=>2);

radio_group() creates a set of logically-related radio buttons (turning one member of the group on turns the others off)

Parameters:
1.

The first argument is the name of the group and is required (-name).

2.

The second argument (-values) is the list of values for the radio buttons. The values and the labels that appear on the page are identical. Pass an array reference in the second argument, either using an anonymous array, as shown, or by referencing a named array as in "\@foo".

3.

The optional third parameter (-default) is the name of the default button to turn on. If not specified, the first item will be the default. You can provide a nonexistent button name, such as "-" to start up with no buttons selected.

4.

The optional fourth parameter (-linebreak) can be set to 'true' to put line breaks between the buttons, creating a vertical list.

5.

The optional fifth parameter (-labels) is a pointer to an associative array relating the radio button values to user-visible labels to be used in the display. If not provided, the values themselves are displayed.

6.

HTML3-compatible browsers (such as Netscape) can take advantage of the optional parameters -rows, and -columns. These parameters cause radio_group() to return an HTML3 compatible table containing the radio group formatted with the specified number of rows and columns. You can provide just the -columns parameter if you wish; radio_group will calculate the correct number of rows for you.

To include row and column headings in the returned table, you can use the -rowheader and -colheader parameters. Both of these accept a pointer to an array of headings to use. The headings are just decorative. They don't reorganize the interpetation of the radio buttons -- they're still a single named unit.

When the form is processed, the selected radio button can be retrieved using:

      $which_radio_button = $query->param('group_name');

CREATING A SUBMIT BUTTON

   print $query->submit(-name=>'button_name',
                        -value=>'value');

        -or-

   print $query->submit('button_name','value');

submit() will create the query submission button. Every form should have one of these.

Parameters:
1.

The first argument (-name) is optional. You can give the button a name if you have several submission buttons in your form and you want to distinguish between them. The name will also be used as the user-visible label. Be aware that a few older browsers don't deal with this correctly and never send back a value from a button.

2.

The second argument (-value) is also optional. This gives the button a value that will be passed to your script in the query string.

You can figure out which button was pressed by using different values for each one:

     $which_one = $query->param('button_name');

CREATING A RESET BUTTON

   print $query->reset

reset() creates the "reset" button. Note that it restores the form to its value from the last time the script was called, NOT necessarily to the defaults.

CREATING A DEFAULT BUTTON

   print $query->defaults('button_label')

defaults() creates a button that, when invoked, will cause the form to be completely reset to its defaults, wiping out all the changes the user ever made.

CREATING A HIDDEN FIELD

        print $query->hidden(-name=>'hidden_name',
                             -default=>['value1','value2'...]);

                -or-

        print $query->hidden('hidden_name','value1','value2'...);

hidden() produces a text field that can't be seen by the user. It is useful for passing state variable information from one invocation of the script to the next.

Parameters:
1.

The first argument is required and specifies the name of this field (-name).

2.

The second argument is also required and specifies its value (-default). In the named parameter style of calling, you can provide a single value here or a reference to a whole list

Fetch the value of a hidden field this way:

     $hidden_value = $query->param('hidden_name');

Note, that just like all the other form elements, the value of a hidden field is "sticky". If you want to replace a hidden field with some other values after the script has been called once you'll have to do it manually:

     $query->param('hidden_name','new','values','here');

CREATING A CLICKABLE IMAGE BUTTON

     print $query->image_button(-name=>'button_name',
                                -src=>'/source/URL',
                                -align=>'MIDDLE');      

        -or-

     print $query->image_button('button_name','/source/URL','MIDDLE');

image_button() produces a clickable image. When it's clicked on the position of the click is returned to your script as "button_name.x" and "button_name.y", where "button_name" is the name you've assigned to it.

Parameters:
1.

The first argument (-name) is required and specifies the name of this field.

2.

The second argument (-src) is also required and specifies the URL

3. The third option (-align, optional) is an alignment type, and may be TOP, BOTTOM or MIDDLE

Fetch the value of the button this way: $x = $query->param('button_name.x'); $y = $query->param('button_name.y');

DEBUGGING:

If you are running the script from the command line or in the perl debugger, you can pass the script a list of keywords or parameter=value pairs on the command line or from standard input (you don't have to worry about tricking your script into reading from environment variables). You can pass keywords like this:

    your_script.pl keyword1 keyword2 keyword3

or this:

   your_script.pl keyword1+keyword2+keyword3

or this:

    your_script.pl name1=value1 name2=value2

or this:

    your_script.pl name1=value1&name2=value2

or even as newline-delimited parameters on standard input.

When debugging, you can use quotes and backslashes to escape characters in the familiar shell manner, letting you place spaces and other funny characters in your parameter=value pairs:

   your_script.pl name1='I am a long value' name2=two\ words

DUMPING OUT ALL THE NAME/VALUE PAIRS

The dump() method produces a string consisting of all the query's name/value pairs formatted nicely as a nested list. This is useful for debugging purposes:

    print $query->dump
    

Produces something that looks like:

    <UL>
    <LI>name1
        <UL>
        <LI>value1
        <LI>value2
        </UL>
    <LI>name2
        <UL>
        <LI>value1
        </UL>
    </UL>

You can pass a value of 'true' to dump() in order to get it to print the results out as plain text, suitable for incorporating into a <PRE> section.

As a shortcut, as of version 1.56 you can interpolate the entire CGI object into a string and it will be replaced with the the a nice HTML dump shown above:

    $query=new CGI;
    print "<H2>Current Values</H2> $query\n";

FETCHING ENVIRONMENT VARIABLES

Some of the more useful environment variables can be fetched through this interface. The methods are as follows:

accept()

Return a list of MIME types that the remote browser accepts. If you give this method a single argument corresponding to a MIME type, as in $query->accept('text/html'), it will return a floating point value corresponding to the browser's preference for this type from 0.0 (don't want) to 1.0. Glob types (e.g. text/*) in the browser's accept list are handled correctly.

user_agent()

Returns the HTTP_USER_AGENT variable. If you give this method a single argument, it will attempt to pattern match on it, allowing you to do something like $query->user_agent(netscape);

path_info()

Returns additional path information from the script URL. E.G. fetching /cgi-bin/your_script/additional/stuff will result in $query->path_info() returning "additional/stuff".

path_translated()

As per path_info() but returns the additional path information translated into a physical path, e.g. "/usr/local/etc/httpd/htdocs/additional/stuff".

remote_host()

Returns either the remote host name or IP address. if the former is unavailable.

script_name() Return the script name as a partial URL, for self-refering scripts.
referer()

Return the URL of the page the browser was viewing prior to fetching your script. Not available for all browsers.

AUTHOR INFORMATION

This code is copyright 1995 by Lincoln Stein and the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research. It may be used and modified freely. I request, but do not require, that this credit appear in the code.

Address bug reports and comments to: lstein@genome.wi.mit.edu

CREDITS

Thanks very much to:

Matt Heffron (heffron@falstaff.css.beckman.com)
James Taylor (james.taylor@srs.gov)
Scott Anguish <sanguish@digifix.com>
Mike Jewell (mlj3u@virginia.edu)
Timothy Shimmin (tes@kbs.citri.edu.au)
Joergen Haegg (jh@axis.se)
Laurent Delfosse (delfosse@csgrad1.cs.wvu.edu)
Richard Resnick (applepi1@aol.com)
Craig Bishop (csb@barwonwater.vic.gov.au)
Tony Curtis (tony@Relay1.Austria.EU.net)
Tim Bunce (Tim.Bunce@ig.co.uk)
Tom Christiansen (tchrist@convex.com)
Andreas Koenig (k@franz.ww.TU-Berlin.DE)
...and many many more...

for suggestions and bug fixes.

A COMPLETE EXAMPLE OF A SIMPLE FORM-BASED SCRIPT

        #!/usr/local/bin/perl
     
        use CGI;
 
        $query = new CGI;

        print $query->header;
        print $query->start_html("Example CGI.pm Form");
        print "<H1> Example CGI.pm Form</H1>\n";
        &print_prompt($query);
        &do_work($query);
        &print_tail;
        print $query->end_html;
 
        sub print_prompt {
           my($query) = @_;
 
           print $query->startform;
           print "<EM>What's your name?</EM><BR>";
           print $query->textfield('name');
           print $query->checkbox('Not my real name');
 
           print "<P><EM>Where can you find English Sparrows?</EM><BR>";
           print $query->checkbox_group(
                                 -name=>'Sparrow locations',
                                 -values=>[England,France,Spain,Asia,Hoboken],
                                 -linebreak=>'yes',
                                 -defaults=>[England,Asia]);
 
           print "<P><EM>How far can they fly?</EM><BR>",
                $query->radio_group(
                        -name=>'how far',
                        -values=>['10 ft','1 mile','10 miles','real far'],
                        -default=>'1 mile');
 
           print "<P><EM>What's your favorite color?</EM>  ";
           print $query->popup_menu(-name=>'Color',
                                    -values=>['black','brown','red','yellow'],
                                    -default=>'red');
 
           print $query->hidden('Reference','Monty Python and the Holy Grail');
 
           print "<P><EM>What have you got there?</EM><BR>";
           print $query->scrolling_list(
                         -name=>'possessions',
                         -values=>['A Coconut','A Grail','An Icon',
                                   'A Sword','A Ticket'],
                         -size=>5,
                         -multiple=>'true');
 
           print "<P><EM>Any parting comments?</EM><BR>";
           print $query->textarea(-name=>'Comments',
                                  -rows=>10,
                                  -columns=>50);
 
           print "<P>",$query->reset;
           print $query->submit('Action','Shout');
           print $query->submit('Action','Scream');
           print $query->endform;
           print "<HR>\n";
        }
 
        sub do_work {
           my($query) = @_;
           my(@values,$key);

           print "<H2>Here are the current settings in this form</H2>";

           foreach $key ($query->param) {
              print "<STRONG>$key</STRONG> -> ";
              @values = $query->param($key);
              print join(", ",@values),"<BR>\n";
          }
        }
 
        sub print_tail {
           print <<END;
        <HR>
        <ADDRESS>Lincoln D. Stein</ADDRESS><BR>
        <A HREF="/">Home Page</A>
        END
        }

BUGS

This module has grown large and monolithic. Furthermore it's doing many things, such as handling URLs, parsing CGI input, writing HTML, etc., that should be done in separate modules. It should be discarded in favor of the CGI::* modules, but somehow I continue to work on it.

Note that the code is truly contorted in order to avoid spurious warnings when programs are run with the -w switch.

SEE ALSO

URI::URL, CGI::Request, CGI::MiniSvr, CGI::Base, CGI::Form

39 POD Errors

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Expected text after =item, not a number

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'=item' outside of any '=over'

Around line 1155:

You forgot a '=back' before '=head1'