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Web Design Reference Guide

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Last updated Oct 17, 2003.

CGI's best programming buddy is the open source programming language of Perl, which works on many platforms though originally created for UNIX.

The following "Hello, World!" script uses Perl:

   print "Hello, World!", "\n";

Variables are easily passed between pages in Perl, and it's flexible. However, it takes time to get used to remembering to change the file permissions (CHMOD) when uploading Perl files. Perl files are uploaded in ASCII and use the .pl extension. Like CGI, Perl can slow down a Web server when executing scripts because a new process launches on each occurrence. Also, when running a Perl script, the Perl program has to be started by finding the path of the interpreter with something like #!/usr/local/bin/perl (depending on the Web server set up).

Unlike PHP, Perl and CGI weren't designed with the Web in mind. Nonetheless, Perl can connect to a database and handle all server side functions.