a brief explanation of CGI

Rob McCool (robm@ncsa.uiuc.edu)
Mon, 13 Dec 1993 14:45:33 -0600

I'm currently in the middle of finals this week, so I don't have time to answer
all of the mail I'm getting about CGI. Hopefully, a quick summary will
suffice until later in the week.

CGI is the next generation of the script interface. It provides the exact
capabilities that the NCSA script interface (/htbin) provided, and a whole
lot more. In addition, it is not an NCSA-only feature as it was developed by
several server authors and script writers.

The basic differences between CGI and /htbin are cosmetic. Instead of
getting query arguments on the command line, they now come in environment

If you have used NCSA httpd 1.0a5, and have scripts which were written for
/htbin or /htbin-post, use OldScriptAlias to point to them instead of

Hopefully within a few days I will have time to write a short ``What the
hell is Rob babbling about'' page and a tutorial for writing CGI scripts (as
well as upgrading your old ones).