Re: CGI/1.0 --- what's wrong with the status quo?

Rob McCool (
Thu, 30 Dec 1993 12:24:12 -0600

* Re: CGI/1.0 --- what's wrong with the status quo? by John Franks (
* written on Dec 28, 2:46pm.
* Well, you ask what is wrong with the status quo and then tell us about
* the modifications you have made to your server in order to get around
* one of the problems which wouldn't exist if either of the suggestions
* made by Charles Henrich and myself were adopted. You are absolutely
* right that there is no reason that the script and coversheet should
* have to be in different directories.

The suggestions made by Charles have nothing to do with the particular
problem he's bringing up, what he's done is made it so that the run-time
config files can define scripts in their directories. I don't see how your
suggestion of placing an = in the extra path information helps this unless
you are requiring every script to have extra path information. What Charles
suggested is to have a semicolon before the extra path information, again,
this does not help the particular situation he added code for unless you
require extra path information to scripts!

What am I missing about your proposal or Charles's that will alleviate this?

* There is also no reason that
* directories containing scripts have to be listed in configuration
* files and processed on server start up.

As a server administrator I would say that I should have at least some
control over what people are running on my server...

* Or that scripts need to be
* distinguished from ordinary files by a naming convention which the
* server presumably decodes. Adding unnecessary complexity to the
* server is undesirable. You have now added more code to your server
* and you still don't have the functionality (much less the simplicity)
* that a very minor change in the protocol would give.

Which change is this? I must not understand your proposal. I will add that
the Alias mechanism is already there, and that allowing ScriptAlias from
config files is a realatively minor change.

* I have to plead guilty to starting this discussion at much too late a
* date. The suggestions should have been made several months ago when
* the CGI standard was still in flux. One possibility is that this
* issue could be addressed in CGI/1.1. I would point out that nothing
* suggested requires any change in browsers and changes to scripts and
* servers should be very minimal. I think that relatively few scripts
* currently use PATH_INFO.

Well, for every tech support question I still get about the NCSA script
interface, I will testify that even the most minor change, especially the
incompatible ones, is potentially a very major change.

* I would be interested in hearing from server writers, like Rob McCool, Tony
* Sanders and the CERN server author. Also the views of script writers
* would be valuable. Are there examples of widely used scripts that would
* break?

imagemap would require additional changes.