Re: CGI, semicolons, and so on...

Ari Luotonen (
Wed, 12 Jan 94 16:12:51 +0100

Mark A. Krause wrote:
> On Dec 30, 9:09pm, Charles Henrich wrote:
> >
> > I still say we go with the execute bit, 1000 times more flexible and simple
> > than any other method on the planet.
> What if I want to run a server on a DOS PC or a Macintosh? I think it is
> important to make sure that GCI is not OS specific. The continued growth
> of the Web is going to depend upon how easy it is to get new servers up
> and running. Not everyone is going to have access to a UNIX system for
> this.

There is constant confusion about what the CGI specifies. Let's
make it clear:

CGI specifies the interface between HTTP server and
a script: the command line args, environment variables,
standard input and standard output.

CGI has NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with how a server decides if
a file is executable or not.

One server writer could use x-bits to resolve executability.
Another could use a fixed cgi-bin directory and a fixed prefix in
URL pathname. Another can have many of them, with generic mapping
scheme. Yet another can just list them in its config file.
It's all up to server implementation.

CGI guarantees that *scripts* written for one CGI server
indeed work on another CGI compliant server.

A script can be detected executable in numerous ways -- never mind
how it's done. In any case, once the server has somehow found out that
a file is an executable CGI script, it WILL call it in a manner described
in CGI/1.0 spec.

-- Cheers, Ari --