Re: CGI spec revisited

Paul Phillips (
Sat, 29 Apr 1995 21:50:25 +0500

On Sat, 29 Apr 1995, Marc Hedlund wrote:

> :) Too late. NCSA can add all the variables they like, as far as I'm
> concerned, as long as they're passed to the script with the HTTP_ prefix.

They aren't. The HTTP_ prefix is for client supplied header lines such
as Referer and User-Agent. The new, undocumented variables are server
internals like DOCUMENT_ROOT.

> Is there any interest for a new look at the CGI spec? I don't just mean at
> NCSA....

Yes. For example, what purpose does PATH_TRANSLATED serve? It appears
to be a catentation of the document root and the PATH_INFO, which is
superfluous if both those are available. If this is correct, it should
be deprecated in a coming CGI version.

> * I like NCSA's DOCUMENT_ROOT idea (which Paul mentions). A number of
> people have bitched about not being able to reliably determine the document
> root or server root across a variety of servers without asking for help
> from the humans.

I'm all for it too, as long as it's consistently documented somewhere.

Would someone from NCSA please update us as to the state of the CGI spec?
Who is in charge of revisions? Has anything changed since Rob McCool left
NCSA? At the very least I would like to see the current ambiguities
resolved and the new variables documented.

Paul Phillips                                 EMAIL:  
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