Re: CGI???

Chris Adie (
Fri, 17 Nov 1995 11:12:54 +0000

Mike Meyer <> wrote:
> Now, pull that thought I asked you to hold. Are there any existing CGI
> implementations that don't use the standard I/O streams? Are there any
> existing CGI applications that won't break on a server that chooses
> not to implement the two streams in that way? This also breaks
> existing applications.

Yes, there are certainly CGI implementations in use right now which don't use
stdio streams - for example, CGI scripts using Visual Basic (which has no
concept of stdin/stdout), or scripts implemented as DLLs. DLLs don't use
environment variables either. This is not perversity, it is just that those
mechanisims are not appropriate to these types of script.

I believe it is very important to keep the CGI standard as general as
possible. The standard should not include *any* reference to implementation
details of how the server identifies and communicates with the CGI program.
Separate platform-specific specs should do that. So, avoid
implementation-specific terms like "environment variables", and call them
(say) "CGI variables" instead.


Chris Adie Phone: +44 131 650 6773
Edinburgh University Computing Service Fax: +44 131 650 6552
James Clark Maxwell Building Email:
Kings Buildings
Edinburgh EH9 3JZ, United Kingdom