CGI? and other stuff with python

Gerhard Haering gerhard.haering at gmx.de
Thu Aug 8 08:45:04 CEST 2002


"Patio87" wrote:
>     I was wondering what kind of stuff Python can do for me? I have a good
>     grip on the basics of Python and want to do more. I saw something on CGI
>     but I have no idea what that is.

CGI stands for "Common Gateway Interface" and is a way to have dynamic content
created by a webserver. You can configure your webserver to treat files in a
particular directory as "CGI scripts", which will be invoked for certain
requests. A common configuration is that you have a cgi-bin directory somewhere
on your machine and have configured your webserver so that it searches for CGI
scripts in the cgi-bin directory for requests that start with "/cgi-bin/". An example:

You have set up a local webserver and enter the following URL into your browser:
    http://localhost/cgi-bin/test.py
The webserver (if configured to do so) should then search for a test.py file in
the cgi-bin directory and execute it.

A minimal CGI script in Python will look like:

# Print the HTTP header, here only one header that tells the web browser
# which type of document this is.
print "Content-type: text/html"

# Separate HTTP header and body
print

# Output a minimal HTML document
print """
    <html>
    <body>
    <p>hello!</p>
    </body>
    </html>"""

If you want to give your CGI scripts parameters, for example to handle what a
user entered into a form, you'll want the cgi module to get easy access to
these inputs.

> If you could tell me some stuff that Python can do, and what CGI is I will be
> very happy. I am not the smartest person on computer dialouge and am 15 so if
> you could keep the level of words down to a newbie of python i will
> understand

HTH,

Gerhard
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