HTML vs CGI
To understand the web, you
need to know the difference between HTML or static pages and CGI
or web programing.
Standard pages are just static
pages that do nothing at all. It is as effective as printing a
paper page and posting it up for everyone to see, it has value,
but it always remains the same.
If you want a website to do
something significant, such as collect credit cards for sales or
allow people to shop and add items to a basket until they check
out and pay, ou will need CGI.
CGI or Common Gateway
Interface is the way the user is allowed to access programing run
by the server. Essentially, a user would be able to do anything
that the computer can do via a web interface.
This take the static page of
HTML to a new level. Allowing for full interaction of the user
and the server. Opening the door for programming like
bumblebeeworks that allows the user to build a website. Or sites
like myspace that allow users to build pages and search other
In most cases, HTML is built
using WYSIWYG editors and uploaded to the server. But HTML is not
much fun. So programimg is added.
Some programing is basic like
guestbooks that allow the visitors to post messages on a page.
Other programing may allow users to place classified ads and pay
for them. Other users may search the ads and often comment or
contact the advertiser.
CGI is the technology that
makes a website work. But all pages are served in HTML which is
the standard for the assembly of the actual page.
Forms are used to post to
programs that give responses. The response could be as simple as
a thank you page or complicated responses such as driving
directions between two locations.
The resulting page is static,
but the CGI takes the data processes it in the back end and feeds
back the final answer.
CGI is not a replacement for
HTML but rather a coexisting function, one cannot survive without
CGI can be accessed using many
languages such as ASP, JAVA, CFM, PERL, C, RUBY, PYTHON and
Programers can build just
posts can be automated making the site smoother and seemingly
more like ones own computer than static web pages.
The web has come a long way
since the early days and most of the reason is CGI. Without the
ability to offer programing on websites, we would still be
browing static pages and picture galleries.