Section 0: Preamble

NOTE: the numbering in this document is automatically generated by my
posting software, and will change between postings if new questions are
added (as _may_ happen when I see - or someone contributes - a FAQ I've
previously overlooked :-)

0.1: Changes

Last Modified: May 29th 1998:
* Added advanced debugging tip from David Jackson
* Added words of wisdom on Language from J.M. Ivler
* Added summary table of webserver programming options (alternatives to CGI)
* Updated No-content answer
* Removed some dead URLs

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0.2: Notice and Disclaimer

Copyright 1996-8 Nick Kew.

You are free to copy or distribute this document in whole or in part
for any purpose and on any medium you choose, provided: 

      You DON'T do so for profit.
      You DO include this notice and disclaimer in full.

Disclaimer: This information is offered in good faith and in the hope
that it may be of use, but is not guaranteed to be correct, up to date
or suitable for any particular purpose.   The author accepts no liability
in respect of this information or its use.

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0.3: Where to get this document

The homes of this document on the Web are now
* the WebThing Virtual Office, at
* the Web Design Group, at

NOTE - If you want to mirror the FAQ on your WWW site on a
publicly-visible server, please make sure you keep it up-to-date.

Other known sources are:

(1) USENET: posted to newsgroups				(TEXT)

(2) RTFM and mirror sites					(TEXT)

(3) RTFM WWW mirror sites, including			(Partial HTML)
	Europe - 
	America -

(4) By EMAIL from my autoresponder 				(TEXT)
	Send blank email to
	(the HTML version has been discontinued:
	please use the Web.  Note too that I'm not
	always very good at keeping this version up to date)

(5) By EMAIL from the FAQserver at RTFM 			(TEXT)
	Send email to with
		send usenet/news.answers/www/cgi-faq
	in the body of your message

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0.4: How to contribute to this document?

The WebThing software permits collaborative authoring using your web
browser. When you are reading any entry in this InterFAQ, you can add a
new entry which will then appear as another "more on" subject.
(note: the version at this site is no longer listed in the previous question)

In order to maintain the quality of the FAQ, and avoid inappropriate
'commercial' entries, write permission is limited using an Access Control
List. If you have a contribution to make, send me an email including your
WebThing userid (i.e. what you entered in the registration form) and I'll
add you to the list.

InterFAQ readers - If your browser isn't showing a "new entry" button, then
either you aren't logged in or you're not on the access control list.

Note that this InterFAQ is limited to questions-and-answers appropriate to
periodic Usenet posting. Other types of contribution can be added
elsewhere in the WebCentre. For example

    * If you have a relevant website and want to link to it, enter it the
      appropriate collection (e.g. "scripts" or "misc").    You can then
      also include a description of your site, and have it indexed.
    * If you want to post a question or comment on something in this
      document, you can post it as a followup to the "flat" version of the
      FAQ (library document in the "FAQS" collection). 

If you don't want to use the InterFAQ you can always mail me
( )

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0.5: Can I email the author my questions?

Please don't.  Post them to an appropriate newsgroup, where they'll
be seen and possibly answered by a whole lot more people than just me.
And remember: bad (or incoherent) questions get bad answers, so think
carefully before posting.

If you have an actual programming job to do, I might be interested
However, I am currently not interested in jobs below $1000 under
any circumstances.

If you think something already in the FAQ needs clarifying, feel free
to mail me: don't expect a personal reply, but I *might* add
something to the answer in question, so check the next posting (or three).

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0.6: What's up with posting to comp.infosystems.www.authoring.cgi?

This is now a moderated newsgroup.   The moderator is a bot run by
Thomas Boutell ( ).   The charter for
moderation is as follows:

  This newsgroup is self-moderated.  Your first posting will not appear
  until you have read and responded to an automatic welcome mailing, at
  which point your posting will appear with no further delay.  Provision
  will also be made to automatically approve first postings that contain
  a header requesting this.  Subsequent postings are approved

If posting normally doesn't work - as could be the case if your
newsfeed has trouble with moderated groups - you can post articles
by emailing them to:
Provided the return address in your mail is correct, you will then
receive precise instructions for having your post(s) automatically approved.

Alternative means of posting are detailed in the WWW FAQ, posted
regularly by Thomas Boutell.

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0.7: Credits

This FAQ was written by Nick Kew, and has been considerably improved
with the help of comments and criticisms, newsgroup posts and
miscellaneous suggestions from correspondents including
Nathan Neulinger, Maurice L. Marvin, Matthew Healy, Alan J. Flavell,
Don Libes, Alain Deckers, David S. Jackson, J.M. Ivler, and no doubt
others I've forgotten to credit (please remind me if necessary).

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