Scripting Languages: Automating the Web
World Wide Web Journal: Volume 2, Issue 2
By Shishir Gundavaram, Ron Petrusha, Lincoln Stein, Clinton Wong, et al.
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: January 1997
Pages: 230

In spite of all the power built into popular web utilities, the informality, ease, and rapid development cycle of scripting languages make them well suited to the constant change common to most web sites. Scripting Languages: Automating the Web guides users and developers in choosing and deploying scripting solutions. End users benefit from client-side scripting to make pages livelier, to automate form-filling, and to accelerate web user interfaces like live select-box widgets. Even the most basic web server software has scripting gateways to create more active web content. Server-side includes and markup allow servers to customize pages on-the-fly. Common Gateway Interface (CGI) hooks allow developers to create entire pages and graphics under program control.

This issue of the World Wide Web Journal explores how users can add scriptable and extensible behavior to the Web in a variety of ways. For example, within the web client user interface, we offer articles on JavaScript (Nick Heinle), Python (Guido van Rossum), and VBScript (Paul Lomax). Next, within the web server programming interface, see Lincoln Stein's article on exploring CGI with Perl, Ron Petrusha's "Why WIN-CGI?", and Clint Wong's description of LWP -- the library modules for WWW access in Perl. Finally, as a back-end gateway to other services, are articles on World Wide Web gateways (Shishir Gundavaram) and web database connectivity with scripting (Peter Lazar).

In addition, this issue examines the web-wide impact of Perl as the scripting language of choice for webmasters everywhere, with an in-depth article featuring Perl developers Larry Wall and Tom Christiansen.

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