Format Not Terminating

I am desperately trying to get any CGI mail form to work.  I am using this
script from the book, CGI Programming with Perl:

#!/user/local/bin/perl

# Perl program to send mail to a user.

$mailprog = '/usr/lib/sendmail';

print "Content-type: text/html\n\n";

if ($ENV{'REQUEST_METHOD'} eq "get") { $buffer = $ENV{'QUERY_STRING'}; }
else { read(STDIN, $buffer, $ENV{'CONTENT_LENGTH'}); }

@nvpairs = split(/&/, $buffer);
foreach $pair (@nvpairs)
{
    ($name, $value) = split(/=/, $pair);

    $value =~ tr/+/ /;
    $value =~ s/%([a-fA-F0-9][a-fA-F0-9])/pack("C", hex($1))/eg;

    $FORM{$name} = $value;
}

$recipient = $FORM{'receiver'};

#
# format the mail file
format MAIL =
~~ ^<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
$value
.

# Open the mail file and write to it
open (MAIL, "|$mailprog $recipient") || die "$mailprog not available.\n";
print MAIL "From: $FORM{'sender'}\n";
print MAIL "Subject: Form test from $FORM{'sender'}\n\n";

print MAIL "Dear $FORM{receiver},\n\n";
print MAIL "\n";
print MAIL "The user chose:\n\n";
foreach $pair (@nvpairs)
   {
    ($name, $value) = split(/=/, $pair);
    $value =~ tr/+/ /;
    $value =~ s/%([a-fA-F0-9][a-fA-F0-9])/pack("C", hex($1))/eg;

    print MAIL "$name = $value\n";
   }
print MAIL "\n";
close (MAIL);

print "<HTML>\n";
print "<HEAD>\n";
print "<TITLE>Mail Sent</TITLE>\n";
print "</HEAD>\n";
print "<BODY>\n";
print "<P>Mail has been sent from $FORM{'sender'} to $FORM{'receiver'}.\n";
print "</BODY>\n";
print "</HTML>\n";

The error message I get when executing it is:

"Format not terminated in file at line 58 (the last line), next char ^ ?"

I hope somebody out there can help me, for I have stacks of books that
don't answer this.

Thanks for your time,

Alyssa
cosmicAsked:
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evilgregCommented:
Here's the problem:

# format the mail file format MAIL =
~~
^<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
$value
.


Perl is complaining because it did not find the period above. Make sure that the period is flush all the way to the left (i.e. it is the first character on the line). To make it clean, erase that line and retype it, putting a period, then hitting return to get the next line. The single period tells the format where to end - if perl does not detect it, it thinks that all the code after it is part of the format, and generates the error you received, which is perl's way of saying -"Hey! I got to the end of the code, but you never ended your format!!" :)

 
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