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Posted on 1998-06-13
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-03-05
(excuse the ignorance - I'm VERY new to this)
I'm using the following script and form to try to produce a select box of states for users to choose from and subsequently "go" to:  I'm running under windows NT (not unix)... and I'm having no luck running this program... thank you so much for any advice....

<FORM METHOD=POST ACTION="/cgi-bin-sh/statefinder.pl" SIZE=1>
            <P><SELECT NAME="url" SIZE="1">
                   <OPTION>Select A State</OPTION>
            <INPUT TYPE="SUBMIT" VALUE="Find!"></P>


 # Parse form data
read(STDIN, $buffer, $ENV{'CONTENT_LENGTH'});

@pairs = split(/&/, $buffer);
foreach $pair (@pairs) {
        ($name, $value) = split(/=/, $pair);
        $value =~ tr/+/ /;
        $value =~ s/%([a-fA-F0-9][a-fA-F0-9])/pack("C", hex($1))/eg;
        $FORM{$name} = $value;

$url = $FORM{'url'};

print ("Location: $url\n\n");


Question by:kerrie
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Author Comment

ID: 1207829
Adjusted points to 250

Expert Comment

ID: 1207830
I would first start by using a standard lib to read and parse the form data.  This is a seperate file called by your script to parse the form data.  copy and paste this into a file called cgi-lib.pl

# Perl Routines to Manipulate CGI input
# S.E.Brenner@bioc.cam.ac.uk
# $Id: cgi-lib.pl,v 2.12 1996/06/19 13:46:01 brenner Exp $
# Copyright (c) 1996 Steven E. Brenner  
# Unpublished work.
# Permission granted to use and modify this library so long as the
# copyright above is maintained, modifications are documented, and
# credit is given for any use of the library.
# Thanks are due to many people for reporting bugs and suggestions
# especially Meng Weng Wong, Maki Watanabe, Bo Frese Rasmussen,
# Andrew Dalke, Mark-Jason Dominus, Dave Dittrich, Jason Mathews

# For more information, see:
#     http://www.bio.cam.ac.uk/cgi-lib/

$cgi_lib'version = sprintf("%d.%02d", q$Revision: 2.12 $ =~ /(\d+)\.(\d+)/);

# Parameters affecting cgi-lib behavior
# User-configurable parameters affecting file upload.
$cgi_lib'maxdata    = 131072;    # maximum bytes to accept via POST - 2^17
$cgi_lib'writefiles =      0;    # directory to which to write files, or
                                 # 0 if files should not be written
$cgi_lib'filepre    = "cgi-lib"; # Prefix of file names, in directory above

# Do not change the following parameters unless you have special reasons
$cgi_lib'bufsize  =  8192;    # default buffer size when reading multipart
$cgi_lib'maxbound =   100;    # maximum boundary length to be encounterd
$cgi_lib'headerout =    0;    # indicates whether the header has been printed

# ReadParse
# Reads in GET or POST data, converts it to unescaped text, and puts
# key/value pairs in %in, using "\0" to separate multiple selections

# Returns >0 if there was input, 0 if there was no input
# undef indicates some failure.

# Now that cgi scripts can be put in the normal file space, it is useful
# to combine both the form and the script in one place.  If no parameters
# are given (i.e., ReadParse returns FALSE), then a form could be output.

# If a reference to a hash is given, then the data will be stored in that
# hash, but the data from $in and @in will become inaccessable.
# If a variable-glob (e.g., *cgi_input) is the first parameter to ReadParse,
# information is stored there, rather than in $in, @in, and %in.
# Second, third, and fourth parameters fill associative arrays analagous to
# %in with data relevant to file uploads.

# If no method is given, the script will process both command-line arguments
# of the form: name=value and any text that is in $ENV{'QUERY_STRING'}
# This is intended to aid debugging and may be changed in future releases

sub ReadParse {
  local (*in) = shift if @_;    # CGI input
  local (*incfn,                # Client's filename (may not be provided)
       *inct,                 # Client's content-type (may not be provided)
       *insfn) = @_;          # Server's filename (for spooled files)
  local ($len, $type, $meth, $errflag, $cmdflag, $perlwarn, $got);
  # Disable warnings as this code deliberately uses local and environment
  # variables which are preset to undef (i.e., not explicitly initialized)
  $perlwarn = $^W;
  $^W = 0;

  binmode(STDIN);   # we need these for DOS-based systems
  binmode(STDOUT);  # and they shouldn't hurt anything else
  # Get several useful env variables
  $type = $ENV{'CONTENT_TYPE'};
  $len  = $ENV{'CONTENT_LENGTH'};
  $meth = $ENV{'REQUEST_METHOD'};
  if ($len > $cgi_lib'maxdata) { #'
      &CgiDie("cgi-lib.pl: Request to receive too much data: $len bytes\n");
  if (!defined $meth || $meth eq '' || $meth eq 'GET' ||
      $type eq 'application/x-www-form-urlencoded') {
    local ($key, $val, $i);
    # Read in text
    if (!defined $meth || $meth eq '') {
      $in = $ENV{'QUERY_STRING'};
      $cmdflag = 1;  # also use command-line options
    } elsif($meth eq 'GET' || $meth eq 'HEAD') {
      $in = $ENV{'QUERY_STRING'};
    } elsif ($meth eq 'POST') {
        if (($got = read(STDIN, $in, $len) != $len))
        {$errflag="Short Read: wanted $len, got $got\n"};
    } else {
      &CgiDie("cgi-lib.pl: Unknown request method: $meth\n");

    @in = split(/[&;]/,$in);
    push(@in, @ARGV) if $cmdflag; # add command-line parameters

    foreach $i (0 .. $#in) {
      # Convert plus to space
      $in[$i] =~ s/\+/ /g;

      # Split into key and value.  
      ($key, $val) = split(/=/,$in[$i],2); # splits on the first =.

      # Convert %XX from hex numbers to alphanumeric
      $key =~ s/%([A-Fa-f0-9]{2})/pack("c",hex($1))/ge;
      $val =~ s/%([A-Fa-f0-9]{2})/pack("c",hex($1))/ge;

      # Associate key and value
      $in{$key} .= "\0" if (defined($in{$key})); # \0 is the multiple separator
      $in{$key} .= $val;

  } elsif ($ENV{'CONTENT_TYPE'} =~ m#^multipart/form-data#) {
    # for efficiency, compile multipart code only if needed
$errflag = !(eval <<'END_MULTIPART');

    local ($buf, $boundary, $head, @heads, $cd, $ct, $fname, $ctype, $blen);
    local ($bpos, $lpos, $left, $amt, $fn, $ser);
    local ($bufsize, $maxbound, $writefiles) =
      ($cgi_lib'bufsize, $cgi_lib'maxbound, $cgi_lib'writefiles);

    # The following lines exist solely to eliminate spurious warning messages
    $buf = '';

    ($boundary) = $type =~ /boundary="([^"]+)"/; #";   # find boundary
    ($boundary) = $type =~ /boundary=(\S+)/ unless $boundary;
    &CgiDie ("Boundary not provided: probably a bug in your server")
      unless $boundary;
    $boundary =  "--" . $boundary;
    $blen = length ($boundary);

    if ($ENV{'REQUEST_METHOD'} ne 'POST') {
      &CgiDie("Invalid request method for  multipart/form-data: $meth\n");

    if ($writefiles) {
      stat ($writefiles);
      $writefiles = "/tmp" unless  -d _ && -r _ && -w _;
      # ($me) = $0 =~ m#([^/]*)$#;
      $writefiles .= "/$cgi_lib'filepre";

    # read in the data and split into parts:
    # put headers in @in and data in %in
    # General algorithm:
    #   There are two dividers: the border and the '\r\n\r\n' between
    # header and body.  Iterate between searching for these
    #   Retain a buffer of size(bufsize+maxbound); the latter part is
    # to ensure that dividers don't get lost by wrapping between two bufs
    #   Look for a divider in the current batch.  If not found, then
    # save all of bufsize, move the maxbound extra buffer to the front of
    # the buffer, and read in a new bufsize bytes.  If a divider is found,
    # save everything up to the divider.  Then empty the buffer of everything
    # up to the end of the divider.  Refill buffer to bufsize+maxbound
    #   Note slightly odd organization.  Code before BODY: really goes with
    # code following HEAD:, but is put first to 'pre-fill' buffers.  BODY:
    # is placed before HEAD: because we first need to discard any 'preface,'
    # which would be analagous to a body without a preceeding head.

    $left = $len;
   PART: # find each part of the multi-part while reading data
    while (1) {
      die $@ if $errflag;

      $amt = ($left > $bufsize+$maxbound-length($buf)
            ?  $bufsize+$maxbound-length($buf): $left);
      $errflag = (($got = read(STDIN, $buf, $amt, length($buf))) != $amt);
      die "Short Read: wanted $amt, got $got\n" if $errflag;
      $left -= $amt;

      $in{$name} .= "\0" if defined $in{$name};
      $in{$name} .= $fn if $fn;

      $name=~/([-\w]+)/;  # This allows $insfn{$name} to be untainted
      if (defined $1) {
        $insfn{$1} .= "\0" if defined $insfn{$1};
        $insfn{$1} .= $fn if $fn;
      while (($bpos = index($buf, $boundary)) == -1) {
        die $@ if $errflag;
        if ($name) {  # if no $name, then it's the prologue -- discard
          if ($fn) { print FILE substr($buf, 0, $bufsize); }
          else     { $in{$name} .= substr($buf, 0, $bufsize); }
        $buf = substr($buf, $bufsize);
        $amt = ($left > $bufsize ? $bufsize : $left); #$maxbound==length($buf);
        $errflag = (($got = read(STDIN, $buf, $amt, $maxbound)) != $amt);  
      die "Short Read: wanted $amt, got $got\n" if $errflag;
        $left -= $amt;
      if (defined $name) {  # if no $name, then it's the prologue -- discard
        if ($fn) { print FILE substr($buf, 0, $bpos-2); }
        else     { $in {$name} .= substr($buf, 0, $bpos-2); } # kill last \r\n
      close (FILE);
      last PART if substr($buf, $bpos + $blen, 4) eq "--\r\n";
      substr($buf, 0, $bpos+$blen+2) = '';
      $amt = ($left > $bufsize+$maxbound-length($buf)
            ? $bufsize+$maxbound-length($buf) : $left);
      $errflag = (($got = read(STDIN, $buf, $amt, length($buf))) != $amt);
      die "Short Read: wanted $amt, got $got\n" if $errflag;
      $left -= $amt;

      undef $head;  undef $fn;
      while (($lpos = index($buf, "\r\n\r\n")) == -1) {
        die $@ if $errflag;
        $head .= substr($buf, 0, $bufsize);
        $buf = substr($buf, $bufsize);
        $amt = ($left > $bufsize ? $bufsize : $left); #$maxbound==length($buf);
        $errflag = (($got = read(STDIN, $buf, $amt, $maxbound)) != $amt);  
        die "Short Read: wanted $amt, got $got\n" if $errflag;
        $left -= $amt;
      $head .= substr($buf, 0, $lpos+2);
      push (@in, $head);
      @heads = split("\r\n", $head);
      ($cd) = grep (/^\s*Content-Disposition:/i, @heads);
      ($ct) = grep (/^\s*Content-Type:/i, @heads);

      ($name) = $cd =~ /\bname="([^"]+)"/i; #";
      ($name) = $cd =~ /\bname=([^\s:;]+)/i unless defined $name;  

      ($fname) = $cd =~ /\bfilename="([^"]*)"/i; #"; # filename can be null-str
      ($fname) = $cd =~ /\bfilename=([^\s:;]+)/i unless defined $fname;
      $incfn{$name} .= (defined $in{$name} ? "\0" : "") . $fname;

      ($ctype) = $ct =~ /^\s*Content-type:\s*"([^"]+)"/i;  #";
      ($ctype) = $ct =~ /^\s*Content-Type:\s*([^\s:;]+)/i unless defined $ctype;
      $inct{$name} .= (defined $in{$name} ? "\0" : "") . $ctype;

      if ($writefiles && defined $fname) {
      $fn = $writefiles . ".$$.$ser";
      open (FILE, ">$fn") || &CgiDie("Couldn't open $fn\n");
        binmode (FILE);  # write files accurately
      substr($buf, 0, $lpos+4) = '';
      undef $fname;
      undef $ctype;

    if ($errflag) {
      local ($errmsg, $value);
      $errmsg = $@ || $errflag;
      foreach $value (values %insfn) {
    } else {
      # everything's ok.
  } else {
    &CgiDie("cgi-lib.pl: Unknown Content-type: $ENV{'CONTENT_TYPE'}\n");

  # no-ops to avoid warnings
  $insfn = $insfn;
  $incfn = $incfn;
  $inct  = $inct;

  $^W = $perlwarn;

  return ($errflag ? undef :  scalar(@in));

# PrintHeader
# Returns the magic line which tells WWW that we're an HTML document

sub PrintHeader {
  return "Content-type: text/html\n\n";

# HtmlTop
# Returns the <head> of a document and the beginning of the body
# with the title and a body <h1> header as specified by the parameter

sub HtmlTop
  local ($title) = @_;

  return <<END_OF_TEXT;

# HtmlBot
# Returns the </body>, </html> codes for the bottom of every HTML page

sub HtmlBot
  return "</body>\n</html>\n";

# SplitParam
# Splits a multi-valued parameter into a list of the constituent parameters

sub SplitParam
  local ($param) = @_;
  local (@params) = split ("\0", $param);
  return (wantarray ? @params : $params[0]);

# MethGet
# Return true if this cgi call was using the GET request, false otherwise

sub MethGet {
  return (defined $ENV{'REQUEST_METHOD'} && $ENV{'REQUEST_METHOD'} eq "GET");

# MethPost
# Return true if this cgi call was using the POST request, false otherwise

sub MethPost {
  return (defined $ENV{'REQUEST_METHOD'} && $ENV{'REQUEST_METHOD'} eq "POST");

# MyBaseUrl
# Returns the base URL to the script (i.e., no extra path or query string)
sub MyBaseUrl {
  local ($ret, $perlwarn);
  $perlwarn = $^W; $^W = 0;
  $ret = 'http://' . $ENV{'SERVER_NAME'} .  
         ($ENV{'SERVER_PORT'} != 80 ? ":$ENV{'SERVER_PORT'}" : '') .
  $^W = $perlwarn;
  return $ret;

# MyFullUrl
# Returns the full URL to the script (i.e., with extra path or query string)
sub MyFullUrl {
  local ($ret, $perlwarn);
  $perlwarn = $^W; $^W = 0;
  $ret = 'http://' . $ENV{'SERVER_NAME'} .  
         ($ENV{'SERVER_PORT'} != 80 ? ":$ENV{'SERVER_PORT'}" : '') .
         $ENV{'SCRIPT_NAME'} . $ENV{'PATH_INFO'} .
         (length ($ENV{'QUERY_STRING'}) ? "?$ENV{'QUERY_STRING'}" : '');
  $^W = $perlwarn;
  return $ret;

# Returns the base URL to the script (i.e., no extra path or query string)
# This is obsolete and will be removed in later versions
sub MyURL  {
  return &MyBaseUrl;

# CgiError
# Prints out an error message which which containes appropriate headers,
# markup, etcetera.
# Parameters:
#  If no parameters, gives a generic error message
#  Otherwise, the first parameter will be the title and the rest will
#  be given as different paragraphs of the body

sub CgiError {
  local (@msg) = @_;
  local ($i,$name);

  if (!@msg) {
    $name = &MyFullUrl;
    @msg = ("Error: script $name encountered fatal error\n");

  if (!$cgi_lib'headerout) { #')
    print &PrintHeader;      
    print "<html>\n<head>\n<title>$msg[0]</title>\n</head>\n<body>\n";
  print "<h1>$msg[0]</h1>\n";
  foreach $i (1 .. $#msg) {
    print "<p>$msg[$i]</p>\n";


# CgiDie
# Identical to CgiError, but also quits with the passed error message.

sub CgiDie {
  local (@msg) = @_;
  &CgiError (@msg);
  die @msg;

# PrintVariables
# Nicely formats variables.  Three calling options:
# A non-null associative array - prints the items in that array
# A type-glob - prints the items in the associated assoc array
# nothing - defaults to use %in
# Typical use: &PrintVariables()

sub PrintVariables {
  local (*in) = @_ if @_ == 1;
  local (%in) = @_ if @_ > 1;
  local ($out, $key, $output);

  $output =  "\n<dl compact>\n";
  foreach $key (sort keys(%in)) {
    foreach (split("\0", $in{$key})) {
      ($out = $_) =~ s/\n/<br>\n/g;
      $output .=  "<dt><b>$key</b>\n <dd>:<i>$out</i>:<br>\n";
  $output .=  "</dl>\n";

  return $output;

# PrintEnv
# Nicely formats all environment variables and returns HTML string
sub PrintEnv {

# The following lines exist only to avoid warning messages
$cgi_lib'writefiles =  $cgi_lib'writefiles;
$cgi_lib'bufsize    =  $cgi_lib'bufsize ;
$cgi_lib'maxbound   =  $cgi_lib'maxbound;
$cgi_lib'version    =  $cgi_lib'version;
$cgi_lib'filepre    =  $cgi_lib'filepre;

1; #return true


Accepted Solution

tpryor earned 1000 total points
ID: 1207831
now do this in another file...

require "cgi-lib.pl"; ###same dir as this script


$url = $FORM{'url'};

print ("Location: $url\n\n");


as long as your server software is configured to execute perl scripts
that should do it.

you can test it by having it print out line.
if you dont get and error your server is configured properly and there is something wrong with the script.

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LVL 84

Expert Comment

ID: 1207832
What problem are you having with it?
(perl -wc on your code complains about a missing "}", but I presume that's a typo)

Expert Comment

ID: 1207833
What the existing script does is a subset of cgi-lib.pl, and it looks like it should work just fine with that HTML. cg-lib.pl is fine but overkill at this moment.

The actual problem kerrie is having (foudn by following the URLs give to end up at HTTP://PYXIS.LINCOLNINVESTMENT.COM/cgi-bin-sh/statefinder.pl) is the dreaded "Server Error". This makes me wonder whether ozo isn't right on the mark that a } is missing in the actual script, and that's the entire problem.

Try adding a } to the very end, you might just get lucky :-)

Expert Comment

ID: 1207834
yep it is missing a right bracket at the end. And what I submitted would solve the problem.

 That is a good reason to use library code.  It has been tried and tested and works.  No need to go through that code looking for errors. Also you dont want to include that hunk of code with every form handler you write. save it to your server once and youre all done.  Next time you need to handle form data you only need two lines of code in your script to read & parse the incomming form data, be it POST or GET.
How convienient.

Make life easy, use Library code.

Hapy coding!


Expert Comment

ID: 1207835

For 250 might as well give the long term solution, not just a band aid fix.


Author Comment

ID: 1207836
oh wow -- thank you sooo much - I'd give you all my points - but I may need you again - your well commented script has gone quite a long way to helping me understand what the heck i'm trying to do here, thank you thank you again... IT WORKS!  

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