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CGI Programming 201
Developing Web Message Boards and Web Logs

by Jacqueline Hamilton

This sequel to CGI Programming 101 shows you how to write advanced multi-script CGI projects by creating your own Web message board. This book covers:

  • Site Design: Who is your site for? What tasks will visitors perform?
  • MySQL Database Design
  • Developing a central module for your project
  • How to choose, download and install Perl modules from CPAN
  • How to filter out HTML tags from messages
  • How to limit the number of messages displayed per page
  • How to create a password-protected administration area for your message board, with scripts to let you manage the board
  • How to expire old messages automatically
  • How to convert your message board scripts into a Web Log ("blog") for online journals or news stories

This book assumes you have some CGI programming experience. If you're just starting out, you should pick up a copy of CGI Programming 101 and work through that first.

Table of Contents / Source Code

All of the code from the book can be downloaded here. If you prefer you can also download the complete forums code (8K tarred/gzipped archive). Read the README file for installation instructions.

1. Site Design and Usability
2. Database Design
3. Message Board Module
MyBoard.txt - Message board module
4. Viewing All Forums
ch4index.txt - All Forums
index.txt - All Forums with Message Counts
5. Viewing All Messages in a Forum
ch5forum.txt - View All Messages
ch5forum2.txt - View All Messages with Navigation
6. Posting a New Message
newmsg.txt - Post New Message Form
ch6postmsg.txt - Post New Message
ch6postmsg2.txt - Post New Message, with data checking/tag filtering
7. Reading Individual Messages
message.txt - Read Message
8. Replying to Messages
postmsg.txt - Post Message
9. Tidying Up forum.cgi
ch9forum.txt - forum.cgi - show followup counts
forum.txt - forum.cgi - limit # of topics per page
10. Searching the Forums
search.txt - Search Form
search2.txt - Search CGI
11. Setting Up an Admin Area
adminindex.txt - Admin Index
12. Creating, Editing, and Deleting Forums
admincreate.txt - Create Forums
adminindex2.txt - Admin Index
adminedit.txt - Edit Forums
admindelete.txt - Delete Forums
admindelete2.txt - Delete Forums CGI
13. Deleting and Expiring Messages
adminindex3.txt - Admin Index
admincancel.txt - Cancel Message
admincancel2.txt - Cancel Message CGI
adminexpire.txt - Expire Old Messages
14. Board Administration and Security
Conclusion
Appendix A: Online Resources
Appendix B: Converting Your Message Board into a Blog