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Old 08-09-2010, 11:28 AM
bholas bholas is offline
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Default Creating an active drop down list using CGI

So you have a JavaScript enabled drop-down list of options on your web page to make it easier to navigate your site. What about the visitors without JavaScript enabled browsers? Unless you have another way to get around your site, your visitors without JavaScript maybe at a lost.

Here's how to solve the above problem by using a server-side CGI script to handle the drop-down list, rather than using client-side JavaScript.

Wondering why anyone would even bother with a JavaScript solution if a CGI solution would accommodate other users? Well, unfortunately most free web space providers do not allow installing new CGI scripts in the free space they provide. The other reason is, even if you have CGI access, installing CGI scripts takes experience and patience if you have never installed a CGI script before.

First, let's look at the CGI script itself. We're using the Perl language to write the CGI script because it's the most widely supported server side scripting language for web servers. Don't forget to change the file extension of the following script from "*.txt" to "*.pl" or "*.cgi" depending on your web server requirements.

Because there is no standard set of instructions that would work on every web server when installing Perl CGI scripts, we're not going to spend time on that here. Your web space provider should be able to let you know if you have CGI access and point you to instructions specific to your web server.
#!/usr/bin/perl

sub xcgi_InitForm
{
my($h) = '[a-fA-F0-9]';
my($buff, @params, $param);
my($param_name, $param_value);
local(*xcgi_form) = @_ if @_;

read(STDIN, $buff, $ENV{'CONTENT_LENGTH'});

@params = split(/&/, $buff);

foreach $param (@params)
{
($param_name, $param_value) = split(/=/, $param);

$param_value =~ tr/+/ /;
$param_value =~ s/%($h$h)/pack("C",hex($1))/eg;

$xcgi_form{$param_name} = $param_value;
}
}

{
my(@form);

xcgi_InitForm(*form);

$url = $form{'url'};
print "Location: $urlnn";
}
Listing #1 : PERL code. Download redir.pl (0.44 KB).


Once you get the above CGI script installed on your server, let's say under "/cgi-bin/redir.pl" on your server, simply create an HTML form with a dorp-down list named "url" as follows:






Listing #2 : HTML code. Download dropdown.html (0.35 KB).

Your drop-down list choices should be listed in-between tags. The URL for the choice should be listed under the VALUE attribute and the display name of the choice should be in-between tags. For example, to add a choice named "Chami.com home page" with the web page address "http://www.chami.com/" add the following tags to the above form.

Listing #3 : HTML code. Download option.html (0.2 KB).

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