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Writing to Files

For the next section we will create a page which allows the visitor to enter information into a guestbook.  Guestbook programs are often preferable to e-mail because the information is stored in a database, which means it can be sorted, filtered, manipulated, and exported.

If you do not want to write all the code for adding, deleting, and modifying data, I have created a database program which you can use instead. Check out Webteacher's Webdata - the EASIEST database for the web.

In order to create this guestbook, we are going to create 3 files in the perltour folder.

  1. guestbook.htm  - the form which the user will fill out on his/her browser
  2. guestbook.cgi   -  the program to get the values from the web page and process them

  3. If you use a cgi-bin, the guestbook.cgi program will eventually go there.
  4. guestbook.log  - a delimeted text file to hold all of the stored data.

The process is simple. guestbook.cgi is a program which will get the name, address, city, state, zip, phone number, and comments from the web page, and append them as a new line in the guestbook.log file.

To begin with, let's create the HTML page for your visitors to sign in.  This form contains 10 elements, plus a submit button.
Copy this page to your word processor, and name it guestbook.htm

Remember, if your server uses a cgi-bin, you need to add /cgi-bin/ before guestbook.cgi in the <FORM> tag.


When you have created the file, upload it to the perltour folder.

<TITLE> My Guestbook Page </TITLE>
</HEAD><BODY bgColor="beige">

<H1 ALIGN='CENTER'> Please sign our guestbook </H1>
<TABLE BORDER=0 width=100%>
<FORM ACTION="guestbook.cgi" METHOD="post">

<TR><TD> First Name  <TD> <INPUT TYPE=TEXT NAME="first" SIZE=25>
<TR><TD> Last Name  <TD> <INPUT TYPE=TEXT NAME="last" SIZE=25>
<TR><TD> Address  <TD> <INPUT TYPE=TEXT NAME="address" SIZE=40>
<TR><TD>Postal Code <TD><INPUT TYPE=TEXT NAME="postal" SIZE=9>
<TR><TD> Telephone  <TD> <INPUT TYPE=TEXT NAME="phone" SIZE=25>
<TR><TD> e-mail  <TD> <INPUT TYPE=TEXT NAME="email" SIZE=25>
<TR><TD> Add me to<BR>your mailing list <TD><INPUT NAME="maillist" TYPE=CHECKBOX CHECKED>
<TR><TD> Comments  <TD>
<TR><TD><TD> <INPUT TYPE="SUBMIT" VALUE="Send my comments">


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