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CGI(3perl)                       Perl Programmers Reference Guide                      CGI(3perl)

       CGI - Handle Common Gateway Interface requests and responses

           use CGI;

           my $q = CGI->new;

           # Process an HTTP request
            @values  = $q->param('form_field');

            $fh      = $q->upload('file_field');

            $riddle  = $query->cookie('riddle_name');
            %answers = $query->cookie('answers');

           # Prepare various HTTP responses
           print $q->header();
           print $q->header('application/json');

               $cookie1 = $q->cookie(-name=>'riddle_name', -value=>"The Sphynx's Question");
               $cookie2 = $q->cookie(-name=>'answers', -value=>\%answers);
           print $q->header(
               -type    => 'image/gif',
               -expires => '+3d',
               -cookie  => [$cookie1,$cookie2]

          print  $q->redirect('http://somewhere.else/in/movie/land');

       CGI.pm is a stable, complete and mature solution for processing and preparing HTTP
       requests and responses.  Major features including processing form submissions, file
       uploads, reading and writing cookies, query string generation and manipulation, and
       processing and preparing HTTP headers. Some HTML generation utilities are included as

       CGI.pm performs very well in a vanilla CGI.pm environment and also comes with built-in
       support for mod_perl and mod_perl2 as well as FastCGI.

       It has the benefit of having developed and refined over 10 years with input from dozens of
       contributors and being deployed on thousands of websites.  CGI.pm has been included in the
       Perl distribution since Perl 5.4, and has become a de-facto standard.

       There are two styles of programming with CGI.pm, an object-oriented style and a function-
       oriented style.  In the object-oriented style you create one or more CGI objects and then
       use object methods to create the various elements of the page.  Each CGI object starts out
       with the list of named parameters that were passed to your CGI script by the server.  You
       can modify the objects, save them to a file or database and recreate them.  Because each
       object corresponds to the "state" of the CGI script, and because each object's parameter
       list is independent of the others, this allows you to save the state of the script and
       restore it later.

       For example, using the object oriented style, here is how you create a simple "Hello
       World" HTML page:

          #!/usr/local/bin/perl -w
          use CGI;                             # load CGI routines
          $q = CGI->new;                        # create new CGI object
          print $q->header,                    # create the HTTP header
                $q->start_html('hello world'), # start the HTML
                $q->h1('hello world'),         # level 1 header
                $q->end_html;                  # end the HTML

       In the function-oriented style, there is one default CGI object that you rarely deal with
       directly.  Instead you just call functions to retrieve CGI parameters, create HTML tags,
       manage cookies, and so on.  This provides you with a cleaner programming interface, but
       limits you to using one CGI object at a time.  The following example prints the same page,
       but uses the function-oriented interface.  The main differences are that we now need to
       import a set of functions into our name space (usually the "standard" functions), and we
       don't need to create the CGI object.

          use CGI qw/:standard/;           # load standard CGI routines
          print header,                    # create the HTTP header
                start_html('hello world'), # start the HTML
                h1('hello world'),         # level 1 header
                end_html;                  # end the HTML

       The examples in this document mainly use the object-oriented style.  See HOW TO IMPORT
       FUNCTIONS for important information on function-oriented programming in CGI.pm

       Most CGI.pm routines accept several arguments, sometimes as many as 20 optional ones!  To
       simplify this interface, all routines use a named argument calling style that looks like

          print $q->header(-type=>'image/gif',-expires=>'+3d');

       Each argument name is preceded by a dash.  Neither case nor order matters in the argument
       list.  -type, -Type, and -TYPE are all acceptable.  In fact, only the first argument needs
       to begin with a dash.  If a dash is present in the first argument, CGI.pm assumes dashes
       for the subsequent ones.

       Several routines are commonly called with just one argument.  In the case of these
       routines you can provide the single argument without an argument name.  header() happens
       to be one of these routines.  In this case, the single argument is the document type.

          print $q->header('text/html');

       Other such routines are documented below.

       Sometimes named arguments expect a scalar, sometimes a reference to an array, and
       sometimes a reference to a hash.  Often, you can pass any type of argument and the routine
       will do whatever is most appropriate.  For example, the param() routine is used to set a
       CGI parameter to a single or a multi-valued value.  The two cases are shown below:


       A large number of routines in CGI.pm actually aren't specifically defined in the module,
       but are generated automatically as needed.  These are the "HTML shortcuts," routines that
       generate HTML tags for use in dynamically-generated pages.  HTML tags have both attributes
       (the attribute="value" pairs within the tag itself) and contents (the part between the
       opening and closing pairs.)  To distinguish between attributes and contents, CGI.pm uses
       the convention of passing HTML attributes as a hash reference as the first argument, and
       the contents, if any, as any subsequent arguments.  It works out like this:

          Code                           Generated HTML
          ----                           --------------
          h1()                           <h1>
          h1('some','contents');         <h1>some contents</h1>
          h1({-align=>left});            <h1 align="LEFT">
          h1({-align=>left},'contents'); <h1 align="LEFT">contents</h1>

       HTML tags are described in more detail later.

       Many newcomers to CGI.pm are puzzled by the difference between the calling conventions for
       the HTML shortcuts, which require curly braces around the HTML tag attributes, and the
       calling conventions for other routines, which manage to generate attributes without the
       curly brackets.  Don't be confused.  As a convenience the curly braces are optional in all
       but the HTML shortcuts.  If you like, you can use curly braces when calling any routine
       that takes named arguments.  For example:

          print $q->header( {-type=>'image/gif',-expires=>'+3d'} );

       If you use the -w switch, you will be warned that some CGI.pm argument names conflict with
       built-in Perl functions.  The most frequent of these is the -values argument, used to
       create multi-valued menus, radio button clusters and the like.  To get around this
       warning, you have several choices:

       1.  Use another name for the argument, if one is available.  For example, -value is an
           alias for -values.

       2.  Change the capitalization, e.g. -Values

       3.  Put quotes around the argument name, e.g. '-values'

       Many routines will do something useful with a named argument that it doesn't recognize.
       For example, you can produce non-standard HTTP header fields by providing them as named

         print $q->header(-type  =>  'text/html',
                          -cost  =>  'Three smackers',
                          -annoyance_level => 'high',
                          -complaints_to   => 'bit bucket');

       This will produce the following nonstandard HTTP header:

          HTTP/1.0 200 OK
          Cost: Three smackers
          Annoyance-level: high
          Complaints-to: bit bucket
          Content-type: text/html

       Notice the way that underscores are translated automatically into hyphens.  HTML-
       generating routines perform a different type of translation.

       This feature allows you to keep up with the rapidly changing HTTP and HTML "standards".

            $query = CGI->new;

       This will parse the input (from POST, GET and DELETE methods) and store it into a perl5
       object called $query.

       Any filehandles from file uploads will have their position reset to the beginning of the

            $query = CGI->new(INPUTFILE);

       If you provide a file handle to the new() method, it will read parameters from the file
       (or STDIN, or whatever).  The file can be in any of the forms describing below under
       debugging (i.e. a series of newline delimited TAG=VALUE pairs will work).  Conveniently,
       this type of file is created by the save() method (see below).  Multiple records can be
       saved and restored.

       Perl purists will be pleased to know that this syntax accepts references to file handles,
       or even references to filehandle globs, which is the "official" way to pass a filehandle:

           $query = CGI->new(\*STDIN);

       You can also initialize the CGI object with a FileHandle or IO::File object.

       If you are using the function-oriented interface and want to initialize CGI state from a
       file handle, the way to do this is with restore_parameters().  This will (re)initialize
       the default CGI object from the indicated file handle.

           open (IN,"test.in") || die;
           close IN;

       You can also initialize the query object from a hash reference:

           $query = CGI->new( {'dinosaur'=>'barney',
                              'song'=>'I love you',
                              'friends'=>[qw/Jessica George Nancy/]}

       or from a properly formatted, URL-escaped query string:

           $query = CGI->new('dinosaur=barney&color=purple');

       or from a previously existing CGI object (currently this clones the parameter list, but
       none of the other object-specific fields, such as autoescaping):

           $old_query = CGI->new;
           $new_query = CGI->new($old_query);

       To create an empty query, initialize it from an empty string or hash:

          $empty_query = CGI->new("");


          $empty_query = CGI->new({});

            @keywords = $query->keywords

       If the script was invoked as the result of an <ISINDEX> search, the parsed keywords can be
       obtained as an array using the keywords() method.

            @names = $query->param

       If the script was invoked with a parameter list (e.g.
       "name1=value1&name2=value2&name3=value3"), the param() method will return the parameter
       names as a list.  If the script was invoked as an <ISINDEX> script and contains a string
       without ampersands (e.g. "value1+value2+value3") , there will be a single parameter named
       "keywords" containing the "+"-delimited keywords.

       NOTE: As of version 1.5, the array of parameter names returned will be in the same order
       as they were submitted by the browser.  Usually this order is the same as the order in
       which the parameters are defined in the form (however, this isn't part of the spec, and so
       isn't guaranteed).

           @values = $query->param('foo');


           $value = $query->param('foo');

       Pass the param() method a single argument to fetch the value of the named parameter. If
       the parameter is multivalued (e.g. from multiple selections in a scrolling list), you can
       ask to receive an array.  Otherwise the method will return a single value.

       If a value is not given in the query string, as in the queries "name1=&name2=", it will be
       returned as an empty string.

       If the parameter does not exist at all, then param() will return undef in a scalar
       context, and the empty list in a list context.


       This sets the value for the named parameter 'foo' to an array of values.  This is one way
       to change the value of a field AFTER the script has been invoked once before.  (Another
       way is with the -override parameter accepted by all methods that generate form elements.)

       param() also recognizes a named parameter style of calling described in more detail later:



           $query->param(-name=>'foo',-value=>'the value');


       This adds a value or list of values to the named parameter.  The values are appended to
       the end of the parameter if it already exists.  Otherwise the parameter is created.  Note
       that this method only recognizes the named argument calling syntax.


       This creates a series of variables in the 'R' namespace.  For example, $R::foo, @R:foo.
       For keyword lists, a variable @R::keywords will appear.  If no namespace is given, this
       method will assume 'Q'.  WARNING:  don't import anything into 'main'; this is a major
       security risk!!!!

       NOTE 1: Variable names are transformed as necessary into legal Perl variable names.  All
       non-legal characters are transformed into underscores.  If you need to keep the original
       names, you should use the param() method instead to access CGI variables by name.

       NOTE 2: In older versions, this method was called import().  As of version 2.20, this name
       has been removed completely to avoid conflict with the built-in Perl module import


       This completely clears a list of parameters.  It sometimes useful for resetting parameters
       that you don't want passed down between script invocations.

       If you are using the function call interface, use "Delete()" instead to avoid conflicts
       with Perl's built-in delete operator.


       This clears the CGI object completely.  It might be useful to ensure that all the defaults
       are taken when you create a fill-out form.

       Use Delete_all() instead if you are using the function call interface.

       If POSTed data is not of type application/x-www-form-urlencoded or multipart/form-data,
       then the POSTed data will not be processed, but instead be returned as-is in a parameter
       named POSTDATA.  To retrieve it, use code like this:

          my $data = $query->param('POSTDATA');

       Likewise if PUTed data can be retrieved with code like this:

          my $data = $query->param('PUTDATA');

       (If you don't know what the preceding means, don't worry about it.  It only affects people
       trying to use CGI for XML processing and other specialized tasks.)

          $q->param_fetch('address')->[1] = '1313 Mockingbird Lane';
          unshift @{$q->param_fetch(-name=>'address')},'George Munster';

       If you need access to the parameter list in a way that isn't covered by the methods given
       in the previous sections, you can obtain a direct reference to it by calling the
       param_fetch() method with the name of the parameter.  This will return an array reference
       to the named parameter, which you then can manipulate in any way you like.

       You can also use a named argument style using the -name argument.

           $params = $q->Vars;
           print $params->{'address'};
           @foo = split("\0",$params->{'foo'});
           %params = $q->Vars;

           use CGI ':cgi-lib';
           $params = Vars;

       Many people want to fetch the entire parameter list as a hash in which the keys are the
       names of the CGI parameters, and the values are the parameters' values.  The Vars() method
       does this.  Called in a scalar context, it returns the parameter list as a tied hash
       reference.  Changing a key changes the value of the parameter in the underlying CGI
       parameter list.  Called in a list context, it returns the parameter list as an ordinary
       hash.  This allows you to read the contents of the parameter list, but not to change it.

       When using this, the thing you must watch out for are multivalued CGI parameters.  Because
       a hash cannot distinguish between scalar and list context, multivalued parameters will be
       returned as a packed string, separated by the "\0" (null) character.  You must split this
       packed string in order to get at the individual values.  This is the convention introduced
       long ago by Steve Brenner in his cgi-lib.pl module for Perl version 4.

       If you wish to use Vars() as a function, import the :cgi-lib set of function calls (also
       see the section on CGI-LIB compatibility).


       This will write the current state of the form to the provided filehandle.  You can read it
       back in by providing a filehandle to the new() method.  Note that the filehandle can be a
       file, a pipe, or whatever!

       The format of the saved file is:


       Both name and value are URL escaped.  Multi-valued CGI parameters are represented as
       repeated names.  A session record is delimited by a single = symbol.  You can write out
       multiple records and read them back in with several calls to new.  You can do this across
       several sessions by opening the file in append mode, allowing you to create primitive
       guest books, or to keep a history of users' queries.  Here's a short example of creating
       multiple session records:

          use CGI;

          open (OUT,'>>','test.out') || die;
          $records = 5;
          for (0..$records) {
              my $q = CGI->new;
          close OUT;

          # reopen for reading
          open (IN,'<','test.out') || die;
          while (!eof(IN)) {
              my $q = CGI->new(\*IN);
              print $q->param('counter'),"\n";

       The file format used for save/restore is identical to that used by the Whitehead Genome
       Center's data exchange format "Boulderio", and can be manipulated and even databased using
       Boulderio utilities.  See


       for further details.

       If you wish to use this method from the function-oriented (non-OO) interface, the exported
       name for this method is save_parameters().

       Errors can occur while processing user input, particularly when processing uploaded files.
       When these errors occur, CGI will stop processing and return an empty parameter list.  You
       can test for the existence and nature of errors using the cgi_error() function.  The error
       messages are formatted as HTTP status codes. You can either incorporate the error text
       into an HTML page, or use it as the value of the HTTP status:

           my $error = $q->cgi_error;
           if ($error) {
               print $q->header(-status=>$error),
                     $q->h2('Request not processed'),
               exit 0;

       When using the function-oriented interface (see the next section), errors may only occur
       the first time you call param(). Be ready for this!

       To use the function-oriented interface, you must specify which CGI.pm routines or sets of
       routines to import into your script's namespace.  There is a small overhead associated
       with this importation, but it isn't much.

          use CGI <list of methods>;

       The listed methods will be imported into the current package; you can call them directly
       without creating a CGI object first.  This example shows how to import the param() and
       header() methods, and then use them directly:

          use CGI 'param','header';
          print header('text/plain');
          $zipcode = param('zipcode');

       More frequently, you'll import common sets of functions by referring to the groups by
       name.  All function sets are preceded with a ":" character as in ":html3" (for tags
       defined in the HTML 3 standard).

       Here is a list of the function sets you can import:

           Import all CGI-handling methods, such as param(), path_info() and the like.

           Import all fill-out form generating methods, such as textfield().

           Import all methods that generate HTML 2.0 standard elements.

           Import all methods that generate HTML 3.0 elements (such as <table>, <super> and

           Import all methods that generate HTML 4 elements (such as <abbrev>, <acronym> and

           Import the <blink>, <fontsize> and <center> tags.

           Import all HTML-generating shortcuts (i.e. 'html2', 'html3', 'html4' and 'netscape')

           Import "standard" features, 'html2', 'html3', 'html4', 'form' and 'cgi'.

           Import all the available methods.  For the full list, see the CGI.pm code, where the
           variable %EXPORT_TAGS is defined.

       If you import a function name that is not part of CGI.pm, the module will treat it as a
       new HTML tag and generate the appropriate subroutine.  You can then use it like any other
       HTML tag.  This is to provide for the rapidly-evolving HTML "standard."  For example, say
       Microsoft comes out with a new tag called <gradient> (which causes the user's desktop to
       be flooded with a rotating gradient fill until his machine reboots).  You don't need to
       wait for a new version of CGI.pm to start using it immediately:

          use CGI qw/:standard :html3 gradient/;
          print gradient({-start=>'red',-end=>'blue'});

       Note that in the interests of execution speed CGI.pm does not use the standard Exporter
       syntax for specifying load symbols.  This may change in the future.

       If you import any of the state-maintaining CGI or form-generating methods, a default CGI
       object will be created and initialized automatically the first time you use any of the
       methods that require one to be present.  This includes param(), textfield(), submit() and
       the like.  (If you need direct access to the CGI object, you can find it in the global
       variable $CGI::Q).  By importing CGI.pm methods, you can create visually elegant scripts:

          use CGI qw/:standard/;
              start_html('Simple Script'),
              h1('Simple Script'),
              "What's your name? ",textfield('name'),p,
              "What's the combination?",
              "What's your favorite color?",

           if (param) {
                  "Your name is ",em(param('name')),p,
                  "The keywords are: ",em(join(", ",param('words'))),p,
                  "Your favorite color is ",em(param('color')),".\n";
           print end_html;

       In addition to the function sets, there are a number of pragmas that you can import.
       Pragmas, which are always preceded by a hyphen, change the way that CGI.pm functions in
       various ways.  Pragmas, function sets, and individual functions can all be imported in the
       same use() line.  For example, the following use statement imports the standard set of
       functions and enables debugging mode (pragma -debug):

          use CGI qw/:standard -debug/;

       The current list of pragmas is as follows:

           When you use CGI -any, then any method that the query object doesn't recognize will be
           interpreted as a new HTML tag.  This allows you to support the next ad hoc HTML
           extension.  This lets you go wild with new and unsupported tags:

              use CGI qw(-any);
              print $q->gradient({speed=>'fast',start=>'red',end=>'blue'});

           Since using <cite>any</cite> causes any mistyped method name to be interpreted as an
           HTML tag, use it with care or not at all.

           This causes the indicated autoloaded methods to be compiled up front, rather than
           deferred to later.  This is useful for scripts that run for an extended period of time
           under FastCGI or mod_perl, and for those destined to be crunched by Malcolm Beattie's
           Perl compiler.  Use it in conjunction with the methods or method families you plan to

              use CGI qw(-compile :standard :html3);

           or even

              use CGI qw(-compile :all);

           Note that using the -compile pragma in this way will always have the effect of
           importing the compiled functions into the current namespace.  If you want to compile
           without importing use the compile() method instead:

              use CGI();

           This is particularly useful in a mod_perl environment, in which you might want to
           precompile all CGI routines in a startup script, and then import the functions
           individually in each mod_perl script.

           By default the CGI module implements a state-preserving behavior called "sticky"
           fields.  The way this works is that if you are regenerating a form, the methods that
           generate the form field values will interrogate param() to see if similarly-named
           parameters are present in the query string. If they find a like-named parameter, they
           will use it to set their default values.

           Sometimes this isn't what you want.  The -nosticky pragma prevents this behavior.  You
           can also selectively change the sticky behavior in each element that you generate.

           Automatically add tab index attributes to each form field. With this option turned
           off, you can still add tab indexes manually by passing a -tabindex option to each
           field-generating method.

           This keeps CGI.pm from including undef params in the parameter list.

           By default, CGI.pm versions 2.69 and higher emit XHTML (http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/).
           The -no_xhtml pragma disables this feature.  Thanks to Michalis Kabrianis
           <kabrianis AT hellug.gr> for this feature.

           If start_html()'s -dtd parameter specifies an HTML 2.0, 3.2, 4.0 or 4.01 DTD, XHTML
           will automatically be disabled without needing to use this pragma.

           This makes CGI.pm treat all parameters as UTF-8 strings. Use this with care, as it
           will interfere with the processing of binary uploads. It is better to manually select
           which fields are expected to return utf-8 strings and convert them using code like

            use Encode;
            my $arg = decode utf8=>param('foo');

           This makes CGI.pm produce a header appropriate for an NPH (no parsed header) script.
           You may need to do other things as well to tell the server that the script is NPH.
           See the discussion of NPH scripts below.

           Separate the name=value pairs in CGI parameter query strings with semicolons rather
           than ampersands.  For example:


           Semicolon-delimited query strings are always accepted, and will be emitted by
           self_url() and query_string(). newstyle_urls became the default in version 2.64.

           Separate the name=value pairs in CGI parameter query strings with ampersands rather
           than semicolons.  This is no longer the default.

           This overrides the autoloader so that any function in your program that is not
           recognized is referred to CGI.pm for possible evaluation.  This allows you to use all
           the CGI.pm functions without adding them to your symbol table, which is of concern for
           mod_perl users who are worried about memory consumption.  Warning: when -autoload is
           in effect, you cannot use "poetry mode" (functions without the parenthesis).  Use hr()
           rather than hr, or add something like use subs qw/hr p header/ to the top of your

           This turns off the command-line processing features.  If you want to run a CGI.pm
           script from the command line to produce HTML, and you don't want it to read CGI
           parameters from the command line or STDIN, then use this pragma:

              use CGI qw(-no_debug :standard);

           This turns on full debugging.  In addition to reading CGI arguments from the command-
           line processing, CGI.pm will pause and try to read arguments from STDIN, producing the
           message "(offline mode: enter name=value pairs on standard input)" features.

           See the section on debugging for more details.

           CGI.pm can process uploaded file. Ordinarily it spools the uploaded file to a
           temporary directory, then deletes the file when done.  However, this opens the risk of
           eavesdropping as described in the file upload section.  Another CGI script author
           could peek at this data during the upload, even if it is confidential information. On
           Unix systems, the -private_tempfiles pragma will cause the temporary file to be
           unlinked as soon as it is opened and before any data is written into it, reducing, but
           not eliminating the risk of eavesdropping (there is still a potential race condition).
           To make life harder for the attacker, the program chooses tempfile names by
           calculating a 32 bit checksum of the incoming HTTP headers.

           To ensure that the temporary file cannot be read by other CGI scripts, use suEXEC or a
           CGI wrapper program to run your script.  The temporary file is created with mode 0600
           (neither world nor group readable).

           The temporary directory is selected using the following algorithm:

               1. if $CGITempFile::TMPDIRECTORY is already set, use that

               2. if the environment variable TMPDIR exists, use the location

               3. Otherwise try the locations /usr/tmp, /var/tmp, C:\temp,
               /tmp, /temp, ::Temporary Items, and \WWW_ROOT.

           Each of these locations is checked that it is a directory and is writable.  If not,
           the algorithm tries the next choice.

       Many of the methods generate HTML tags.  As described below, tag functions automatically
       generate both the opening and closing tags.  For example:

         print h1('Level 1 Header');


         <h1>Level 1 Header</h1>

       There will be some times when you want to produce the start and end tags yourself.  In
       this case, you can use the form start_tag_name and end_tag_name, as in:

         print start_h1,'Level 1 Header',end_h1;

       With a few exceptions (described below), start_tag_name and end_tag_name functions are not
       generated automatically when you use CGI.  However, you can specify the tags you want to
       generate start/end functions for by putting an asterisk in front of their name, or,
       alternatively, requesting either "start_tag_name" or "end_tag_name" in the import list.


         use CGI qw/:standard *table start_ul/;

       In this example, the following functions are generated in addition to the standard ones:

       1. start_table() (generates a <table> tag)
       2. end_table() (generates a </table> tag)
       3. start_ul() (generates a <ul> tag)
       4. end_ul() (generates a </ul> tag)

       Most of CGI.pm's functions deal with creating documents on the fly.  Generally you will
       produce the HTTP header first, followed by the document itself.  CGI.pm provides functions
       for generating HTTP headers of various types as well as for generating HTML.  For creating
       GIF images, see the GD.pm module.

       Each of these functions produces a fragment of HTML or HTTP which you can print out
       directly so that it displays in the browser window, append to a string, or save to a file
       for later use.

       Normally the first thing you will do in any CGI script is print out an HTTP header.  This
       tells the browser what type of document to expect, and gives other optional information,
       such as the language, expiration date, and whether to cache the document.  The header can
       also be manipulated for special purposes, such as server push and pay per view pages.

               print header;


               print header('image/gif');


               print header('text/html','204 No response');


               print header(-type=>'image/gif',
                                    -status=>'402 Payment required',

       header() returns the Content-type: header.  You can provide your own MIME type if you
       choose, otherwise it defaults to text/html.  An optional second parameter specifies the
       status code and a human-readable message.  For example, you can specify 204, "No response"
       to create a script that tells the browser to do nothing at all. Note that RFC 2616 expects
       the human-readable phase to be there as well as the numeric status code.

       The last example shows the named argument style for passing arguments to the CGI methods
       using named parameters.  Recognized parameters are -type, -status, -expires, and -cookie.
       Any other named parameters will be stripped of their initial hyphens and turned into
       header fields, allowing you to specify any HTTP header you desire.  Internal underscores
       will be turned into hyphens:

           print header(-Content_length=>3002);

       Most browsers will not cache the output from CGI scripts.  Every time the browser reloads
       the page, the script is invoked anew.  You can change this behavior with the -expires
       parameter.  When you specify an absolute or relative expiration interval with this
       parameter, some browsers and proxy servers will cache the script's output until the
       indicated expiration date.  The following forms are all valid for the -expires field:

               +30s                              30 seconds from now
               +10m                              ten minutes from now
               +1h                               one hour from now
               -1d                               yesterday (i.e. "ASAP!")
               now                               immediately
               +3M                               in three months
               +10y                              in ten years time
               Thursday, 25-Apr-1999 00:40:33 GMT  at the indicated time & date

       The -cookie parameter generates a header that tells the browser to provide a "magic
       cookie" during all subsequent transactions with your script.  Some cookies have a special
       format that includes interesting attributes such as expiration time.  Use the cookie()
       method to create and retrieve session cookies.

       The -nph parameter, if set to a true value, will issue the correct headers to work with a
       NPH (no-parse-header) script.  This is important to use with certain servers that expect
       all their scripts to be NPH.

       The -charset parameter can be used to control the character set sent to the browser.  If
       not provided, defaults to ISO-8859-1.  As a side effect, this sets the charset() method as

       The -attachment parameter can be used to turn the page into an attachment.  Instead of
       displaying the page, some browsers will prompt the user to save it to disk.  The value of
       the argument is the suggested name for the saved file.  In order for this to work, you may
       have to set the -type to "application/octet-stream".

       The -p3p parameter will add a P3P tag to the outgoing header.  The parameter can be an
       arrayref or a space-delimited string of P3P tags.  For example:

          print header(-p3p=>[qw(CAO DSP LAW CURa)]);
          print header(-p3p=>'CAO DSP LAW CURa');

       In either case, the outgoing header will be formatted as:

         P3P: policyref="/w3c/p3p.xml" cp="CAO DSP LAW CURa"

       CGI.pm will accept valid multi-line headers when each line is separated with a CRLF value
       ("\r\n" on most platforms) followed by at least one space. For example:

           print header( -ingredients => "ham\r\n\seggs\r\n\sbacon" );

       Invalid multi-line header input will trigger in an exception. When multi-line headers are
       received, CGI.pm will always output them back as a single line, according to the folding
       rules of RFC 2616: the newlines will be removed, while the white space remains.

          print $q->redirect('http://somewhere.else/in/movie/land');

       Sometimes you don't want to produce a document yourself, but simply redirect the browser
       elsewhere, perhaps choosing a URL based on the time of day or the identity of the user.

       The redirect() method redirects the browser to a different URL.  If you use redirection
       like this, you should not print out a header as well.

       You should always use full URLs (including the http: or ftp: part) in redirection
       requests.  Relative URLs will not work correctly.

       You can also use named arguments:

           print $q->redirect(
                -status=>'301 Moved Permanently');

       All names arguments recognized by header() are also recognized by redirect(). However,
       most HTTP headers, including those generated by -cookie and -target, are ignored by the

       The -nph parameter, if set to a true value, will issue the correct headers to work with a
       NPH (no-parse-header) script.  This is important to use with certain servers, such as
       Microsoft IIS, which expect all their scripts to be NPH.

       The -status parameter will set the status of the redirect.  HTTP defines three different
       possible redirection status codes:

            301 Moved Permanently
            302 Found
            303 See Other

       The default if not specified is 302, which means "moved temporarily."  You may change the
       status to another status code if you wish.  Be advised that changing the status to
       anything other than 301, 302 or 303 will probably break redirection.

       Note that the human-readable phrase is also expected to be present to conform with RFC
       2616, section 6.1.

          print start_html(-title=>'Secrets of the Pyramids',
                                   -author=>'fred AT capricorn.org',
                                   -meta=>{'keywords'=>'pharaoh secret mummy',
                                           'copyright'=>'copyright 1996 King Tut'},

       The start_html() routine creates the top of the page, along with a lot of optional
       information that controls the page's appearance and behavior.

       This method returns a canned HTML header and the opening <body> tag.  All parameters are
       optional.  In the named parameter form, recognized parameters are -title, -author, -base,
       -xbase, -dtd, -lang and -target (see below for the explanation).  Any additional
       parameters you provide, such as the unofficial BGCOLOR attribute, are added to the <body>
       tag.  Additional parameters must be proceeded by a hyphen.

       The argument -xbase allows you to provide an HREF for the <base> tag different from the
       current location, as in


       All relative links will be interpreted relative to this tag.

       The argument -target allows you to provide a default target frame for all the links and
       fill-out forms on the page.  This is a non-standard HTTP feature which only works with
       some browsers!


       All relative links will be interpreted relative to this tag.  You add arbitrary meta
       information to the header with the -meta argument.  This argument expects a reference to a
       hash containing name/value pairs of meta information.  These will be turned into a series
       of header <meta> tags that look something like this:

           <meta name="keywords" content="pharaoh secret mummy">
           <meta name="description" content="copyright 1996 King Tut">

       To create an HTTP-EQUIV type of <meta> tag, use -head, described below.

       The -style argument is used to incorporate cascading stylesheets into your code.  See the
       section on CASCADING STYLESHEETS for more information.

       The -lang argument is used to incorporate a language attribute into the <html> tag.  For

           print $q->start_html(-lang=>'fr-CA');

       The default if not specified is "en-US" for US English, unless the -dtd parameter
       specifies an HTML 2.0 or 3.2 DTD, in which case the lang attribute is left off.  You can
       force the lang attribute to left off in other cases by passing an empty string

       The -encoding argument can be used to specify the character set for XHTML.  It defaults to
       iso-8859-1 if not specified.

       The -dtd argument can be used to specify a public DTD identifier string. For example:

           -dtd => '-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN')

       Alternatively, it can take public and system DTD identifiers as an array:

           dtd => [ '-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN', 'http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/loose.dtd' ]

       For the public DTD identifier to be considered, it must be valid. Otherwise it will be
       replaced by the default DTD. If the public DTD contains 'XHTML', CGI.pm will emit XML.

       The -declare_xml argument, when used in conjunction with XHTML, will put a <?xml>
       declaration at the top of the HTML header. The sole purpose of this declaration is to
       declare the character set encoding. In the absence of -declare_xml, the output HTML will
       contain a <meta> tag that specifies the encoding, allowing the HTML to pass most
       validators.  The default for -declare_xml is false.

       You can place other arbitrary HTML elements to the <head> section with the -head tag.  For
       example, to place a <link> element in the head section, use this:

           print start_html(-head=>Link({-rel=>'shortcut icon',

       To incorporate multiple HTML elements into the <head> section, just pass an array

           print start_html(-head=>[

       And here's how to create an HTTP-EQUIV <meta> tag:

             print start_html(-head=>meta({-http_equiv => 'Content-Type',
                                           -content    => 'text/html'}))

       JAVASCRIPTING: The -script, -noScript, -onLoad, -onMouseOver, -onMouseOut and -onUnload
       parameters are used to add JavaScript calls to your pages.  -script should point to a
       block of text containing JavaScript function definitions.  This block will be placed
       within a <script> block inside the HTML (not HTTP) header.  The block is placed in the
       header in order to give your page a fighting chance of having all its JavaScript functions
       in place even if the user presses the stop button before the page has loaded completely.
       CGI.pm attempts to format the script in such a way that JavaScript-naive browsers will not
       choke on the code: unfortunately there are some browsers, such as Chimera for Unix, that
       get confused by it nevertheless.

       The -onLoad and -onUnload parameters point to fragments of JavaScript code to execute when
       the page is respectively opened and closed by the browser.  Usually these parameters are
       calls to functions defined in the -script field:

             $query = CGI->new;
             print header;
             // Ask a silly question
             function riddle_me_this() {
                var r = prompt("What walks on four legs in the morning, " +
                              "two legs in the afternoon, " +
                              "and three legs in the evening?");
             // Get a silly answer
             function response(answer) {
                if (answer == "man")
                   alert("Right you are!");
                   alert("Wrong!  Guess again.");
             print start_html(-title=>'The Riddle of the Sphinx',

       Use the -noScript parameter to pass some HTML text that will be displayed on browsers that
       do not have JavaScript (or browsers where JavaScript is turned off).

       The <script> tag, has several attributes including "type", "charset" and "src".  "src"
       allows you to keep JavaScript code in an external file. To use these attributes pass a
       HASH reference in the -script parameter containing one or more of -type, -src, or -code:

           print $q->start_html(-title=>'The Riddle of the Sphinx',

           print $q->(-title=>'The Riddle of the Sphinx',
                                -code=>'print "hello world!\n;"'}

       A final feature allows you to incorporate multiple <script> sections into the header.
       Just pass the list of script sections as an array reference.  this allows you to specify
       different source files for different dialects of JavaScript.  Example:

            print $q->start_html(-title=>'The Riddle of the Sphinx',
                                           { -type => 'text/javascript',
                                             -src      => '/javascript/utilities10.js'
                                           { -type => 'text/javascript',
                                             -src      => '/javascript/utilities11.js'
                                           { -type => 'text/jscript',
                                             -src      => '/javascript/utilities12.js'
                                           { -type => 'text/ecmascript',
                                             -src      => '/javascript/utilities219.js'

       The option "-language" is a synonym for -type, and is supported for backwards

       The old-style positional parameters are as follows:


       1.  The title

       2.  The author's e-mail address (will create a <link rev="MADE"> tag if present

       3.  A 'true' flag if you want to include a <base> tag in the header.  This helps resolve
           relative addresses to absolute ones when the document is moved, but makes the document
           hierarchy non-portable.  Use with care!

       Other parameters you want to include in the <body> tag may be appended to these.  This is
       a good place to put HTML extensions, such as colors and wallpaper patterns.

               print $q->end_html;

       This ends an HTML document by printing the </body></html> tags.

           $myself = $q->self_url;
           print q(<a href="$myself">I'm talking to myself.</a>);

       self_url() will return a URL, that, when selected, will reinvoke this script with all its
       state information intact.  This is most useful when you want to jump around within the
       document using internal anchors but you don't want to disrupt the current contents of the
       form(s).  Something like this will do the trick.

            $myself = $q->self_url;
            print "<a href=\"$myself#table1\">See table 1</a>";
            print "<a href=\"$myself#table2\">See table 2</a>";
            print "<a href=\"$myself#yourself\">See for yourself</a>";

       If you want more control over what's returned, using the url() method instead.

       You can also retrieve the unprocessed query string with query_string():

           $the_string = $q->query_string();

       The behavior of calling query_string is currently undefined when the HTTP method is
       something other than GET.

           $full_url      = url();
           $full_url      = url(-full=>1);  #alternative syntax
           $relative_url  = url(-relative=>1);
           $absolute_url  = url(-absolute=>1);
           $url_with_path = url(-path_info=>1);
           $url_with_path_and_query = url(-path_info=>1,-query=>1);
           $netloc        = url(-base => 1);

       url() returns the script's URL in a variety of formats.  Called without any arguments, it
       returns the full form of the URL, including host name and port number


       You can modify this format with the following named arguments:

           If true, produce an absolute URL, e.g.


           Produce a relative URL.  This is useful if you want to reinvoke your script with
           different parameters. For example:


           Produce the full URL, exactly as if called without any arguments.  This overrides the
           -relative and -absolute arguments.

       -path (-path_info)
           Append the additional path information to the URL.  This can be combined with -full,
           -absolute or -relative.  -path_info is provided as a synonym.

       -query (-query_string)
           Append the query string to the URL.  This can be combined with -full, -absolute or
           -relative.  -query_string is provided as a synonym.

           Generate just the protocol and net location, as in http://www.foo.com:8000

           If Apache's mod_rewrite is turned on, then the script name and path info probably
           won't match the request that the user sent. Set -rewrite=>1 (default) to return URLs
           that match what the user sent (the original request URI). Set -rewrite=>0 to return
           URLs that match the URL after mod_rewrite's rules have run.

          $color = url_param('color');

       It is possible for a script to receive CGI parameters in the URL as well as in the fill-
       out form by creating a form that POSTs to a URL containing a query string (a "?" mark
       followed by arguments).  The param() method will always return the contents of the POSTed
       fill-out form, ignoring the URL's query string.  To retrieve URL parameters, call the
       url_param() method.  Use it in the same way as param().  The main difference is that it
       allows you to read the parameters, but not set them.

       Under no circumstances will the contents of the URL query string interfere with similarly-
       named CGI parameters in POSTed forms.  If you try to mix a URL query string with a form
       submitted with the GET method, the results will not be what you expect.

       CGI.pm defines general HTML shortcut methods for many HTML tags.  HTML shortcuts are named
       after a single HTML element and return a fragment of HTML text. Example:

          print $q->blockquote(
                            "Many years ago on the island of",
                            "there lived a Minotaur named",

       This results in the following HTML code (extra newlines have been added for readability):

          Many years ago on the island of
          <a href="http://crete.org/">Crete</a> there lived
          a minotaur named <strong>Fred.</strong>

       If you find the syntax for calling the HTML shortcuts awkward, you can import them into
       your namespace and dispense with the object syntax completely (see the next section for
       more details):

          use CGI ':standard';
          print blockquote(
             "Many years ago on the island of",
             "there lived a minotaur named",

       The HTML methods will accept zero, one or multiple arguments.  If you provide no
       arguments, you get a single tag:

          print hr;    #  <hr>

       If you provide one or more string arguments, they are concatenated together with spaces
       and placed between opening and closing tags:

          print h1("Chapter","1"); # <h1>Chapter 1</h1>"

       If the first argument is a hash reference, then the keys and values of the hash become the
       HTML tag's attributes:

          print a({-href=>'fred.html',-target=>'_new'},
             "Open a new frame");

                   <a href="fred.html",target="_new">Open a new frame</a>

       You may dispense with the dashes in front of the attribute names if you prefer:

          print img {src=>'fred.gif',align=>'LEFT'};

                  <img align="LEFT" src="fred.gif">

       Sometimes an HTML tag attribute has no argument.  For example, ordered lists can be marked
       as COMPACT.  The syntax for this is an argument that that points to an undef string:

          print ol({compact=>undef},li('one'),li('two'),li('three'));

       Prior to CGI.pm version 2.41, providing an empty ('') string as an attribute argument was
       the same as providing undef.  However, this has changed in order to accommodate those who
       want to create tags of the form <img alt="">.  The difference is shown in these two pieces
       of code:

          CODE                   RESULT
          img({alt=>undef})      <img alt>
          img({alt=>''})         <img alt="">

       One of the cool features of the HTML shortcuts is that they are distributive.  If you give
       them an argument consisting of a reference to a list, the tag will be distributed across
       each element of the list.  For example, here's one way to make an ordered list:

          print ul(

       This example will result in HTML output that looks like this:

            <li type="disc">Sneezy</li>
            <li type="disc">Doc</li>
            <li type="disc">Sleepy</li>
            <li type="disc">Happy</li>

       This is extremely useful for creating tables.  For example:

          print table({-border=>undef},
                  caption('When Should You Eat Your Vegetables?'),
                     th(['Vegetable', 'Breakfast','Lunch','Dinner']),
                     td(['Tomatoes' , 'no', 'yes', 'yes']),
                     td(['Broccoli' , 'no', 'no',  'yes']),
                     td(['Onions'   , 'yes','yes', 'yes'])

       Consider this bit of code:

          print blockquote(em('Hi'),'mom!'));

       It will ordinarily return the string that you probably expect, namely:

          <blockquote><em>Hi</em> mom!</blockquote>

       Note the space between the element "Hi" and the element "mom!".  CGI.pm puts the extra
       space there using array interpolation, which is controlled by the magic $" variable.
       Sometimes this extra space is not what you want, for example, when you are trying to align
       a series of images.  In this case, you can simply change the value of $" to an empty

             local($") = '';
             print blockquote(em('Hi'),'mom!'));

       I suggest you put the code in a block as shown here.  Otherwise the change to $" will
       affect all subsequent code until you explicitly reset it.

       A few HTML tags don't follow the standard pattern for various reasons.

       comment() generates an HTML comment (<!-- comment -->).  Call it like

           print comment('here is my comment');

       Because of conflicts with built-in Perl functions, the following functions begin with
       initial caps:


       In addition, start_html(), end_html(), start_form(), end_form(), start_multipart_form()
       and all the fill-out form tags are special.  See their respective sections.

       By default, all HTML that is emitted by the form-generating functions is passed through a
       function called escapeHTML():

       $escaped_string = escapeHTML("unescaped string");
           Escape HTML formatting characters in a string.

       Provided that you have specified a character set of ISO-8859-1 (the default), the standard
       HTML escaping rules will be used.  The "<" character becomes "&lt;", ">" becomes "&gt;",
       "&" becomes "&amp;", and the quote character becomes "&quot;".  In addition, the
       hexadecimal 0x8b and 0x9b characters, which some browsers incorrectly interpret as the
       left and right angle-bracket characters, are replaced by their numeric character entities
       ("&#8249" and "&#8250;").  If you manually change the charset, either by calling the
       charset() method explicitly or by passing a -charset argument to header(), then all
       characters will be replaced by their numeric entities, since CGI.pm has no lookup table
       for all the possible encodings.

       "escapeHTML()" expects the supplied string to be a character string. This means you should
       Encode::decode data received from "outside" and Encode::encode your strings before sending
       them back outside. If your source code UTF-8 encoded and you want to upgrade string
       literals in your source to character strings, you can use "use utf8". See perlunitut,
       perlunifaq and perlunicode for more information on how Perl handles the difference between
       bytes and characters.

       The automatic escaping does not apply to other shortcuts, such as h1().  You should call
       escapeHTML() yourself on untrusted data in order to protect your pages against nasty
       tricks that people may enter into guestbooks, etc..  To change the character set, use
       charset().  To turn autoescaping off completely, use autoEscape(0):

       $charset = charset([$charset]);
           Get or set the current character set.

       $flag = autoEscape([$flag]);
           Get or set the value of the autoescape flag.

       By default, all the HTML produced by these functions comes out as one long line without
       carriage returns or indentation. This is yuck, but it does reduce the size of the
       documents by 10-20%.  To get pretty-printed output, please use CGI::Pretty, a subclass
       contributed by Brian Paulsen.

       General note  The various form-creating methods all return strings to the caller,
       containing the tag or tags that will create the requested form element.  You are
       responsible for actually printing out these strings.  It's set up this way so that you can
       place formatting tags around the form elements.

       Another note The default values that you specify for the forms are only used the first
       time the script is invoked (when there is no query string).  On subsequent invocations of
       the script (when there is a query string), the former values are used even if they are

       If you want to change the value of a field from its previous value, you have two choices:

       (1) call the param() method to set it.

       (2) use the -override (alias -force) parameter (a new feature in version 2.15).  This
       forces the default value to be used, regardless of the previous value:

          print textfield(-name=>'field_name',
                                  -default=>'starting value',

       Yet another note By default, the text and labels of form elements are escaped according to
       HTML rules.  This means that you can safely use "<CLICK ME>" as the label for a button.
       However, it also interferes with your ability to incorporate special HTML character
       sequences, such as &Aacute;, into your fields.  If you wish to turn off automatic
       escaping, call the autoEscape() method with a false value immediately after creating the
       CGI object:

          $query = CGI->new;

       Note that autoEscape() is exclusively used to effect the behavior of how some CGI.pm HTML
       generation functions handle escaping. Calling escapeHTML() explicitly will always escape
       the HTML.

       A Lurking Trap! Some of the form-element generating methods return multiple tags.  In a
       scalar context, the tags will be concatenated together with spaces, or whatever is the
       current value of the $" global.  In a list context, the methods will return a list of
       elements, allowing you to modify them if you wish.  Usually you will not notice this
       behavior, but beware of this:


       end_form() produces several tags, and only the first of them will be printed because the
       format only expects one value.


          print isindex(-action=>$action);


          print isindex($action);

       Prints out an <isindex> tag.  Not very exciting.  The parameter -action specifies the URL
       of the script to process the query.  The default is to process the query with the current

           print start_form(-method=>$method,
             <... various form stuff ...>
           print end_form;


           print start_form($method,$action,$encoding);
             <... various form stuff ...>
           print end_form;

       start_form() will return a <form> tag with the optional method, action and form encoding
       that you specify.  The defaults are:

           method: POST
           action: this script
           enctype: application/x-www-form-urlencoded for non-XHTML
                    multipart/form-data for XHTML, see multipart/form-data below.

       end_form() returns the closing </form> tag.

       Start_form()'s enctype argument tells the browser how to package the various fields of the
       form before sending the form to the server.  Two values are possible:

       Note: These methods were previously named startform() and endform().  These methods are
       now DEPRECATED.  Please use start_form() and end_form() instead.

           This is the older type of encoding.  It is compatible with many CGI scripts and is
           suitable for short fields containing text data.  For your convenience, CGI.pm stores
           the name of this encoding type in &CGI::URL_ENCODED.

           This is the newer type of encoding.  It is suitable for forms that contain very large
           fields or that are intended for transferring binary data.  Most importantly, it
           enables the "file upload" feature.  For your convenience, CGI.pm stores the name of
           this encoding type in &CGI::MULTIPART

           Forms that use this type of encoding are not easily interpreted by CGI scripts unless
           they use CGI.pm or another library designed to handle them.

           If XHTML is activated (the default), then forms will be automatically created using
           this type of encoding.

       The start_form() method uses the older form of encoding by default unless XHTML is
       requested.  If you want to use the newer form of encoding by default, you can call
       start_multipart_form() instead of start_form().  The method end_multipart_form() is an
       alias to end_form().

       JAVASCRIPTING: The -name and -onSubmit parameters are provided for use with JavaScript.
       The -name parameter gives the form a name so that it can be identified and manipulated by
       JavaScript functions.  -onSubmit should point to a JavaScript function that will be
       executed just before the form is submitted to your server.  You can use this opportunity
       to check the contents of the form for consistency and completeness.  If you find something
       wrong, you can put up an alert box or maybe fix things up yourself.  You can abort the
       submission by returning false from this function.

       Usually the bulk of JavaScript functions are defined in a <script> block in the HTML
       header and -onSubmit points to one of these function call.  See start_html() for details.

       After starting a form, you will typically create one or more textfields, popup menus,
       radio groups and other form elements.  Each of these elements takes a standard set of
       named arguments.  Some elements also have optional arguments.  The standard arguments are
       as follows:

           The name of the field. After submission this name can be used to retrieve the field's
           value using the param() method.

       -value, -values
           The initial value of the field which will be returned to the script after form
           submission.  Some form elements, such as text fields, take a single scalar -value
           argument. Others, such as popup menus, take a reference to an array of values. The two
           arguments are synonyms.

           A numeric value that sets the order in which the form element receives focus when the
           user presses the tab key. Elements with lower values receive focus first.

       -id A string identifier that can be used to identify this element to JavaScript and DHTML.

           A boolean, which, if true, forces the element to take on the value specified by
           -value, overriding the sticky behavior described earlier for the -nosticky pragma.

       -onChange, -onFocus, -onBlur, -onMouseOver, -onMouseOut, -onSelect
           These are used to assign JavaScript event handlers. See the JavaScripting section for
           more details.

       Other common arguments are described in the next section. In addition to these, all
       attributes described in the HTML specifications are supported.

           print textfield(-name=>'field_name',
                           -value=>'starting value',

           print textfield('field_name','starting value',50,80);

       textfield() will return a text input field.


       1.  The first parameter is the required name for the field (-name).

       2.  The optional second parameter is the default starting value for the field contents
           (-value, formerly known as -default).

       3.  The optional third parameter is the size of the field in
                 characters (-size).

       4.  The optional fourth parameter is the maximum number of characters the
                 field will accept (-maxlength).

       As with all these methods, the field will be initialized with its previous contents from
       earlier invocations of the script.  When the form is processed, the value of the text
       field can be retrieved with:

              $value = param('foo');

       If you want to reset it from its initial value after the script has been called once, you
       can do so like this:

              param('foo',"I'm taking over this value!");

          print textarea(-name=>'foo',
                                 -default=>'starting value',


          print textarea('foo','starting value',10,50);

       textarea() is just like textfield, but it allows you to specify rows and columns for a
       multiline text entry box.  You can provide a starting value for the field, which can be
       long and contain multiple lines.

          print password_field(-name=>'secret',
                                       -value=>'starting value',

          print password_field('secret','starting value',50,80);

       password_field() is identical to textfield(), except that its contents will be starred out
       on the web page.

           print filefield(-name=>'uploaded_file',
                                   -default=>'starting value',

           print filefield('uploaded_file','starting value',50,80);

       filefield() will return a file upload field.  In order to take full advantage of this you
       must use the new multipart encoding scheme for the form.  You can do this either by
       calling start_form() with an encoding type of &CGI::MULTIPART, or by calling the new
       method start_multipart_form() instead of vanilla start_form().


       1.  The first parameter is the required name for the field (-name).

       2.  The optional second parameter is the starting value for the field contents to be used
           as the default file name (-default).

           For security reasons, browsers don't pay any attention to this field, and so the
           starting value will always be blank.  Worse, the field loses its "sticky" behavior and
           forgets its previous contents.  The starting value field is called for in the HTML
           specification, however, and possibly some browser will eventually provide support for

       3.  The optional third parameter is the size of the field in characters (-size).

       4.  The optional fourth parameter is the maximum number of characters the field will
           accept (-maxlength).

       JAVASCRIPTING: The -onChange, -onFocus, -onBlur, -onMouseOver, -onMouseOut and -onSelect
       parameters are recognized.  See textfield() for details.


       When the form is processed, you can retrieve an IO::Handle compatible handle for a file
       upload field like this:

         $lightweight_fh  = $q->upload('field_name');

         # undef may be returned if it's not a valid file handle
         if (defined $lightweight_fh) {
           # Upgrade the handle to one compatible with IO::Handle:
           my $io_handle = $lightweight_fh->handle;

           open (OUTFILE,'>>','/usr/local/web/users/feedback');
           while ($bytesread = $io_handle->read($buffer,1024)) {
             print OUTFILE $buffer;

       In a list context, upload() will return an array of filehandles.  This makes it possible
       to process forms that use the same name for multiple upload fields.

       If you want the entered file name for the file, you can just call param():

         $filename = $q->param('field_name');

       Different browsers will return slightly different things for the name.  Some browsers
       return the filename only.  Others return the full path to the file, using the path
       conventions of the user's machine.  Regardless, the name returned is always the name of
       the file on the user's machine, and is unrelated to the name of the temporary file that
       CGI.pm creates during upload spooling (see below).

       When a file is uploaded the browser usually sends along some information along with it in
       the format of headers.  The information usually includes the MIME content type. To
       retrieve this information, call uploadInfo().  It returns a reference to a hash containing
       all the document headers.

              $filename = $q->param('uploaded_file');
              $type = $q->uploadInfo($filename)->{'Content-Type'};
              unless ($type eq 'text/html') {
               die "HTML FILES ONLY!";

       If you are using a machine that recognizes "text" and "binary" data modes, be sure to
       understand when and how to use them (see the Camel book).  Otherwise you may find that
       binary files are corrupted during file uploads.

       Accessing the temp files directly

       When processing an uploaded file, CGI.pm creates a temporary file on your hard disk and
       passes you a file handle to that file. After you are finished with the file handle, CGI.pm
       unlinks (deletes) the temporary file. If you need to you can access the temporary file
       directly. You can access the temp file for a file upload by passing the file name to the
       tmpFileName() method:

              $filename = $query->param('uploaded_file');
              $tmpfilename = $query->tmpFileName($filename);

       The temporary file will be deleted automatically when your program exits unless you
       manually rename it. On some operating systems (such as Windows NT), you will need to close
       the temporary file's filehandle before your program exits.  Otherwise the attempt to
       delete the temporary file will fail.

       Handling interrupted file uploads

       There are occasionally problems involving parsing the uploaded file.  This usually happens
       when the user presses "Stop" before the upload is finished.  In this case, CGI.pm will
       return undef for the name of the uploaded file and set cgi_error() to the string "400 Bad
       request (malformed multipart POST)".  This error message is designed so that you can
       incorporate it into a status code to be sent to the browser.  Example:

          $file = $q->upload('uploaded_file');
          if (!$file && $q->cgi_error) {
             print $q->header(-status=>$q->cgi_error);
             exit 0;

       You are free to create a custom HTML page to complain about the error, if you wish.

       Progress bars for file uploads and avoiding temp files

       CGI.pm gives you low-level access to file upload management through a file upload hook.
       You can use this feature to completely turn off the temp file storage of file uploads, or
       potentially write your own file upload progress meter.

       This is much like the UPLOAD_HOOK facility available in Apache::Request, with the
       exception that the first argument to the callback is an Apache::Upload object, here it's
       the remote filename.

        $q = CGI->new(\&hook [,$data [,$use_tempfile]]);

        sub hook {
               my ($filename, $buffer, $bytes_read, $data) = @_;
               print  "Read $bytes_read bytes of $filename\n";

       The $data field is optional; it lets you pass configuration information (e.g. a database
       handle) to your hook callback.

       The $use_tempfile field is a flag that lets you turn on and off CGI.pm's use of a
       temporary disk-based file during file upload. If you set this to a FALSE value (default
       true) then $q->param('uploaded_file') will no longer work, and the only way to get at the
       uploaded data is via the hook you provide.

       If using the function-oriented interface, call the CGI::upload_hook() method before
       calling param() or any other CGI functions:

         CGI::upload_hook(\&hook [,$data [,$use_tempfile]]);

       This method is not exported by default.  You will have to import it explicitly if you wish
       to use it without the CGI:: prefix.

       Troubleshooting file uploads on Windows

       If you are using CGI.pm on a Windows platform and find that binary files get slightly
       larger when uploaded but that text files remain the same, then you have forgotten to
       activate binary mode on the output filehandle.  Be sure to call binmode() on any handle
       that you create to write the uploaded file to disk.

       Older ways to process file uploads

       ( This section is here for completeness. if you are building a new application with
       CGI.pm, you can skip it. )

       The original way to process file uploads with CGI.pm was to use param(). The value it
       returns has a dual nature as both a file name and a lightweight filehandle. This dual
       nature is problematic if you following the recommended practice of having "use strict" in
       your code. Perl will complain when you try to use a string as a filehandle.  More
       seriously, it is possible for the remote user to type garbage into the upload field, in
       which case what you get from param() is not a filehandle at all, but a string.

       To solve this problem the upload() method was added, which always returns a lightweight
       filehandle. This generally works well, but will have trouble interoperating with some
       other modules because the file handle is not derived from IO::Handle. So that brings us to
       current recommendation given above, which is to call the handle() method on the file
       handle returned by upload().  That upgrades the handle to an IO::Handle. It's a big win
       for compatibility for a small penalty of loading IO::Handle the first time you call it.

          print popup_menu('menu_name',


          %labels = ('eenie'=>'your first choice',
                     'meenie'=>'your second choice',
                     'minie'=>'your third choice');
          %attributes = ('eenie'=>{'class'=>'class of first choice'});
          print popup_menu('menu_name',

               -or (named parameter style)-

          print popup_menu(-name=>'menu_name',

       popup_menu() creates a menu.

       1.  The required first argument is the menu's name (-name).

       2.  The required second argument (-values) is an array reference containing the list of
           menu items in the menu.  You can pass the method an anonymous array, as shown in the
           example, or a reference to a named array, such as "\@foo".

       3.  The optional third parameter (-default) is the name of the default menu choice.  If
           not specified, the first item will be the default.  The values of the previous choice
           will be maintained across queries. Pass an array reference to select multiple

       4.  The optional fourth parameter (-labels) is provided for people who want to use
           different values for the user-visible label inside the popup menu and the value
           returned to your script.  It's a pointer to an hash relating menu values to user-
           visible labels.  If you leave this parameter blank, the menu values will be displayed
           by default.  (You can also leave a label undefined if you want to).

       5.  The optional fifth parameter (-attributes) is provided to assign any of the common
           HTML attributes to an individual menu item. It's a pointer to a hash relating menu
           values to another hash with the attribute's name as the key and the attribute's value
           as the value.

       When the form is processed, the selected value of the popup menu can be retrieved using:

             $popup_menu_value = param('menu_name');

       Named parameter style

         print popup_menu(-name=>'menu_name',
                         -values=>[qw/eenie meenie minie/,
                                                    -values => ['moe','catch'],

         Old style
         print popup_menu('menu_name',
                          optgroup('optgroup_name', ['moe', 'catch'],

       optgroup() creates an option group within a popup menu.

       1.  The required first argument (-name) is the label attribute of the optgroup and is not
           inserted in the parameter list of the query.

       2.  The required second argument (-values)  is an array reference containing the list of
           menu items in the menu.  You can pass the method an anonymous array, as shown in the
           example, or a reference to a named array, such as \@foo.  If you pass a HASH
           reference, the keys will be used for the menu values, and the values will be used for
           the menu labels (see -labels below).

       3.  The optional third parameter (-labels) allows you to pass a reference to a hash
           containing user-visible labels for one or more of the menu items.  You can use this
           when you want the user to see one menu string, but have the browser return your
           program a different one.  If you don't specify this, the value string will be used
           instead ("eenie", "meenie" and "minie" in this example).  This is equivalent to using
           a hash reference for the -values parameter.

       4.  An optional fourth parameter (-labeled) can be set to a true value and indicates that
           the values should be used as the label attribute for each option element within the

       5.  An optional fifth parameter (-novals) can be set to a true value and indicates to
           suppress the val attribute in each option element within the optgroup.

           See the discussion on optgroup at W3C
           (http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/interact/forms.html#edef-OPTGROUP) for details.

       6.  An optional sixth parameter (-attributes) is provided to assign any of the common HTML
           attributes to an individual menu item. It's a pointer to a hash relating menu values
           to another hash with the attribute's name as the key and the attribute's value as the

          print scrolling_list('list_name',

          print scrolling_list('list_name',


          print scrolling_list(-name=>'list_name',

       scrolling_list() creates a scrolling list.


       1.  The first and second arguments are the list name (-name) and values (-values).  As in
           the popup menu, the second argument should be an array reference.

       2.  The optional third argument (-default) can be either a reference to a list containing
           the values to be selected by default, or can be a single value to select.  If this
           argument is missing or undefined, then nothing is selected when the list first
           appears.  In the named parameter version, you can use the synonym "-defaults" for this

       3.  The optional fourth argument is the size of the list (-size).

       4.  The optional fifth argument can be set to true to allow multiple simultaneous
           selections (-multiple).  Otherwise only one selection will be allowed at a time.

       5.  The optional sixth argument is a pointer to a hash containing long user-visible labels
           for the list items (-labels).  If not provided, the values will be displayed.

       6.  The optional sixth parameter (-attributes) is provided to assign any of the common
           HTML attributes to an individual menu item. It's a pointer to a hash relating menu
           values to another hash with the attribute's name as the key and the attribute's value
           as the value.

           When this form is processed, all selected list items will be returned as a list under
           the parameter name 'list_name'.  The values of the selected items can be retrieved

                 @selected = param('list_name');

          print checkbox_group(-name=>'group_name',
                                       -disabled => ['moe'],

          print checkbox_group('group_name',


          print checkbox_group(-name=>'group_name',

       checkbox_group() creates a list of checkboxes that are related by the same name.


       1.  The first and second arguments are the checkbox name and values, respectively (-name
           and -values).  As in the popup menu, the second argument should be an array reference.
           These values are used for the user-readable labels printed next to the checkboxes as
           well as for the values passed to your script in the query string.

       2.  The optional third argument (-default) can be either a reference to a list containing
           the values to be checked by default, or can be a single value to checked.  If this
           argument is missing or undefined, then nothing is selected when the list first

       3.  The optional fourth argument (-linebreak) can be set to true to place line breaks
           between the checkboxes so that they appear as a vertical list.  Otherwise, they will
           be strung together on a horizontal line.

       The optional -labels argument is a pointer to a hash relating the checkbox values to the
       user-visible labels that will be printed next to them.  If not provided, the values will
       be used as the default.

       The optional parameters -rows, and -columns cause checkbox_group() to return an HTML3
       compatible table containing the checkbox group formatted with the specified number of rows
       and columns.  You can provide just the -columns parameter if you wish; checkbox_group will
       calculate the correct number of rows for you.

       The option -disabled takes an array of checkbox values and disables them by greying them
       out (this may not be supported by all browsers).

       The optional -attributes argument is provided to assign any of the common HTML attributes
       to an individual menu item. It's a pointer to a hash relating menu values to another hash
       with the attribute's name as the key and the attribute's value as the value.

       The optional -tabindex argument can be used to control the order in which radio buttons
       receive focus when the user presses the tab button.  If passed a scalar numeric value, the
       first element in the group will receive this tab index and subsequent elements will be
       incremented by one.  If given a reference to an array of radio button values, then the
       indexes will be jiggered so that the order specified in the array will correspond to the
       tab order.  You can also pass a reference to a hash in which the hash keys are the radio
       button values and the values are the tab indexes of each button.  Examples:

         -tabindex => 100    #  this group starts at index 100 and counts up
         -tabindex => ['moe','minie','eenie','meenie']  # tab in this order
         -tabindex => {meenie=>100,moe=>101,minie=>102,eenie=>200} # tab in this order

       The optional -labelattributes argument will contain attributes attached to the <label>
       element that surrounds each button.

       When the form is processed, all checked boxes will be returned as a list under the
       parameter name 'group_name'.  The values of the "on" checkboxes can be retrieved with:

             @turned_on = param('group_name');

       The value returned by checkbox_group() is actually an array of button elements.  You can
       capture them and use them within tables, lists, or in other creative ways:

           @h = checkbox_group(-name=>'group_name',-values=>\@values);

           print checkbox(-name=>'checkbox_name',
                                  -label=>'CLICK ME');


           print checkbox('checkbox_name','checked','ON','CLICK ME');

       checkbox() is used to create an isolated checkbox that isn't logically related to any


       1.  The first parameter is the required name for the checkbox (-name).  It will also be
           used for the user-readable label printed next to the checkbox.

       2.  The optional second parameter (-checked) specifies that the checkbox is turned on by
           default.  Synonyms are -selected and -on.

       3.  The optional third parameter (-value) specifies the value of the checkbox when it is
           checked.  If not provided, the word "on" is assumed.

       4.  The optional fourth parameter (-label) is the user-readable label to be attached to
           the checkbox.  If not provided, the checkbox name is used.

       The value of the checkbox can be retrieved using:

           $turned_on = param('checkbox_name');

          print radio_group(-name=>'group_name',


          print radio_group('group_name',['eenie','meenie','minie'],


          print radio_group(-name=>'group_name',

       radio_group() creates a set of logically-related radio buttons (turning one member of the
       group on turns the others off)


       1.  The first argument is the name of the group and is required (-name).

       2.  The second argument (-values) is the list of values for the radio buttons.  The values
           and the labels that appear on the page are identical.  Pass an array reference in the
           second argument, either using an anonymous array, as shown, or by referencing a named
           array as in "\@foo".

       3.  The optional third parameter (-default) is the name of the default button to turn on.
           If not specified, the first item will be the default.  You can provide a nonexistent
           button name, such as "-" to start up with no buttons selected.

       4.  The optional fourth parameter (-linebreak) can be set to 'true' to put line breaks
           between the buttons, creating a vertical list.

       5.  The optional fifth parameter (-labels) is a pointer to an associative array relating
           the radio button values to user-visible labels to be used in the display.  If not
           provided, the values themselves are displayed.

       All modern browsers can take advantage of the optional parameters -rows, and -columns.
       These parameters cause radio_group() to return an HTML3 compatible table containing the
       radio group formatted with the specified number of rows and columns.  You can provide just
       the -columns parameter if you wish; radio_group will calculate the correct number of rows
       for you.

       To include row and column headings in the returned table, you can use the -rowheaders and
       -colheaders parameters.  Both of these accept a pointer to an array of headings to use.
       The headings are just decorative.  They don't reorganize the interpretation of the radio
       buttons -- they're still a single named unit.

       The optional -tabindex argument can be used to control the order in which radio buttons
       receive focus when the user presses the tab button.  If passed a scalar numeric value, the
       first element in the group will receive this tab index and subsequent elements will be
       incremented by one.  If given a reference to an array of radio button values, then the
       indexes will be jiggered so that the order specified in the array will correspond to the
       tab order.  You can also pass a reference to a hash in which the hash keys are the radio
       button values and the values are the tab indexes of each button.  Examples:

         -tabindex => 100    #  this group starts at index 100 and counts up
         -tabindex => ['moe','minie','eenie','meenie']  # tab in this order
         -tabindex => {meenie=>100,moe=>101,minie=>102,eenie=>200} # tab in this order

       The optional -attributes argument is provided to assign any of the common HTML attributes
       to an individual menu item. It's a pointer to a hash relating menu values to another hash
       with the attribute's name as the key and the attribute's value as the value.

       The optional -labelattributes argument will contain attributes attached to the <label>
       element that surrounds each button.

       When the form is processed, the selected radio button can be retrieved using:

             $which_radio_button = param('group_name');

       The value returned by radio_group() is actually an array of button elements.  You can
       capture them and use them within tables, lists, or in other creative ways:

           @h = radio_group(-name=>'group_name',-values=>\@values);

          print submit(-name=>'button_name',


          print submit('button_name','value');

       submit() will create the query submission button.  Every form should have one of these.


       1.  The first argument (-name) is optional.  You can give the button a name if you have
           several submission buttons in your form and you want to distinguish between them.

       2.  The second argument (-value) is also optional.  This gives the button a value that
           will be passed to your script in the query string. The name will also be used as the
           user-visible label.

       3.  You can use -label as an alias for -value.  I always get confused about which of -name
           and -value changes the user-visible label on the button.

       You can figure out which button was pressed by using different values for each one:

            $which_one = param('button_name');

          print reset

       reset() creates the "reset" button.  Note that it restores the form to its value from the
       last time the script was called, NOT necessarily to the defaults.

       Note that this conflicts with the Perl reset() built-in.  Use CORE::reset() to get the
       original reset function.

          print defaults('button_label')

       defaults() creates a button that, when invoked, will cause the form to be completely reset
       to its defaults, wiping out all the changes the user ever made.

               print hidden(-name=>'hidden_name',


               print hidden('hidden_name','value1','value2'...);

       hidden() produces a text field that can't be seen by the user.  It is useful for passing
       state variable information from one invocation of the script to the next.


       1.  The first argument is required and specifies the name of this field (-name).

       2.  The second argument is also required and specifies its value (-default).  In the named
           parameter style of calling, you can provide a single value here or a reference to a
           whole list

       Fetch the value of a hidden field this way:

            $hidden_value = param('hidden_name');

       Note, that just like all the other form elements, the value of a hidden field is "sticky".
       If you want to replace a hidden field with some other values after the script has been
       called once you'll have to do it manually:


            print image_button(-name=>'button_name',


            print image_button('button_name','/source/URL','MIDDLE');

       image_button() produces a clickable image.  When it's clicked on the position of the click
       is returned to your script as "button_name.x" and "button_name.y", where "button_name" is
       the name you've assigned to it.


       1.  The first argument (-name) is required and specifies the name of this field.

       2.  The second argument (-src) is also required and specifies the URL

       3.  The third option (-align, optional) is an alignment type, and may be TOP, BOTTOM or

       Fetch the value of the button this way:
            $x = param('button_name.x');
            $y = param('button_name.y');

            print button(-name=>'button_name',
                                 -value=>'user visible label',


            print button('button_name',"user visible value","do_something()");

       button() produces an "<input>" tag with "type="button"".  When it's pressed the fragment
       of JavaScript code pointed to by the -onClick parameter will be executed.

       Browsers support a so-called "cookie" designed to help maintain state within a browser
       session.  CGI.pm has several methods that support cookies.

       A cookie is a name=value pair much like the named parameters in a CGI query string.  CGI
       scripts create one or more cookies and send them to the browser in the HTTP header.  The
       browser maintains a list of cookies that belong to a particular Web server, and returns
       them to the CGI script during subsequent interactions.

       In addition to the required name=value pair, each cookie has several optional attributes:

       1. an expiration time
           This is a time/date string (in a special GMT format) that indicates when a cookie
           expires.  The cookie will be saved and returned to your script until this expiration
           date is reached if the user exits the browser and restarts it.  If an expiration date
           isn't specified, the cookie will remain active until the user quits the browser.

       2. a domain
           This is a partial or complete domain name for which the cookie is valid.  The browser
           will return the cookie to any host that matches the partial domain name.  For example,
           if you specify a domain name of ".capricorn.com", then the browser will return the
           cookie to Web servers running on any of the machines "www.capricorn.com",
           "www2.capricorn.com", "feckless.capricorn.com", etc.  Domain names must contain at
           least two periods to prevent attempts to match on top level domains like ".edu".  If
           no domain is specified, then the browser will only return the cookie to servers on the
           host the cookie originated from.

       3. a path
           If you provide a cookie path attribute, the browser will check it against your
           script's URL before returning the cookie.  For example, if you specify the path
           "/cgi-bin", then the cookie will be returned to each of the scripts
           "/cgi-bin/tally.pl", "/cgi-bin/order.pl", and "/cgi-bin/customer_service/complain.pl",
           but not to the script "/cgi-private/site_admin.pl".  By default, path is set to "/",
           which causes the cookie to be sent to any CGI script on your site.

       4. a "secure" flag
           If the "secure" attribute is set, the cookie will only be sent to your script if the
           CGI request is occurring on a secure channel, such as SSL.

       The interface to HTTP cookies is the cookie() method:

           $cookie = cookie(-name=>'sessionID',
           print header(-cookie=>$cookie);

       cookie() creates a new cookie.  Its parameters include:

           The name of the cookie (required).  This can be any string at all.  Although browsers
           limit their cookie names to non-whitespace alphanumeric characters, CGI.pm removes
           this restriction by escaping and unescaping cookies behind the scenes.

           The value of the cookie.  This can be any scalar value, array reference, or even hash
           reference.  For example, you can store an entire hash into a cookie this way:

                   $cookie=cookie(-name=>'family information',

           The optional partial path for which this cookie will be valid, as described above.

           The optional partial domain for which this cookie will be valid, as described above.

           The optional expiration date for this cookie.  The format is as described in the
           section on the header() method:

                   "+1h"  one hour from now

           If set to true, this cookie will only be used within a secure SSL session.

       The cookie created by cookie() must be incorporated into the HTTP header within the string
       returned by the header() method:

               use CGI ':standard';
               print header(-cookie=>$my_cookie);

       To create multiple cookies, give header() an array reference:

               $cookie1 = cookie(-name=>'riddle_name',
                                         -value=>"The Sphynx's Question");
               $cookie2 = cookie(-name=>'answers',
               print header(-cookie=>[$cookie1,$cookie2]);

       To retrieve a cookie, request it by name by calling cookie() method without the -value
       parameter. This example uses the object-oriented form:

               use CGI;
               $query = CGI->new;
               $riddle = $query->cookie('riddle_name');
               %answers = $query->cookie('answers');

       Cookies created with a single scalar value, such as the "riddle_name" cookie, will be
       returned in that form.  Cookies with array and hash values can also be retrieved.

       The cookie and CGI namespaces are separate.  If you have a parameter named 'answers' and a
       cookie named 'answers', the values retrieved by param() and cookie() are independent of
       each other.  However, it's simple to turn a CGI parameter into a cookie, and vice-versa:

          # turn a CGI parameter into a cookie
          # vice-versa

       If you call cookie() without any parameters, it will return a list of the names of all
       cookies passed to your script:

         @cookies = cookie();

       See the cookie.cgi example script for some ideas on how to use cookies effectively.

       It's possible for CGI.pm scripts to write into several browser panels and windows using
       the HTML 4 frame mechanism.  There are three techniques for defining new frames

       1. Create a <Frameset> document
           After writing out the HTTP header, instead of creating a standard HTML document using
           the start_html() call, create a <frameset> document that defines the frames on the
           page.  Specify your script(s) (with appropriate parameters) as the SRC for each of the

           There is no specific support for creating <frameset> sections in CGI.pm, but the HTML
           is very simple to write.

       2. Specify the destination for the document in the HTTP header
           You may provide a -target parameter to the header() method:

               print header(-target=>'ResultsWindow');

           This will tell the browser to load the output of your script into the frame named
           "ResultsWindow".  If a frame of that name doesn't already exist, the browser will pop
           up a new window and load your script's document into that.  There are a number of
           magic names that you can use for targets.  See the HTML "<frame>" documentation for

       3. Specify the destination for the document in the <form> tag
           You can specify the frame to load in the FORM tag itself.  With CGI.pm it looks like

               print start_form(-target=>'ResultsWindow');

           When your script is reinvoked by the form, its output will be loaded into the frame
           named "ResultsWindow".  If one doesn't already exist a new window will be created.

       The script "frameset.cgi" in the examples directory shows one way to create pages in which
       the fill-out form and the response live in side-by-side frames.

       The usual way to use JavaScript is to define a set of functions in a <SCRIPT> block inside
       the HTML header and then to register event handlers in the various elements of the page.
       Events include such things as the mouse passing over a form element, a button being
       clicked, the contents of a text field changing, or a form being submitted. When an event
       occurs that involves an element that has registered an event handler, its associated
       JavaScript code gets called.

       The elements that can register event handlers include the <BODY> of an HTML document,
       hypertext links, all the various elements of a fill-out form, and the form itself. There
       are a large number of events, and each applies only to the elements for which it is
       relevant. Here is a partial list:

           The browser is loading the current document. Valid in:

                + The HTML <BODY> section only.

           The browser is closing the current page or frame. Valid for:

                + The HTML <BODY> section only.

           The user has pressed the submit button of a form. This event happens just before the
           form is submitted, and your function can return a value of false in order to abort the
           submission.  Valid for:

                + Forms only.

           The mouse has clicked on an item in a fill-out form. Valid for:

                + Buttons (including submit, reset, and image buttons)
                + Checkboxes
                + Radio buttons

           The user has changed the contents of a field. Valid for:

                + Text fields
                + Text areas
                + Password fields
                + File fields
                + Popup Menus
                + Scrolling lists

           The user has selected a field to work with. Valid for:

                + Text fields
                + Text areas
                + Password fields
                + File fields
                + Popup Menus
                + Scrolling lists

           The user has deselected a field (gone to work somewhere else).  Valid for:

                + Text fields
                + Text areas
                + Password fields
                + File fields
                + Popup Menus
                + Scrolling lists

           The user has changed the part of a text field that is selected.  Valid for:

                + Text fields
                + Text areas
                + Password fields
                + File fields

           The mouse has moved over an element.

                + Text fields
                + Text areas
                + Password fields
                + File fields
                + Popup Menus
                + Scrolling lists

           The mouse has moved off an element.

                + Text fields
                + Text areas
                + Password fields
                + File fields
                + Popup Menus
                + Scrolling lists

       In order to register a JavaScript event handler with an HTML element, just use the event
       name as a parameter when you call the corresponding CGI method. For example, to have your
       validateAge() JavaScript code executed every time the textfield named "age" changes,
       generate the field like this:

        print textfield(-name=>'age',-onChange=>"validateAge(this)");

       This example assumes that you've already declared the validateAge() function by
       incorporating it into a <SCRIPT> block. The CGI.pm start_html() method provides a
       convenient way to create this section.

       Similarly, you can create a form that checks itself over for consistency and alerts the
       user if some essential value is missing by creating it this way:
         print start_form(-onSubmit=>"validateMe(this)");

       See the javascript.cgi script for a demonstration of how this all works.

       CGI.pm has limited support for HTML3's cascading style sheets (css).  To incorporate a
       stylesheet into your document, pass the start_html() method a -style parameter.  The value
       of this parameter may be a scalar, in which case it is treated as the source URL for the
       stylesheet, or it may be a hash reference.  In the latter case you should provide the hash
       with one or more of -src or -code.  -src points to a URL where an externally-defined
       stylesheet can be found.  -code points to a scalar value to be incorporated into a <style>
       section.  Style definitions in -code override similarly-named ones in -src, hence the name

       You may also specify the type of the stylesheet by adding the optional -type parameter to
       the hash pointed to by -style.  If not specified, the style defaults to 'text/css'.

       To refer to a style within the body of your document, add the -class parameter to any HTML

           print h1({-class=>'Fancy'},'Welcome to the Party');

       Or define styles on the fly with the -style parameter:

           print h1({-style=>'Color: red;'},'Welcome to Hell');

       You may also use the new span() element to apply a style to a section of text:

           print span({-style=>'Color: red;'},
                      h1('Welcome to Hell'),
                      "Where did that handbasket get to?"

       Note that you must import the ":html3" definitions to have the span() method available.
       Here's a quick and dirty example of using CSS's.  See the CSS specification at
       http://www.w3.org/Style/CSS/ for more information.

           use CGI qw/:standard :html3/;

           #here's a stylesheet incorporated directly into the page
           P.Tip {
               margin-right: 50pt;
               margin-left: 50pt;
               color: red;
           P.Alert {
               font-size: 30pt;
               font-family: sans-serif;
             color: red;
           print header();
           print start_html( -title=>'CGI with Style',
           print h1('CGI with Style'),
                   "Better read the cascading style sheet spec before playing with this!"),
                 span({-style=>'color: magenta'},
                      "Look Mom, no hands!",
                      "Whooo wee!"
           print end_html;

       Pass an array reference to -code or -src in order to incorporate multiple stylesheets into
       your document.

       Should you wish to incorporate a verbatim stylesheet that includes arbitrary formatting in
       the header, you may pass a -verbatim tag to the -style hash, as follows:

       print start_html (-style  =>  {-verbatim => '@import
                         -src    =>  '/server-common/css/core.css'});

       This will generate an HTML header that contains this:

        <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css"  href="/server-common/css/core.css">
          <style type="text/css">
          @import url("/server-common/css/main.css");

       Any additional arguments passed in the -style value will be incorporated into the <link>
       tag.  For example:

                                 -media => 'all'});

       This will give:

        <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="/styles/print.css" media="all"/>
        <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="/styles/layout.css" media="all"/>


       To make more complicated <link> tags, use the Link() function and pass it to start_html()
       in the -head argument, as in:

         @h = (Link({-rel=>'stylesheet',-type=>'text/css',-src=>'/ss/ss.css',-media=>'all'}),
         print start_html({-head=>\@h})

       To create primary and  "alternate" stylesheet, use the -alternate option:


       If you are running the script from the command line or in the perl debugger, you can pass
       the script a list of keywords or parameter=value pairs on the command line or from
       standard input (you don't have to worry about tricking your script into reading from
       environment variables).  You can pass keywords like this:

           your_script.pl keyword1 keyword2 keyword3

       or this:

          your_script.pl keyword1+keyword2+keyword3

       or this:

           your_script.pl name1=value1 name2=value2

       or this:

           your_script.pl name1=value1&name2=value2

       To turn off this feature, use the -no_debug pragma.

       To test the POST method, you may enable full debugging with the -debug pragma.  This will
       allow you to feed newline-delimited name=value pairs to the script on standard input.

       When debugging, you can use quotes and backslashes to escape characters in the familiar
       shell manner, letting you place spaces and other funny characters in your parameter=value

          your_script.pl "name1='I am a long value'" "name2=two\ words"

       Finally, you can set the path info for the script by prefixing the first name/value
       parameter with the path followed by a question mark (?):

           your_script.pl /your/path/here?name1=value1&name2=value2

       The Dump() method produces a string consisting of all the query's name/value pairs
       formatted nicely as a nested list.  This is useful for debugging purposes:

           print Dump

       Produces something that looks like:


       As a shortcut, you can interpolate the entire CGI object into a string and it will be
       replaced with the a nice HTML dump shown above:

           print "<h2>Current Values</h2> $query\n";

       Some of the more useful environment variables can be fetched through this interface.  The
       methods are as follows:

           Return a list of MIME types that the remote browser accepts. If you give this method a
           single argument corresponding to a MIME type, as in Accept('text/html'), it will
           return a floating point value corresponding to the browser's preference for this type
           from 0.0 (don't want) to 1.0.  Glob types (e.g. text/*) in the browser's accept list
           are handled correctly.

           Note that the capitalization changed between version 2.43 and 2.44 in order to avoid
           conflict with Perl's accept() function.

           Returns the HTTP_COOKIE variable.  Cookies have a special format, and this method call
           just returns the raw form (?cookie dough).  See cookie() for ways of setting and
           retrieving cooked cookies.

           Called with no parameters, raw_cookie() returns the packed cookie structure.  You can
           separate it into individual cookies by splitting on the character sequence "; ".
           Called with the name of a cookie, retrieves the unescaped form of the cookie.  You can
           use the regular cookie() method to get the names, or use the raw_fetch() method from
           the CGI::Cookie module.

           Returns the HTTP_USER_AGENT variable.  If you give this method a single argument, it
           will attempt to pattern match on it, allowing you to do something like

           Returns additional path information from the script URL.  E.G. fetching
           /cgi-bin/your_script/additional/stuff will result in path_info() returning

           NOTE: The Microsoft Internet Information Server is broken with respect to additional
           path information.  If you use the Perl DLL library, the IIS server will attempt to
           execute the additional path information as a Perl script.  If you use the ordinary
           file associations mapping, the path information will be present in the environment,
           but incorrect.  The best thing to do is to avoid using additional path information in
           CGI scripts destined for use with IIS.

           As per path_info() but returns the additional path information translated into a
           physical path, e.g.  "/usr/local/etc/httpd/htdocs/additional/stuff".

           The Microsoft IIS is broken with respect to the translated path as well.

           Returns either the remote host name or IP address.  if the former is unavailable.

           Returns the remote host IP address, or if the address is unavailable.

       script_name() Return the script name as a partial URL, for self-referring scripts.
           Return the URL of the page the browser was viewing prior to fetching your script.  Not
           available for all browsers.

       auth_type ()
           Return the authorization/verification method in use for this script, if any.

       server_name ()
           Returns the name of the server, usually the machine's host name.

       virtual_host ()
           When using virtual hosts, returns the name of the host that the browser attempted to

       server_port ()
           Return the port that the server is listening on.

       virtual_port ()
           Like server_port() except that it takes virtual hosts into account.  Use this when
           running with virtual hosts.

       server_software ()
           Returns the server software and version number.

       remote_user ()
           Return the authorization/verification name used for user verification, if this script
           is protected.

       user_name ()
           Attempt to obtain the remote user's name, using a variety of different techniques.
           This only works with older browsers such as Mosaic.  Newer browsers do not report the
           user name for privacy reasons!

           Returns the method used to access your script, usually one of 'POST', 'GET' or 'HEAD'.

           Returns the content_type of data submitted in a POST, generally multipart/form-data or

           Called with no arguments returns the list of HTTP environment variables, including
           corresponding to the like-named HTTP header fields in the request.  Called with the
           name of an HTTP header field, returns its value.  Capitalization and the use of
           hyphens versus underscores are not significant.

           For example, all three of these examples are equivalent:

              $requested_language = http('Accept-language');
              $requested_language = http('Accept_language');
              $requested_language = http('HTTP_ACCEPT_LANGUAGE');

           The same as http(), but operates on the HTTPS environment variables present when the
           SSL protocol is in effect.  Can be used to determine whether SSL is turned on.

       NPH, or "no-parsed-header", scripts bypass the server completely by sending the complete
       HTTP header directly to the browser.  This has slight performance benefits, but is of most
       use for taking advantage of HTTP extensions that are not directly supported by your
       server, such as server push and PICS headers.

       Servers use a variety of conventions for designating CGI scripts as NPH.  Many Unix
       servers look at the beginning of the script's name for the prefix "nph-".  The Macintosh
       WebSTAR server and Microsoft's Internet Information Server, in contrast, try to decide
       whether a program is an NPH script by examining the first line of script output.

       CGI.pm supports NPH scripts with a special NPH mode.  When in this mode, CGI.pm will
       output the necessary extra header information when the header() and redirect() methods are

       The Microsoft Internet Information Server requires NPH mode.  As of version 2.30, CGI.pm
       will automatically detect when the script is running under IIS and put itself into this
       mode.  You do not need to do this manually, although it won't hurt anything if you do.
       However, note that if you have applied Service Pack 6, much of the functionality of NPH
       scripts, including the ability to redirect while setting a cookie, do not work at all on
       IIS without a special patch from Microsoft.  See
       Non-Parsed Headers Stripped From CGI Applications That Have nph- Prefix in Name.

       In the use statement
           Simply add the "-nph" pragma to the list of symbols to be imported into your script:

                 use CGI qw(:standard -nph)

       By calling the nph() method:
           Call nph() with a non-zero parameter at any point after using CGI.pm in your program.


       By using -nph parameters
           in the header() and redirect()  statements:

                 print header(-nph=>1);

Server Push
       CGI.pm provides four simple functions for producing multipart documents of the type needed
       to implement server push.  These functions were graciously provided by Ed Jordan
       <ed AT fidalgo.net>.  To import these into your namespace, you must import the ":push" set.
       You are also advised to put the script into NPH mode and to set $| to 1 to avoid buffering

       Here is a simple script that demonstrates server push:

         use CGI qw/:push -nph/;
         $| = 1;
         print multipart_init(-boundary=>'----here we go!');
         for (0 .. 4) {
             print multipart_start(-type=>'text/plain'),
                   "The current time is ",scalar(localtime),"\n";
             if ($_ < 4) {
                     print multipart_end;
             } else {
                     print multipart_final;
             sleep 1;

       This script initializes server push by calling multipart_init().  It then enters a loop in
       which it begins a new multipart section by calling multipart_start(), prints the current
       local time, and ends a multipart section with multipart_end().  It then sleeps a second,
       and begins again. On the final iteration, it ends the multipart section with
       multipart_final() rather than with multipart_end().


           Initialize the multipart system.  The -boundary argument specifies what MIME boundary
           string to use to separate parts of the document.  If not provided, CGI.pm chooses a
           reasonable boundary for you.


           Start a new part of the multipart document using the specified MIME type.  If not
           specified, text/html is assumed.


           End a part.  You must remember to call multipart_end() once for each
           multipart_start(), except at the end of the last part of the multipart document when
           multipart_final() should be called instead of multipart_end().


           End all parts.  You should call multipart_final() rather than multipart_end() at the
           end of the last part of the multipart document.

       Users interested in server push applications should also have a look at the CGI::Push

Avoiding Denial of Service Attacks
       A potential problem with CGI.pm is that, by default, it attempts to process form POSTings
       no matter how large they are.  A wily hacker could attack your site by sending a CGI
       script a huge POST of many megabytes.  CGI.pm will attempt to read the entire POST into a
       variable, growing hugely in size until it runs out of memory.  While the script attempts
       to allocate the memory the system may slow down dramatically.  This is a form of denial of
       service attack.

       Another possible attack is for the remote user to force CGI.pm to accept a huge file
       upload.  CGI.pm will accept the upload and store it in a temporary directory even if your
       script doesn't expect to receive an uploaded file.  CGI.pm will delete the file
       automatically when it terminates, but in the meantime the remote user may have filled up
       the server's disk space, causing problems for other programs.

       The best way to avoid denial of service attacks is to limit the amount of memory, CPU time
       and disk space that CGI scripts can use.  Some Web servers come with built-in facilities
       to accomplish this. In other cases, you can use the shell limit or ulimit commands to put
       ceilings on CGI resource usage.

       CGI.pm also has some simple built-in protections against denial of service attacks, but
       you must activate them before you can use them.  These take the form of two global
       variables in the CGI name space:

           If set to a non-negative integer, this variable puts a ceiling on the size of
           POSTings, in bytes.  If CGI.pm detects a POST that is greater than the ceiling, it
           will immediately exit with an error message.  This value will affect both ordinary
           POSTs and multipart POSTs, meaning that it limits the maximum size of file uploads as
           well.  You should set this to a reasonably high value, such as 1 megabyte.

           If set to a non-zero value, this will disable file uploads completely.  Other fill-out
           form values will work as usual.

       You can use these variables in either of two ways.

       1. On a script-by-script basis
           Set the variable at the top of the script, right after the "use" statement:

               use CGI qw/:standard/;
               use CGI::Carp 'fatalsToBrowser';
               $CGI::POST_MAX=1024 * 100;  # max 100K posts
               $CGI::DISABLE_UPLOADS = 1;  # no uploads

       2. Globally for all scripts
           Open up CGI.pm, find the definitions for $POST_MAX and $DISABLE_UPLOADS, and set them
           to the desired values.  You'll find them towards the top of the file in a subroutine
           named initialize_globals().

       An attempt to send a POST larger than $POST_MAX bytes will cause param() to return an
       empty CGI parameter list.  You can test for this event by checking cgi_error(), either
       after you create the CGI object or, if you are using the function-oriented interface, call
       <param()> for the first time.  If the POST was intercepted, then cgi_error() will return
       the message "413 POST too large".

       This error message is actually defined by the HTTP protocol, and is designed to be
       returned to the browser as the CGI script's status
        code.  For example:

          $uploaded_file = param('upload');
          if (!$uploaded_file && cgi_error()) {
             print header(-status=>cgi_error());
             exit 0;

       However it isn't clear that any browser currently knows what to do with this status code.
       It might be better just to create an HTML page that warns the user of the problem.

       To make it easier to port existing programs that use cgi-lib.pl the compatibility routine
       "ReadParse" is provided.  Porting is simple:


           require "cgi-lib.pl";
           print "The value of the antique is $in{antique}.\n";


           use CGI;
           print "The value of the antique is $in{antique}.\n";

       CGI.pm's ReadParse() routine creates a tied variable named %in, which can be accessed to
       obtain the query variables.  Like ReadParse, you can also provide your own variable.
       Infrequently used features of ReadParse, such as the creation of @in and $in variables,
       are not supported.

       Once you use ReadParse, you can retrieve the query object itself this way:

           $q = $in{CGI};
           print $q->textfield(-name=>'wow',
                   -value=>'does this really work?');

       This allows you to start using the more interesting features of CGI.pm without rewriting
       your old scripts from scratch.

       An even simpler way to mix cgi-lib calls with CGI.pm calls is to import both the
       ":cgi-lib" and ":standard" method:

        use CGI qw(:cgi-lib :standard);
        print "The price of your purchase is $in{price}.\n";
        print textfield(-name=>'price', -default=>'$1.99');

   Cgi-lib functions that are available in CGI.pm
       In compatibility mode, the following cgi-lib.pl functions are available for your use:


   Cgi-lib functions that are not available in CGI.pm
         * Extended form of ReadParse()
           The extended form of ReadParse() that provides for file upload
           spooling, is not available.

         * MyBaseURL()
           This function is not available.  Use CGI.pm's url() method instead.

         * MyFullURL()
           This function is not available.  Use CGI.pm's self_url() method

         * CgiError(), CgiDie()
           These functions are not supported.  Look at CGI::Carp for the way I
           prefer to handle error messages.

         * PrintVariables()
           This function is not available.  To achieve the same effect,
              just print out the CGI object:

              use CGI qw(:standard);
              $q = CGI->new;
              print h1("The Variables Are"),$q;

         * PrintEnv()
           This function is not available. You'll have to roll your own if you really need it.

       The CGI.pm distribution is copyright 1995-2007, Lincoln D. Stein. It is distributed under
       GPL and the Artistic License 2.0. It is currently maintained by Mark Stosberg with help
       from many contributors.

       Address bug reports and comments to:
       https://rt.cpan.org/Public/Dist/Display.html?Queue=CGI.pm When sending bug reports, please
       provide the version of CGI.pm, the version of Perl, the name and version of your Web
       server, and the name and version of the operating system you are using.  If the problem is
       even remotely browser dependent, please provide information about the affected browsers as

       Thanks very much to:

       Matt Heffron (heffron AT falstaff.com)
       James Taylor (james.taylor AT srs.gov)
       Scott Anguish <sanguish AT digifix.com>
       Mike Jewell (mlj3u AT virginia.edu)
       Timothy Shimmin (tes AT kbs.au)
       Joergen Haegg (jh AT axis.se)
       Laurent Delfosse (delfosse AT delfosse.com)
       Richard Resnick (applepi1 AT aol.com)
       Craig Bishop (csb AT barwonwater.au)
       Tony Curtis (tc AT vcpc.at)
       Tim Bunce (Tim.Bunce AT ig.uk)
       Tom Christiansen (tchrist AT convex.com)
       Andreas Koenig (k AT franz.DE)
       Tim MacKenzie (Tim.MacKenzie AT fulcrum.au)
       Kevin B. Hendricks (kbhend AT dogwood.edu)
       Stephen Dahmen (joyfire AT inxpress.net)
       Ed Jordan (ed AT fidalgo.net)
       David Alan Pisoni (david AT cnation.com)
       Doug MacEachern (dougm AT opengroup.org)
       Robin Houston (robin AT oneworld.org)
       ...and many many more...
           for suggestions and bug fixes.


               use CGI ':standard';

               print header;
               print start_html("Example CGI.pm Form");
               print "<h1> Example CGI.pm Form</h1>\n";
               print end_html;

               sub print_prompt {
                  print start_form;
                  print "<em>What's your name?</em><br>";
                  print textfield('name');
                  print checkbox('Not my real name');

                  print "<p><em>Where can you find English Sparrows?</em><br>";
                  print checkbox_group(
                                        -name=>'Sparrow locations',

                  print "<p><em>How far can they fly?</em><br>",
                               -name=>'how far',
                               -values=>['10 ft','1 mile','10 miles','real far'],
                               -default=>'1 mile');

                  print "<p><em>What's your favorite color?</em>  ";
                  print popup_menu(-name=>'Color',

                  print hidden('Reference','Monty Python and the Holy Grail');

                  print "<p><em>What have you got there?</em><br>";
                  print scrolling_list(
                                -values=>['A Coconut','A Grail','An Icon',
                                          'A Sword','A Ticket'],

                  print "<p><em>Any parting comments?</em><br>";
                  print textarea(-name=>'Comments',

                  print "<p>",reset;
                  print submit('Action','Shout');
                  print submit('Action','Scream');
                  print end_form;
                  print "<hr>\n";

               sub do_work {

                  print "<h2>Here are the current settings in this form</h2>";

                  for my $key (param) {
                     print "<strong>$key</strong> -> ";
                     my @values = param($key);
                     print join(", ",@values),"<br>\n";

               sub print_tail {
                  print <<END;
               <address>Lincoln D. Stein</address><br>
               <a href="/">Home Page</a>

       Please report them.

       CGI::Carp - provides a Carp implementation tailored to the CGI environment.

       CGI::Fast - supports running CGI applications under FastCGI

       CGI::Pretty - pretty prints HTML generated by CGI.pm (with a performance penalty)

perl v5.20.2                                2014-12-27                                 CGI(3perl)

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