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How can I get better error messages from a CGI program?

by faq_monk (Initiate)
on Oct 08, 1999 at 00:32 UTC ( #757=perlfaq nodetype: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

Current Perl documentation can be found at perldoc.perl.org.

Here is our local, out-dated (pre-5.6) version:

Use the CGI::Carp module. It replaces warn and die, plus the normal Carp modules carp, croak, and confess functions with more verbose and safer versions. It still sends them to the normal server error log.

    use CGI::Carp;
    warn "This is a complaint";
    die "But this one is serious";

The following use of CGI::Carp also redirects errors to a file of your choice, placed in a BEGIN block to catch compile-time warnings as well:

    BEGIN {
        use CGI::Carp qw(carpout);
        open(LOG, ">>/var/local/cgi-logs/mycgi-log")
            or die "Unable to append to mycgi-log: $!
";
        carpout(*LOG);
    }

You can even arrange for fatal errors to go back to the client browser, which is nice for your own debugging, but might confuse the end user.

    use CGI::Carp qw(fatalsToBrowser);
    die "Bad error here";

Even if the error happens before you get the HTTP header out, the module will try to take care of this to avoid the dreaded server 500 errors. Normal warnings still go out to the server error log (or wherever you've sent them with carpout) with the application name and date stamp prepended.

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