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Re: (OT)Gaining CGI Access

by Trimbach (Curate)
on Feb 19, 2004 at 22:59 UTC ( #330391=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to (OT)Gaining CGI Access

Do you have a killer app? That is, something that you absolutely positively have to have that they can't say no to? It's going to take something along those lines to get access... most colleges are very wary of letting students loose on their servers, especially with something as potentially risky as CGI. There's a ton of things they could do to compartmentalize your access and limit the damage you could (accidentally) do, but you need to come up with some compelling reason why they should bother. "Just for fun" will not cut it.

Alternatively, find a champion. Instead of appealing directly to the Web Gods find an administrator or teacher that's willing to go to bat for you. You are insignificant and easy to say "no" to. A tenured full-professor is much harder for them to ignore. :-)

Gary Blackburn
Trained Killer


Comment on Re: (OT)Gaining CGI Access
Re: Re: (OT)Gaining CGI Access
by flyingmoose (Priest) on Feb 19, 2004 at 23:21 UTC
    Instead of appealing directly to the Web Gods find an administrator or teacher that's willing to go to bat for you. You are insignificant and easy to say "no" to. A tenured full-professor is much harder for them to ignore. :-)
    This is really directed at the OP, but I'm replying to that "get faculty backing thing". That may be the wrong way to go.

    At larger universities, I think this is quite the opposite of reality. It is oft better to make friends with the web gods, join them, to get changes made. That's how Linux and IMAP became available at my college. Most improvements, in fact, have been from suggestions. Such large universities are probably using some very complicated mess to tie accounts together (AFS, etc), and have to contend with lots of security and reliability issues. Since your cgi-process can do many things (some of them worse than just runing your account space), they are wise to not allow it. Even "full tenured professors" are apt to be told "go run your own server", as the admins are right to do. Faculty might help in acquiring that server for you, though!

    Our organization (campus ACM chapter) solved this problem of needing more sophisticated access by running our own server, just another Linux box in the office. From there, we could do just about whatever we wanted, but it took some doing to get a CNAME and to let the department serve up to us. In all, the whole deal worked out rather well.

    You should really enjoy your campus web space. Using something for a local templating system before upload (as suggested above) can help you if you only have your web space to deal with.

Re: Re: (OT)Gaining CGI Access
by CloneArmyCommander (Friar) on Feb 20, 2004 at 16:17 UTC
    The reason I would like it, my killer app, is because the people who I build it for do not understand the process of building and maintaining a website, so they come to me and want thing done, up, and running within a couple of seconds. They use surveys to get information to figure out what needs updating, and my idea is to cut out that middle man, and collect information with a perl scirpt, and have things updated quicker, and much more accurate because they use the old method of giving surveys using paper and ink and tallying the votes themselves. So, when they mess up, since I put it on the website, the blame gets dumped on me.

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