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I have built lots of sites based on perl with CGI.pm and MySQL. I'm self-taught (with the Monks' help) rather than a professional programmer.

However all of these sites have been on a stock web hosting account on an Apache server, with the simple model of:

  • browser requests URL
  • perl runs script at that URL (mostly using .htaccess and rewrite to fake "directories" so that /foo/bar/ is really ?x=foo&y=bar)
  • Apache serves up content after the script runs
  • script goes away

What I don't quite get is how the next, more professional kind of web app works, things based on Catalyst or Mojolicious etc. My question include, but are not limited to:

  • Do they require mod_perl?
  • How do you start and stop them?
  • Can I run this kind of self-contained app-and-server system on regular commercial hosting or do I need a VPS type setup where I'm root?
  • What happens if they crash or the server gets rebooted, etc?
  • Where is Plack in all this?
  • Could I easily convert my CGI-type sites to this model?
  • What makes this system better? Catalyst tutorials all say you can run the thing as CGI but it's not recommended.

As I said, I am totally confident in creating websites the "old" ("dumb"?) way, but this next step is a big gap in my knowledge. Is there a book or a tutorial aimed at taking me to that next level? Or can someone here sum it up succinctly?

UPDATE:

  • I'm getting the idea that it's not more professional to create web apps this way, simply that the frameworks are big, and that they're slow if you don't.
  • I roughly get what Plack is now.
  • Three of my questions has been answered, I now know that you stop/start them as servers the way you can start/stop your Apache with apachectl and you make sure they restart with the server by setting up your /etc/init.d just the way you set up your FTP daemon or whatever, so you need that level of control.

In reply to Help me fill a gap in my server-side knowledge? by Cody Fendant

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