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There's a lot of misinformation in that article. Sounds like it was written by someone who knows just enough to be dangerous. Let's look at a few pieces:

Maintaining state is possible with CGI using hidden variables, by encoding the URL, or by maintaining a state file on the server, it's just not easy or efficient.
There's that silly thing known as cookies that a few web sites use.
Second, every set of question/answers causes the web server to execute a unique instance of the CGI script. This is pretty expensive, especially on a high volume web site which may have 100 instances of a CGI script executing at any given moment, each, perhaps, with its own Perl interpreter.
How about mod_perl or fast CGI?
Finally, CGI scripts produce fairly ugly user-interfaces. Basically, CGI is limited to bland HTML-based forms and whatever bells and whistles can be provided by surrounding HTML layout. Thus, no CGI application looks like your swank bootleg copy of Word.
This may not seem like a big issue at first, but when you start competing for web hits with multi-million dollar companies, image is indeed everything. CGI simply cannot compare with web based applications which are not limited to HTML.
She's really confused here. Just what are those other companies using? Their own proprietary web protocols? Let's see, it could be JavaScript. I've had CGI's put that into generated pages ... Maybe style sheets? I've used those too. She gives no clue as to what this other magic is. The fact is a CGI script can put whatever it wants into a generated page.

The real miss here is that the entire web is basically CGI's. HTTP is a stateless protocol. Anything that appears to be something else is just putting wrappers around that stateless protocol to give it state and make it more usable. She appears to be picking on Perl CGI's in particular here (although she never really comes out and says that). What about other CGI programming languages? Are they any better? If so, why?

CGI's have their issues, but we can't just pack up the web and go home.


In reply to Re: Ignorant Article by steves
in thread Ignorant Article by Anonymous Monk

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