mothra has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

Okay, I'm very new to CGI programming in Perl (but definitely not new to programming in general).

I'm doing a very simple shopping cart for a client, but can't seem to grok the coordination between a manually created query string, and being able to access form values.

I dynamically generate a form with these values: <FORM METHOD=POST ACTION="">

I'm using a variable called "action" to let my CGI script know that when the submit button of the form is clicked it should branch into its Add Item code.

However, everytime the script runs, and I try debugging with this (these are the first lines of the code):

my $q = new CGI; my $action = $q->param("action") || "enter"; my $cart_id = generate_header($q); my @allnames = $q->param; print "All vars => @allnames<BR>"; print "Action is $action";

I always get this output (along with the rest of the form being generated of course):

All vars => newitem qty Action is enter

So what I want to know is, why doesn't the webserver know that it should keep my "action" variable in there? It appears as though that's getting wiped out and replaced with the two input fields key/value pairs. Or am I taking the wrong approach in the way I'm trying to tell my CGI program what to do to begin with?