Before you go head on into this subject, you should at least have a good grasp of HTML and Javascript.

Perl started in 1987 and has seen a few versions since. It is used for many applications such as CGI, file processing, MSWindows scripting, GUI, database access, etc... I won't go into a full history about it. You can find out more about it at sites such as

Many other tutorial sites or Perl books will go into the install process of Perl onto a host server. This would be another subject for you to check out another site about if you want to go into that. The main concentration in HTMlite is to teach you how to use Perl/CGI. Most people viewing these pages will be wanting to learn how to program Perl/CGI since their host already has it installed and supports it.

If you know the basics of JavaScript, learning Perl/CGI should be a rather easy transition. Both have many commonalities to them.

Perl? CGI? Perl/CGI?

OK... what is it?

Perl is short for Practical Extraction and Reporting Language. CGI is short for Common Gateway Interface.

CGI is the interaction between the browser and the server. It is a set of structured rules. Perl is a script language. Some Perl scripts are CGI. Some are not. Some CGI use Perl. Some CGI use a different script language. Confused yet? Don't worry about all of that. Just know that the following pages will be showing Perl/CGI scripting. When people mention CGI, it usually means Perl/CGI.

Perl may be referenced as scripting or programming depending on what source you are looking at. Personally, I like to refer to it as programming since it actually executes commands.

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