Perl woes

| Technical stuff | 2 Comments

So I thought I would get fancy again and make my guestbook even nicer, nicer than it was ever meant to be. However, after I had changed some of the perl stuff and uploaded it to my cgi-bin directory again it all went boom. That is if I tried to add a new entry to the guestbook and hit the good old submit button, an ugly 500 internal error flew back in my face. Ugh and oops and what? What was the problem exactly? The most obvious choice is to recheck the Perl script for possible syntax errors, but that was perfectly fine. I had only changed a few items (5), and they all looked perfectly healthy to me. When I stuck back the original cgi-script to the server, everything was okay again. Weird. Why did I have to go off and change things, try to make them better but make them worse in the end? As it turned out, the cause of my problems was this and has to do with me "trying" to transfer my development environment to my new machine. The usual hassle. I use the wonderful tool called LeechFTP (sometimes crashes and/or generates cryptic error messages in German but in general pretty dependable and I am used to it). There is this option for setting file extensions which should be automatically uploaded in ASCII-mode. Well, you guessed it. The list of extensions was reset to the default after installation (".txt.htm.html.nfo.diz") and does NOT include the CGI extension. Oops, that means that when I try to transfer the file guest.cgi to my site, it gets sent in BINAIRY mode which is bad. Bad boy. Bummer man. I now quickly fixed that by appending the text ".pl.cgi.htaccess.pm.cfg.cgi" to the end of the default list. Don't want to forget the other types of files I upload regularly and end up having the very same frustrating problem now do I? Now everything works just fine again. Again and again. No use wasting energy doing low-level debugging stuff when that is not necessary. First think, think deeply, before proceeeding to the next step. Again and again.

2 Comments

just checked it out... one comment/question: As I was typing into the comment field, there was this weird line re-wrapping kind of thing going on. Is that normal, or is my p.c. just on crack?

No you're pc is not on drugs again. That weird affect is due to my HTML-validator and tidy programs which insert linebreaks after the (textarea)-tags resulting in extra unplanned for space. The browser sees this as real space for some reason. I have fixed the problem in my next (XHTML-compliant) release where I added the following statement to the (body)-tag of that page: onload="document.frmGuestbook.comments.value=''".

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This personal weblog was started way back on July 21, 2001 which means that it is 7-21-2001 old.

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Graduated from Stanford 6-5-1979 ago.

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