A simple way of interacting with clients that visit a web site is to allow them to sign a guestlist and leave some comments. A guestlist form and custom CGI can be designed to facilitate such a task.

Installation

To install the comments form and CGI on your Virtual Private Server you will need to do the following:

  1. Install the Guestlist and Guest Entry Form
    You will need to download the Guestlist HTML source and Guestlist Entry Form HTML source and store it in the appropriate www directory. The Guestlist Entry Form can be customized by simply changing the values assigned to these variables:

    • MAXENTRIES is the number of entries that will be displayed in the guestbook. For example, if MAXENTRIES is set to 100, only the latest 100 entries in the guestbook will be displayed. If MAXENTRIES is set to negative or zero (or not included in the form at all), no entry restriction will be applied.

    • PATHNAME represents the pathname of the guestlist file relative to the ~/www/htdocs directory of your server. For example, if your guestlist file was named guestlist.html and was located in a subdirectory guest of your ~/www/htdocs directory, you would set PATHNAME to be /guest/guestlist.html.

    • ADDRESS should be set to the e-mail address where a copy of guestlist entries which include a return e-mail address are sent.

    Be sure that the variable name (MAXENTRIES, PATHNAME, PATHNAME, etc.) for each input field in the Guestlist Entry Form is not altered.

  2. Copy the Guestlist CGI directory

    As the root user, copy the guestlist directory from the /usr/local/share/contrib/ directory on your VPS v2 to the appropriate cgi-bin for the domain that will be using the script. Make sure to change the file ownership to the correct user.

  3. Customize the Appearance of the Guestlist CGI
    Two subroutines in the util.pl file are used to print out header and footer information. These functions are print_header_info and print_footer_info. Feel free to modify these functions such that the CGI outputs pages that are in synch with the motifs of the rest of your site.

Please note: the information on this page applies to ITS web hosting plans. It may or may not apply to other environments. If you are looking for a feature described here, or better support from your hosting provider, please consider hosting your site with ITS!

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