Stu Schwartz U Substitution Homework

Jayaram Sethuraman was born in the town of Hubli in Bombay Province (now Karnataka State) on October 3, 1937. His early years were spent in Hubli and in 1950 his family moved to Madras (now renamed Chennai). He graduated from Madras University in 1957 with a B.Sc. (Hons) degree in statistics and he earned his M.A. degree in statistics from Madras University in 1958. He earned a Ph.D. in statistics from the Indian Statistical Institute in 1962. Before returning to ISI in 1965 as an Associate Professor, he was a Research Associate at the University of North Carolina 1962–1963, at Michigan State University in 1963–1964 and at Stanford University 1964–1965. After three years at the ISI, Sethuraman moved to Florida State University in 1968 as Full Professor. During his career at FSU, he made sojourns as Visiting Professor to the University of Michigan, 1974–1975, the ISI in fall 1977, as a Visiting Professor and Acting Head, ISI Bangalore Center, 1979–1980. He was a senior ASA/NSF/NIST Fellow 1994–1995 and a Fulbright Senior Researcher at ISI Bangalore 1995–1996.

Although Sethuraman officially retired on January 31, 2004 and was named Professor Emeritus at FSU, he continues to be extremely active. He participates in all activities in the Department of Statistics and holds a Courtesy Professor appointment in the Department of Religion. He held an appointment as Professor, University of Pittsburgh in the fall of 2004, and was a Fulbright Senior Lecturer at the Indian Statistical Institute of Technology, Chennai, 2005.

Sethuraman has been a superior researcher throughout his career, making important contributions in many areas including asymptotic distribution theory, large deviations theory, moderate deviations theory for which he was the pioneer, limit theory, nonparametric statistics, Dirichlet processes and Bayesian nonparametrics, stopping times for sequential estimation and testing, order statistics, stochastic majorization, Bahadur and Pitman efficiency, Markov chain Monte Carlo, reliability theory, survival analysis and image analysis. Throughout his career, he has enjoyed continuous external research support from the U.S. Army Office of Research and support from the Academy of Applied Science for mentoring high school students.

Jayaram Sethuraman has received many recognitions for his contributions to the discipline of statistics and to the advancement of science among future scholars. He was elected Fellow of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics (1968) and the American Statistical Association (1971), and became an elected member of the International Statistical Institute (1972). He received the U.S. Army S. S. Wilks Award (1994), was the R. A. Bradley Lecturer, University of Georgia (1995), received the Teaching Incentive Program Award, FSU (1995), and the Professorial Excellence Award, FSU (1996). He was chairman of the FSU Statistics Department 1987–1990. Sethuraman received an ASA Service Award (2001), the President’s Continuing Education Award, FSU (2002), and the Bhargavi and C. R. Rao Prize, Pennsylvania State University (2005). In 1993 he was named the Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor, FSU. This award is made to only one faculty member per year and is the University’s highest faculty honor.

Associative arrays (also called hashes) help you remember things: $DaysInMonth{'January'} = 31; $enrolled{'Joe College'} = 1; $StudentName{654321} = 'Joe College'; $score{$studentno,$examno} = 89; %whole_hash

Perl 5 allows combinations of these, such as lists of lists and associative arrays of lists.

Name Conventions

Scalar variables start with '$', even when referring to an array element. The variable name reference for a whole list starts with '@', and the variable name reference for a whole associative array starts with '%'.

Lists are indexed with square brackets enclosing a number, normally starting with [0]. In Perl 5, negative subscripts count from the end. Thus, is the 6th element of array, and


equals .

Associative arrays are indexed with curly brackets enclosing a string. $whatever, @whatever, and %whatever are three different variables.

@days = (31,28,31,30,31,30,31,31,30,31,30,31); # A list with 12 elements. $#days # Last index of @days; 11 for above list $#days = 7; # shortens or lengthens list @days to 8 elements @days # ($days[0], $days[1],... ) @days[3,4,5] # = (30,31,30) @days{'a','c'} # same as ($days{'a'},$days{'c'}) %days # (key1, value1, key2, value2, ...)

Case is significant--"$FOO", "$Foo" and "$foo" are all different variables. If a letter or underscore is the first character after the $, @, or %, the rest of the name may also contain digits and underscores. If this character is a digit, the rest must be digits. Perl has several dozen special variables whose second character is non-alphanumeric. For example, $/ is the input record separator, newline "\n" by default. An uninitialized variable has a special "undefined" value which can be detected by the function defined(). Undefined values convert depending on context to 0, null, or false.

The variable "$_" Perl presumes when needed variables are not specified. Thus:

<STDIN>; assigns a record from filehandle STDIN to $_ print; prints the curent value of $_ chop; removes the last character from $_ @things = split; parses $_ into white-space delimitedwords, which become successiveelements of list @things.

$_, $1, $2, $3, and other implicit variables contribute to Perl Paradox Number Two:What you don't see can help you or hurt you. See Quick Reference Guide Section 25, Special Variables.

Subroutines and functions are referenced with an initial '&', which is optional if reference is obviously a subroutine or function such as following the sub, do, and sort directives:

sub square { return $_[0] ** 2; } print "5 squared is ", &square(5);

Filehandles don't start with a special character, and so as to not conflict with reserved words are most reliably specified as uppercase names: INPUT, OUTPUT, STDIN, STDOUT, STDERR, etc.

8. Literals and Operators

Example: Numbers and Characters

#!/usr/local/bin/perl print '007',' has been portrayed by at least ', 004, ' actors. '; print 7+3, ' ', 7*3, ' ', 7/3, ' ', 7%3, ' ', 7**3, ' '; $x = 7; print $x; print ' Doesn\'t resolve variables like $x and backslashes \n. '; print "Does resolve $x and backslash\n"; $y = "A line containing $x and ending with line feed.\n"; print $y; $y = "Con" . "cat" . "enation!\n"; print $y;

This produces:

007 has been portrayed by at least 4 actors. 10 21 2.3333333333333335 1 343 7 Doesn't resolve variables like $x and backslashes \n. Does resolve 7 and backslash A line containing 7 and ending with line feed. Concatenation!


  1. Why does the output from the first few print statements run together?
  2. Is it necessary to declare variables in Perl? Is it possible?

Example: Comparisons

# The following "<<" variation of # data input simplifies CGI forms. $x = 'operator'; print <<THATSALL; A common mistake: Confusing the assignment $x = and the numeric comparison $x ==, and the character comparison $x eq. THATSALL $x = 7; if ($x == 7) { print "x is $x\n"; } if ($x = 5) { print "x is now $x,", "the assignment is successful.\n"; } $x = 'stuff'; if ($x eq 'stuff') { print "Use eq, ne, lt, gt, etc for strings.\n"; }

This produces:

A common mistake: Confusing the assignment operator = and the numeric comparison operator ==, and the character comparison operator eq. x is 7 x is now 5, the assignment is successful. Use eq, ne, lt, gt, etc for strings.

Example: Ordinary Arrays

@stuff = ('This', 'is', 'a', 'list.'); print "Lists and strings are indexed from 0.\n"; print "So \$stuff[1] = $stuff[1], ", "and \$#stuff = $#stuff.\n"; print @stuff,"\n"; print join('...',@stuff),"\n"; splice(@stuff, 3, 0, ('fine', 'little')); print join('...',@stuff),"\n";

This produces:

Lists and strings are indexed from 0. So $stuff[1] = is, and $#stuff = 3. Thisisalist.

Homework: Validate a date.

#!/usr/local/bin/perl print "Enter numeric: month day year\n"; $_ = <STDIN>; ($month,$day,$year) = split;

Complete this program. Print an error message if the month is not valid. Print an error message if the day is not valid for the given month (31 is ok for January but not for February). See if you can avoid using conditionals (if, unless, ?,...) statements but instead use data structures.

Approach this incrementally. On the first draft, assume that the user enters 3 numbers separated by spaces and that February has 28 days. Subsequent refinements should account for bad input and leap year. Finally, find a Perl builtin function that converts a date to system time, and see how to use that to validate time data generally.

Homework: Play with associative arrays.

Start with a few assignments like:

$name{12345} = 'John Doe'; $name{24680} = 'Jane Smith';

Print these scalars. What is the value of an associative array element that has never been assigned? What happens if you assign an associative array to a scalar? What happens if you assign an associative array to a normal array?

$blunk = %name; @persons = %name; print '$blunk=',$blunk,', @persons=', join(', ',@persons),"\n";

What happens if you assign a normal array to an associative array?

9. Loops and I/O

Example: Command Line Values and Iterative Loops

print "$#ARGV is the subscript of the ", "last command argument.\n"; # Iterate on numeric subscript 0 to $#ARGV: for ($i=0; $i <= $#ARGV; $i++) { print "Argument $i is $ARGV[$i].\n"; } # A variation on the preceding loop: foreach $item (@ARGV) { print "The word is: $item.\n"; } # A similar variation, using the # "Default Scalar Variable" $_ : foreach (@ARGV) { print "Say: $_.\n"; }


> perl Gooood morning, Columbia! 2 is the subscript of the last command argument. Argument 0 is Gooood. Argument 1 is morning,. Argument 2 is Columbia!. The word is: Gooood. The word is: morning,. The word is: Columbia!. Say: Gooood. Say: morning,. Say: Columbia!.

Example: Standard I/O

print STDOUT "Tell me something: "; while ($input = <STDIN>) { print STDOUT "You said, quote: $input endquote\n"; chop $input; print STDOUT "Without the newline: $input endquote\n"; if ($input eq '') { print STDERR "Null input!\n"; } print STDOUT "Tell me more, or ^D to end:\n"; } print STDOUT "That's all!\n";

Note 1: The statement's condition is an assignment statement: assign the next record from standard input to the variable $input. On end of file, this will assign not a null value but an "undefined" value. An undefined value in the context of a condition evaluates to "false". So the "" does three things: gets a record, assigns it to $input, and tests whether $input is undefined. In other contexts, Perl treats an undefined variable as null or zero. Thus, if is not initialized, sets to 1. Perl Paradox Number Three: Side effects can yield an elegant face or a pain in the rear.

Note 2: Data records are by default terminated by a newline character "\n" which in the above example is included as the last character of variable $input. The "chop" function removes the last character of its argument. Perl 5 introduces a "chomp" function that removes the last characters of a variable only if they are the currently defined end-of-record sequence, which is defined in the special variable $/.


> perl Tell me something: I'm warm. You said, quote: I'm warm. endquote Without the newline: I'm warm. endquote Tell me more, or ^D to end: Can I have some water? You said, quote: Can I have some water? endquote Without the newline: Can I have some water? endquote Tell me more, or ^D to end: You said, quote: endquote Without the newline: endquote Null input! Tell me more, or ^D to end: ^D That's all!

Example: Perls, A Perl Shell, Calculator, & Learning Tool

#!/usr/local/bin/perl for (;;) { print '(',join(', ',@ReSuLt),') ?'; last unless $InPuT = <STDIN>; $? = ''; $@ = ''; $! = ''; @ReSuLt = eval $InPuT; if ($?) { print 'status=',$?,' ' } if ($@) { print 'errmsg=',$@,' ' } if ($!) { print 'errno=',$!+0,': ',$!,' ' } }

This reads a line from the terminal and executes it as a Perl program. The "for (;;) {...}" makes an endless loop. The "last unless" line might be equivalently specified:

$InPuT = <STDIN>; # Get line from standard input. if (! defined($InPuT)) {last;} # If no line, leave the loop.

The "eval" function in Perl evaluates a string as a Perl program. "$@" is the Perl error message from the last "eval" or "do".


perls () ?Howdy (Howdy) ?2+5 (7) ?sqrt(2) (1.4142135623730951) ?$x () ?$x = sqrt(2) (1.4142135623730951) ?$x + 5 (6.4142135623730949) ?1/0 errmsg=Illegal division by constant zero in file (eval) at line 2, next 2 tokens "0;" () ?system 'date' Fri Sep 27 10:02:43 CDT 1996 (0) ?$x = `date` (Fri Sep 27 10:02:52 CDT 1996 ) ?chop $x ( ) ?$x (Fri Sep 27 10:02:52 CDT 1996) ?@y = split(/ /,$x) (Fri, Sep, 27, 10:02:52, CDT, 1996) ?@y[1,2,5] (Sep, 27, 1996) ?localtime() (37, 4, 10, 27, 8, 96, 5, 270, 1) ? () ?foreach (1..10) {print sqrt(),' '} 1 1.4142135623730951 1.7320508075688772 2 2.2360679774997898 2.4494897427831779 2.6457513110645907 2.8284271247461903 3 3.1622776601683795 () ?exit

Example: File I/O

#!/usr/local/bin/perl # Function: Reverse each line of a file # 1: Get command line values: if ($#ARGV !=1) { die "Usage: $0 inputfile outputfile\n"; } ($infile,$outfile) = @ARGV; if (! -r $infile) { die "Can't read input $infile\n"; } if (! -f $infile) { die "Input $infile is not a plain file\n"; } # 2: Validate files # Or statements "||" short-circuit, so that if an early part # evaluates as true, Perl doesn't bother to evaluate the rest. # Here, if the file opens successfully, we don't abort: open(INPUT,"<$infile") || die "Can't input $infile $!"; if ( -e $outfile) { print STDERR "Output file $outfile exists!\n"; until ($ans eq 'r' || $ans eq 'a' || $ans eq 'e' ) { print STDERR "replace, append, or exit? "; $ans = getc(STDIN); } if ($ans eq 'e') {exit} } if ($ans eq 'a') {$mode='>>'} else {$mode='>'} open(OUTPUT,"$mode$outfile") || die "Can't output $outfile $!"; # 3: Read input, reverse each line, output it. while (<INPUT>) { chop $_; $_ = reverse $_; print OUTPUT $_,"\n"; } # 4: Done! close INPUT,OUTPUT; exit;

10. Data-Processing: Grade Book Example

This example produces a score summary report by combining data from a simple file of student info and a file of their scores.

Input file "stufile" is delimited with colons. Fields are Student ID, Name, Year:

123456:Washington,George:SR 246802:Lincoln,Abraham "Abe":SO 357913:Jefferson,Thomas:JR 212121:Roosevelt,Theodore "Teddy":SO

Input file "scorefile" is delimited with blanks. Fields are Student ID, Exam number, Score on exam. Note that Abe is missing exam 2:

123456 1 98 212121 1 86 246802 1 89 357913 1 90 123456 2 96 212121 2 88 357913 2 92 123456 3 97 212121 3 96 246802 3 95 357913 3 94

The desired report:

Stu-ID Name... 1 2 3 Totals: 357913 Jefferson,Thomas 90 92 94 276 246802 Lincoln,Abraham "Abe" 89 95 184 212121 Roosevelt,Theodore "Teddy" 86 88 96 270 123456 Washington,George 98 96 97 291 Totals: 363 276 382

The program that made this report:

#!/usr/local/bin/perl # Gradebook - demonstrates I/O, associative # arrays, sorting, and report formatting. # This accommodates any number of exams and students # and missing data. Input files are: $stufile='stufile'; $scorefile='scorefile'; # If file opens successfully, this evaluates as "true", and Perl # does not evaluate rest of the "or" "||" open (NAMES,"<$stufile") || die "Can't open $stufile $!"; open (SCORES,"<$scorefile") || die "Can't open $scorefile $!"; # Build an associative array of student info # keyed by student number while (<NAMES>) { ($stuid,$name,$year) = split(':',$_); $name{$stuid}=$name; if (length($name)>$maxnamelength) { $maxnamelength=length($name); } } close NAMES; # Build a table from the test scores: while (<SCORES>) { ($stuid,$examno,$score) = split; $score{$stuid,$examno} = $score; if ($examno > $maxexamno) { $maxexamno = $examno; } } close SCORES; # Print the report from accumulated data! printf "%6s %-${maxnamelength}s ", 'Stu-ID','Name...'; foreach $examno (1..$maxexamno) { printf "%4d",$examno; } printf "%10s\n\n",'Totals:'; # Subroutine "byname" is used to sort the %name array. # The "sort" function gives variables $a and $b to # subroutines it calls. # "x cmp y" function returns -1 if x<y, 0 if x=y, # +1 if x>y. See the Perl documentation for details. sub byname { $name{$a} cmp $name{$b} } # Order student IDs so the names appear alphabetically: foreach $stuid ( sort byname keys(%name) ) { # Print scores for a student, and a total: printf "%6d %-${maxnamelength}s ", $stuid,$name{$stuid}; $total = 0; foreach $examno (1..$maxexamno) { printf "%4s",$score{$stuid,$examno}; $total += $score{$stuid,$examno}; $examtot{$examno} += $score{$stuid,$examno}; } printf "%10d\n",$total; } printf "\n%6s %${maxnamelength}s ",'',"Totals: "; foreach $examno (1..$maxexamno) { printf "%4d",$examtot{$examno}; } print "\n"; exit(0);

Perl allows an associative array to be "tied" to a genuine database, such that expressions like $record = $student{$key} use the database. See the "dbm" and "tie" functions.

11. Pipe I/O and System Calls

#!/usr/local/bin/perl # Report on disk usage under specified files # The Unix command "du -sk ..." (on BSD Unix, "du -s ...") # produces a series of lines: # 1942 bin # 2981 etc # ... # listing the K bytes used under each file or directory. # It doesn't show other information, such as the # modification date or owner. # This program gets du's kbytes and filename, and merges # this info with other useful information for each file. # $files = join(' ',@ARGV); # The trailing pipe "|" directs command output # into our program: if (! open (DUPIPE,"du -sk $files | sort -nr |")) { die "Can't run du! $!\n"; } printf "%8s %-8s %-16s %8s %s\n", 'K-bytes','Login','Name','Modified','File'; while (<DUPIPE>) { # parse the du info: ($kbytes, $filename) = split; # Call system to look up file info like "ls" does: ($dev,$ino,$mode,$nlink,$uid,$gid,$rdev, $size,$atime,$mtime,$ctime) = stat($filename); # Call system to associate login & name with uid: if ($uid != $previous_uid) { ($login,$passwd,$uid,$gid,$quota,$comment, $realname,$dir,$shell) = getpwuid($uid); ($realname) = split(',',substr($realname,0,20)); $previous_uid = $uid; } # Convert the modification-time to readable form: ($sec,$min,$hour,$mday,$mon,$myear) = localtime($mtime); $mmonth = $mon+1; printf "%8s %-8s %-16s %02s-%02d-%02d %s\n", $kbytes, $login, $realname, $myear, $mmonth, $mday, $filename; }

Demonstration Output

K-bytes Login Name Modified File 40788 c527100 Fred Flintstone 95-10-05 c527100 32685 c565060 Peter Parker 95-10-05 c565060 24932 c579818 Clark Kent 95-10-06 c579818 15388 c576657 Lois Lane 95-10-06 c576657 9462 c572038 Bruce Wayne 95-10-06 c572038 8381 c517401 Eric McGregor 95-10-05 c517401 7022 c594912 Asterisk de Gaul 95-10-05 c594912

12. Matching Matching involves use of patterns called "regular expressions". This, as you will see, leads to Perl Paradox Number Four: Regular expressions aren't. See sections 13 and 14 of the Quick Reference.

The =~ operator performs pattern matching and substitution. For example, if:

$s = 'One if by land and two if by sea';


if ($s =~ /if by la/) {print "YES"} else {print "NO"}

prints "YES", because the string $s matches the simple constant pattern "if by la".

if ($s =~ /one/) {print "YES"} else {print "NO"}

prints "NO", because the string does not match the pattern. However, by adding the "i" option to ignore case, we would get a "YES" from the following:

if ($s =~ /one/i) {print "YES"} else {print "NO"}

Patterns can contain a mind-boggling variety of special directions that facilitate very general matching. See Perl Reference Guide section 13, Regular Expressions. For example, a period matches any character (except the "newline" \n character).

if ($x =~ / {print "YES"}

would print "YES" for $x = "lamp", "lump", "slumped", but not for $x = "lmp" or "less amperes".

Parentheses () group pattern elements. An asterisk * means that the preceding character, element, or group of elements may occur zero times, one time, or many times. Similarly, a plus + means that the preceding element or group of elements must occur at least once. A question mark ? matches zero or one times. So:

/fr.*nd/ matches "frnd", "friend", "front and back" /fr.+nd/ matches "frond", "friend", "front and back" but not "frnd". /10*1/ matches "11", "101", "1001", "100000001". /b(an)*a/ matches "ba", "bana", "banana", "banananana" /flo?at/ matches "flat" and "float" but not "flooat"

Square brackets [ ] match a class of single characters.

[0123456789] matches any single digit [0-9] matches any single digit [0-9]+ matches any sequence of one or more digits [a-z]+ matches any lowercase word [A-Z]+ matches any uppercase word [ab n]* matches the null string "", "b", any number of blanks, "nab a banana"

[^...] matches characters that are not "...":

[^0-9] matches any non-digit character.

Curly braces allow more precise specification of repeated fields. For example matches any sequence of 6 digits, and matches any sequence of 6 to 10 digits.

Patterns float, unless anchored. The caret ^ (outside [ ]) anchors a pattern to the beginning, and dollar-sign $ anchors a pattern at the end, so:

/at/ matches "at", "attention", "flat", & "flatter" /^at/ matches "at" & "attention" but not "flat" /at$/ matches "at" & "flat", but not "attention" /^at$/ matches "at" and nothing else. /^at$/i matches "at", "At", "aT", and "AT". /^[ \t]*$/ matches a "blank line", one that contains nothing or any combination of blanks and tabs.

The Backslash. Other characters simply match themselves, but the characters and usually must be escaped with a backslash to be taken literally. Thus:

/10.2/ matches "10Q2", "1052", and "10.2" /10\.2/ matches "10.2" but not "10Q2" or "1052" /\*+/ matches one or more asterisks /A:\\DIR/ matches "A:\DIR" /\/usr\/bin/ matches "/usr/bin"

If a backslash preceeds an alphanumeric character, this sequence takes a special meaning, typically a short form of a [ ] character class. For example, \d is the same as the digits character class.

/[-+]?\d*\.?\d*/ is the same as /[-+]?[0-9]*\.?\d*/

Either of the above matches decimal numbers: "-150", "-4.13", "3.1415", "+0000.00", etc.

A simple specifies "white space", the same as the character class (blank, tab, newline, carriage return,form-feed). A character may be specified in hexadecimal as a followed by two hexadecimal digits; \x1b is the ESC character.

A vertical bar | specifies "or".

if ($answer =~ /^y|^yes|^yeah/i ) { print "Affirmative!"; }

prints "Affirmative!" for $answer equal to "y" or "yes" or "yeah" (or "Y", "YeS", or "yessireebob, that's right").

13. Parsing See the Perl Reference Guide section 14, Search and replace functions. When you include parenthesis ( ) in a matched string, the matching text in the parenthesis may subsequently be referenced via variables $1, $2, $3, ... for each left parenthesis encountered. These matches can also be assigned as sequential values of an array.

#!/usr/local/bin/perl -w $s = 'There is 1 date 10/25/95 in here somewhere.'; print "\$s=$s\n"; $s =~ /(\d{1,2})\/(\d{1,2})\/(\d{2,4})/; print "Trick 1: \$1=$1, \$2=$2, \$3=$3,\n", " \$\`=",$`," \$\'=",$',"\n"; ($mo, $day, $year) = ( $s =~ /(\d{1,2})\/(\d{1,2})\/(\d{2,4})/ ); print "Trick 2: \$mo=$mo, \$day=$day, \$year=$year.\n"; ($wholedate,$mo, $day, $year) = ( $s =~ /((\d{1,2})\/(\d{1,2})\/(\d{2,4}))/ ); print "Trick 3: \$wholedate=$wholedate, \$mo=$mo, ", "\$day=$day, \$year=$year.\n";

Results of above:

$s=There is 1 date 10/25/95 in here somewhere. Trick 1: $1=10, $2=25, $3=95, $`=There is 1 date $'= in here somewhere. Trick 2: $mo=10, $day=25, $year=95. Trick 3: $wholedate=10/25/95, $mo=10, $day=25, $year=95.

Note that when patterns are matched in an array context as in Tricks 2 and 3, $1, $2, ..., and $`, $', and $& are not set.

Regular expressions are greedy. In the following example we try to match whatever is between "<" and ">" :

#!/usr/local/bin/perl -w $s = 'Beware of <STRONG>greedy</strong> regular expressions.'; print "\$s=$s\n"; ($m) = ( $s =~ /<(.*)>/ ); print "Try 1: \$m=$m\n"; ($m) = ( $s =~ /<([^>]*)>/ ); print "Try 2: \$m=$m\n";

This results in:

$s=Beware of <STRONG>greedy</strong> regular expressions. Try 1: $m=STRONG>greedy</strong Try 2: $m=STRONG

Homework: Parsing and Reporting

1. See preceding "Grade Book" example. Using the same "stufile" input, print a list of students ordered by family name, with any quoted nickname listed in place of the given name, and family name last. Produce output like this:

Student-ID Year Name 357913 JR Thomas Jefferson 246802 SO Abe Lincoln 212121 SO Teddy Roosevelt 123456 SR George Washington

14. Simple CGI

For an introduction to Common Gateway Interface, see and .

Example: Server Status Report

Let's start with a CGI program that takes no input but produces output. The following Perl program reports the load on the Web server, using the standard Unix commands "hostname", "uptime", and "w". The output would look something like this:

What's Happening at sgi1

7:09pm up 1 day, 18:38, 4 users, load average: 0.08, 0.21, 0.53

c676828 q0 3 pico c676828 ftp UNKNOWN@128.20 - ccgreg q1 monad.missouri tcsh c552997 q5 mizzou-ts2.mis telnet

Here's the program that produced it:

#!/usr/local/bin/perl # Send error messages to the user, not system log open(STDERR,'<&STDOUT'); $| = 1; # Headers terminate by a null line: print "Content-type: text/html\n\n"; $host = `hostname`; chop $host; $uptime = `uptime`; $w = `w -s -h`; print <<BUNCHASTUFF; <HTML><HEAD> <TITLE>$host Status</TITLE> </HEAD><BODY> <H1>What's Happening at $host</H1> $uptime <PRE>$w</PRE> <HR> </BODY></HTML> BUNCHASTUFF exit;

Suppose user "bitman" wants to store this program on MU's SHOWME and SGI webservers, which use the "Apache" server software, configured for "CGI anywhere". If bitman doesn't already have a web directory, he should create one with these Unix commands:

mkdir ~/www; chmod a+x ~ ~/www

Then the above program could be put in a file , and that file made readable and executable:

chmod a+rx ~/www/status.cgi

On the SHOWME server, the program would then be referenced as:

Example: Web Form

Here is the image of a World Wide Web Electronic Form:

Web Form Example


When something is entered and the submit button pressed, here is a resulting screen:

Results of Form


Your ID Number is 196965, your name is G. K. Johnson, and your favorite color is green.

[Try again]

Perl Program to Generate and Process Form

Here is the Perl program that generates both the form and the response. It uses an external module called "" that is available from network Perl archives such as or a local copy.

#!/usr/local/bin/perl # Send error messages to the user, not system log open(STDERR,'<&STDOUT'); $| = 1 print &PrintHeader; require ""; # Get external subroutines $script = $ENV{'SCRIPT_NAME'}; $webserver = $ENV{'SERVER_NAME'}; if (! &ReadParse(*input)) { &showform } else { &readentries } exit; sub showform { # If there is no input data, show the blank form print <<EOF; <HTML><HEAD> <TITLE>Form Example, Part 1</TITLE> </HEAD><BODY> <H1>Web Form Example</H1> <P>(From http://$webserver$script) <FORM METHOD="POST" ACTION=$script> <PRE> Enter your ID Number: <INPUT NAME=idnum> Enter your Name: <INPUT NAME=name> Select favorite Color: <SELECT NAME=color> <OPTION>red<OPTION>green<OPTION>blue </SELECT> </PRE> To submit the query, press this button: <INPUT TYPE=submit VALUE="Submit Request"> </FORM> </BODY></HTML> EOF } # End of sub showform # sub readentries { # Input data was detected. Echo back to form user. print <<EOF; <HTML><HEAD> <TITLE>Form Example, Part 2</TITLE> </HEAD><BODY> <H1>Results of Form</H1> <P>(From http://$webserver$script) <P>Your ID Number is $input{'idnum'}, your name is $input{'name'}, and your favorite color is $input{'color'}. <HR> [<A HREF=$script>Try again</A>] EOF } # end of sub readentries #

15. Testing Perl Programs

Use the compiler switch to warn about identifiers that are referenced only once, uninitialized scalars, redefined subroutines, undefined file handles, probable confusion of "==" and "eq", and other things. This can be coded in the magic cookie first line:

#!/usr/local/bin/perl -w

As you write your program, put in statements to display variables as you proceed. Comment "#" them out when you feel you don't need to see their output.

CGI scripts require some special attention in testing.

MU's "showme" and "SGI" Web servers ( and use the Apache "sucgi" facility. This causes CGI programs stored under your directory ~/www/ with file name ending ".cgi" to execute as your own ID. On some other Web server the script does not execute under your login ID! It executes under the ID of the Web server, typically as user "nobody".

Thus a script that works at the command line may fail under the Web server because:

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