Collaborative Spaces and Education
The Web: CGI Scripts

(Discuss the Web)

This section talks about a number of CGI scripts that help us use the Web in our classes.

One of the strengths of the Web is its distributed nature. Authors have been able to create hypertexts for years, but it wasn't until the blossoming of the Web in 1994 that the possibilities for sharing these hypertexts were fully realized. Unfortunately, early Web projects, although allowing incredible distribution potential, were fairly crude in terms of interactivity and "constructive" potential. Until the advent of JavaScript (and even after) the best way to counter this shortcoming is by interfacing with the higher level programming capabilities of Web servers. Web pages are fairly unsophisticated in terms of capacity, but servers can run any number of complex programs. In order to coordinate information between Web pages and servers, programs called Comon Gateway Interfaces (CGIs) are used. CGIs are actually a combination of a gateway that allows the sharing of information and a script or program that runs on the server.

To increase our Web capacity we have written a number of scripts using the perl programming language
One script allows students to submit Web sites to class pages. Another script that we treat in this project allows students to collaborate on a constructive Web hyperfiction. The latest manifestation of our scripts allow readers to annotate texts and hold Web-based discussion.

Opening Teaching Theory The Web MU*S Conversation

Daniel Anderson
Joi Lynne Chevalier