I'm not sure I understand the problem.
What does your variable really contain? What is the length of
? 5 or 6? Can you post a snippet?
If you need a way to escape special characters you can use the quotemeta built-in.
I don't use CGI so I'm afraid that I can't help you there.
Are you posting in the right place? Check out Where do I post X? to know for sure.
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Snippets of code should be wrapped in
<code> tags not
<pre> tags. In fact, <pre>
tags should generally be avoided. If they must
be used, extreme care should be
taken to ensure that their contents do not
have long lines (<70 chars), in order to prevent
horizontal scrolling (and possible janitor
Want more info? How to link or
or How to display code and escape characters
are good places to start.