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Can I use MS Frontpage?

by destreet (Initiate)
on Jun 08, 2004 at 02:29 UTC ( #362189=perlquestion: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

destreet has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

I have MS Frontpage as my website development/publishing tool and use a UNIX server. I would like to test Perl scripts on my local computer before uploading to our website. I have installed Apache & Perl and both appear to be operational - confirmed by using my browser. Problem - when executing Perl scripts within Frontpage, Form values aren't passed to the scripts. Does anyone know what is wrong?

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: Can I use MS Frontpage?
by DaWolf (Curate) on Jun 08, 2004 at 04:14 UTC
    I really don't advice you to use Front Page.

    I give you these reasons:
    1. FP generates too much trash code on it's files.
    2. FP as other sad MS products generates code that is suitable for non-standard applications, such as FP Extensions
    I really advice you to learn some HTML (believe me, you'll need this knowledge) and / or use other editor, such as Macromedia's Dreamweaver.

    Best regards,

    my ($author_nickname, $author_email) = ("DaWolf","erabbott\") if ($author_name eq "Er Galvão Abbott");
      I'm not in love with MS, but bashing them doesn't solve my problem. The version of Office I have came with FP - and I don't really want to spend several hundred dollars on new software. 1. Is just not correct - it like to make a couple of extra directories - and on modern servers a few extra bytes really isn't a problem. 2. I'm already using FP and my pages run on a UNIX server and any browser - so what is non-standard? I do a lot of work in HTML - FP has a view that allows for this. If you can recommend a freeware or GNU product fine.
        Recommend open source products for writing HTML:
      • Apache Web Server
      • Gvim

        It doesn't cost a thing. You might have to expend some effort learning how to use these products, but once you have done that you'll wonder why you ever wasted your time and money on crap like FrontPage.

        Plankton: 1% Evil, 99% Hot Gas.

        I usually agree that bashing a piece of MS software isn't very constructive, but geez, we're talking FP here ;-)

        1 it like to make a couple of extra directories - and on modern servers a few extra bytes really isn't a problem.

        As long as FP would limit the extra bytes to the server, I wouldn't have any probs with it, but it generates tons of HTML "crap" that you spit towards your visitors. Not very nice, IMNSHO.

        I'm already using FP and my pages run on a UNIX server and any browser - so what is non-standard?

        The frontpage extensions for one ... After I've seen what it had done to a server, I refuse to touch a server which has them installed (the "installer" messed a LOT up, permission-wise). Besides that, it may look good in "any" browser you have tested, but I bet my money on it that it doesn't validate ;-)

        If you're used to editing stuff by hand already (which is a good thing, if you'd ask me) why not use the earlier mentioned gvim? Or any text editor for that matter. Since you run your site on a UNIX machine, SSH into it and edit your files there. Then you can see the results of your alterations in Perl scripts right away :-)


        All code is usually tested, but rarely trusted.
        Well, sorry to bash a MS product (I usually don't do this), but almost any experienced webdeveloper will tell you the same thing I did.

        Let me explain in other (softer) terms:

        • HTML is a language created to develop webpages. It has a DTD and some specification (see The World Wide Web Consortium for some boring, technical, but useful info on this).
        • HTML is *NOT* a language that should be oriented to be used with a specific software.
        • FP is the *WORST* HTML editor I (and at least half the professionals) know to do the job.
        • The great majority of webservers around the world *AREN'T* produced by MS, so you *WILL* have problems.
        • There are other free options to use and you'll have to learn to do the code yourself anyway, even if you use Dreamweaver (wich, in my opinion is the best Visual HTML Editor).

        After all of this I can't imagine one good reason to use FP

        Believe me, I don't want to sound cocky, but as soon you get some real experience dealing with HTML you'll agree with me.

        I rest my case.

        my ($author_nickname, $author_email) = ("DaWolf","erabbott\") if ($author_name eq "Er Galvão Abbott");
Re: Can I use MS Frontpage?
by Plankton (Vicar) on Jun 08, 2004 at 02:45 UTC
    Why are you try to execute your perl script from Frontpage? I think what you are trying to do is develop CGI scripts in Perl. You have Apache installed, I assume, on your local system. So all you should have to do is point your browser to the webpage (http://localhost/whatever.html) that contains the form that will be passed to your webserver. Your webserver will then execute your script.

    Plankton: 1% Evil, 99% Hot Gas.
      Well, I'm developing webpages in Frontpage. Some of them use forms. I process the forms in Perl. I can preview all of my pages and test them while in Frontpage. Except the ones with forms. It would be really convenient to preview them in Frontpage too without having to fire up my browser and find a page buried 6 directories deep under localhost.
Re: Can I use MS Frontpage?
by WhiteBird (Hermit) on Jun 08, 2004 at 12:16 UTC
    In the past, I have used FrontPage to develop web forms and have used Perl to process the input. You have to get behind the scenes, though, and into the code to make sure that your form elements are coded correctly to match what your Perl script is expecting. Check all your form values and your form processing statement to make sure it is pointing correctly to your Perl script and not to some FrontPage construct. Make sure you're not using any FrontPage extensions--unless things have changed those don't work on UNIX. And you'll have to continually fight with FrontPage to keep it from changing your HTML code.
      So what did you do to get FP to pass the form values to Perl? BTW - I've never had FP change my code without asking - and then is was only to correct links that had moved.
        You call your Perl script to process the form in the form tag attribute "action". It's the same on any form. You can either code it by hand, or use the form editor to set it up.
        <form name="NameOfYourForm" method="post" action="path to your script/">

        But after reading further in your comments I don't think that is your problem, is it? Your scripts work correctly when you upload them to your server, but you want to test them prior to uploading them, right? If I recall correctly, FrontPage won't run code unless you have a server installed on your test PC. Years ago FrontPage came with some sort of mini-personal-web-server thing that you could set up to allow scripts to be run--I don't know if that's still the case. I remember that I had to upload my code to the server to test it out. But, that was years ago and many FP versions back. I don't know what you might have available if you're using a new version of FP. If it doesn't come with a server you can configure, you might try installing and using Apache on your PC. Or, get a copy of OptiPerl. It's a shareware development tool that will let you test server-based scripts.

Re: Can I use MS Frontpage?
by fraktalisman (Hermit) on Jun 08, 2004 at 18:12 UTC
    As some people advised a text editor before, I'd like to mention the text-based editors with some extra functions and wizards that are especially useful for coding HTML (like table wizards, syntax checkers etc) - and mostly quite useful for writing Perl as well. (for example Phase V, a German freeware code editor)

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