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Nov 96 URLs
Volume Number:12
Issue Number:11
Column Tag:Uniform Resource Locators

Uniform Resource Locators

By Jim Straus,

Don’t hesitate to notify me at of any sites that you think would be of interest! As always, the full list is maintained on-line at

Web Watch

To go along with this month’s theme, we will look at Internet Tools for the Macintosh. The most popular area of programming for the Internet is writing CGI programs for Web servers. CGI or Common Gateway Interface originally was a specification for how programs were invoked on Unix servers by web servers. However, the term has now come to be used for any programs invoked by web servers to generate information to be returned as a web page. The most common use for CGI programs is in response to Web forms, but they can be used to generate a different web page each time, in response to the user such as a the users location, something on the server such as the time of day, or both. The most popular Web server is WebSTAR, making it the standard for how CGI programs are invoked.

Jon Wiederspan’s CGI Tutorial has not been updated in a while, but it is still an extremely valuable tool for learning to program CGI tools for WebSTAR servers. It covers all the basics of Common Gateway Interface programs, creating CGI programs with AppleScript, working with forms, and working with image maps. Also check out some of Jon’s other works, and articles. A great spot to visit and look around for lots of good links out to other sites.

Jon Wiederspan’s CGI Tutorial

Grant Neufeld has written a very nice framework for creating CGI programs. It is a multi-threaded C framework so it can be (and has been) used for heavily trafficked sites. Besides supporting the original AppleEvent model, he is supporting the new WSAPI/CFM model. If you want to make professional, robust CGI programs, this is a site to check out.

Grant’s CGI Framework

Of course, if there is a way to write a program with AppleScript, there is a way to do it in Frontier. So the Frontier folks have their own site of hints and tools for creating CGI programs using Frontier. If you like Frontier (and there is a lot to like), this is a site for you.

CGIs in Frontier

A very useful tool for creating CGI AppleScripts is the CGI OSAX. It simplifies parsing all the information that the web server passes to the CGI program and tokenizes the information for easy usage.


Now for some more general purpose TCP programming tools, check out Metrowerks site and Eric Behr’s sites. These are both useful compilations of tools and information for MacTCP developers. Eric’s site is a very complete discussion of TCP/IP on the Macintosh. From how to install it, to how TCP works, to applications and source code.

Macintosh TCP/IP Programmers

MacTCP notes

Of course Apple has a couple of site of interesting tools and information for Mac Internet developers. CyberTech has information on Apple’s more official projects. This includes e.g., a fast indexer for web sites, NetFinder, and the AppleSearch ACGI, among others. Also, check out Project X, Apple’s Netscape plug-in that gives a 3D flyable view of web sites.


Project X

Maxis has a site full of tips for Mac Webmasters. If you want to set up your own web site or just see what is involved, this page has enough links to information to satisfy the most curious.

Maxis Webmaster Page

Thanks this month to Eric Behr, Mark Chally, Andy Goldstein, Grant Neufeld, Nermin Pomrcic, Jim Stephenson, Jon Wiederspan, and many others for their contributions for their suggestions and pointers to new and old sites.


Internet Related

Cyberdog Pound

Message Boards

Other Programmer Resources

Hypercard Heaven PowerPlant

Beginner’s Page

Vendors, Products and Miscellaneous



Mark Chally


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