[sf-perl] Browser front ends to perl back ends

David Alban extasia at extasia.org
Fri Jan 19 08:03:30 PST 2007


I'm a command line person.  I use things like X Windows and screen so
that I can get more command lines.  The tools I have written over the
years are command line tools.  My users have been command line people.

Now I'm in a situation where half my users are command line oriented,
and half don't use it at all, and are not likely to start.  I need to
write tools that cause and/or foster building of java code and cause
and/or foster the deployment of code and build artifacts from a source
code repository to different environments (dev, qa, production
equivalent, production).  I plan to write command line perl tools.
Command line perl tools that can be called from web front ends.  That
way the same set of tools can be used both by command line folks and
by gui-only folks.

I have no experience in developing browser-used thingamabobs.  I've
written html, sure, but only for basic web pages.  No moving parts
(well, O.K., one animated gif :-).

My requirements for a front end are simple:

  * it has to be something which can run from a browser (say, IE or firefox)
  * it has to be able to call command line perl programs

Nice-to-haves would be:

  * doesn't take too long to learn (my current plans don't include
becoming a web developer).  the front end is for internal use only, it
doesn't have to have bells, whistles or sex appeal, it just needs to
work well
  * should be as platform-independent as possible

Is CGI the way to go for this?  Is PHP?  Is <something else
altogether>?  I realize that asking this on a perl list is bound to
tip the scale in favor of CGI, but I wanted to ask anyway, figuring a
significant number of folks might be able to give good advice on the


P.S.  I'm not considering perl/tk because I want the tools to be
operable from any web browser on the local network.  Plus, most of the
windows users won't have an X server running.
Live in a world of your own, but always welcome visitors.

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