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Need to convert formmail.asp to formmail.pl

    Question

  • This is my first post on this forum and I appreciate any insight you may be able to provide.

    A couple years ago I built a commercial website for a relative's business in MS Expression.  It worked flawlessly for over 2 years.  Now, she changed her hosting service and the formmail feature broke.  Turns out only Perl is supported on the new hosting site while the original code I put together was in Active Server.

    I have researched the issue a bit and determined that I am working above my pay grade on this.  Perl is an unknown to me, and I cannot afford to invest the time it takes to learn all I must know to do this correctly, and quickly enough to satisfy my "client".

    Thus, I have 2 questions: 1. Is there an easy way to convert the input form's existing asp code to pl, and, 2. What are the steps I must take to make the formmail function work in pl and still keep my day job?

    Thanks in advance.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Edit 9/3/2011

    Thank you all for your valuable insight on this.  Changing hosting service seems to be the best way to solve the issue quickly and that is the path I will follow.

    • Edited by truetejas Saturday, September 03, 2011 11:06 PM Resolved
    Friday, September 02, 2011 6:37 AM

Answers

  • My suggestion would be for her to change hosting again. I'm serious hosting that provides only cgi processing is unacceptable for a business (and probably even for a personal site) in my opinion. CGI/Perl is not something trivial or even intermediate level. PHP is so common and well supported that for a host not to offer PHP is a bad sign.

    As Ian said you don't "convert" processing to Perl. I do not know of any formmail script that is secure since every one I've seen requires you to put the email address the results are being sent to in a hidden form field on the form. Which makes it insanely easy to harvest. A few hosts who do offer their own processing script like GoDaddy require all forms to go to the same email address that must be entered in your control panel in an attempt to mitigate harvesting but that is extremely limiting.

    You can get hosting that supports PHP for $4 or even less a month (hostgator) and for a business site that isn't much money. It is certainly less than what it would cost in time and hassle to try and come up with a cgi form processor that isn't going to flood with spam or be hijacked to spam others.


    Free Expression Web Tutorials
    For an Expression Web forum with without the posting issues try expressionwebforum.com
    • Marked as answer by truetejas Saturday, September 03, 2011 11:07 PM
    Friday, September 02, 2011 2:33 PM
  • Ditto Cheryl. PHP is free and open source, so there's really no justification for a provider not offering PHP/MySQL. Perl is an opaque, difficult to read language which, in use, often resembles regular expressions, which is perhaps not surprising given its history as a text processing and command-line/shell scripting language. At a guess I would say that it is most popular among Linux and other *nix fans.

    Are you certain that your relative/client got her facts straight? I have not seen a commercial hosting provider in years who offered only Perl/CGI. One must wonder how they compete in today's market, and why your client would have chosen them to begin with.

    In any event, double-check that, and if they do offer PHP/MySQL, there are hundreds of sources of free, easily implemented PHP contact form processors available to choose from. If they don't, it really is time to move along to a different provider.

    cheers,
    scott


    Please remember to "Mark as Answer" the responses that resolved your issue. It is common courtesy to recognize those who have helped you, and it also makes it easier for visitors to find the resolution later.
    • Marked as answer by truetejas Saturday, September 03, 2011 11:07 PM
    Saturday, September 03, 2011 2:56 PM

All replies

  • It's not really a direct conversion, the code involved is quite different. The form will retain the same layout but it's 'action' will point to the pearl/cgi mail processor. Unix hosts often have a formmail module you can use, so it's worth checking what they offer before you dig any deeper.
    Ian Haynes

    EW V4 Add-Ins
    EW resources, hints and tips
    • Edited by Ian Haynes Friday, September 02, 2011 2:47 PM
    Friday, September 02, 2011 7:25 AM
  • My suggestion would be for her to change hosting again. I'm serious hosting that provides only cgi processing is unacceptable for a business (and probably even for a personal site) in my opinion. CGI/Perl is not something trivial or even intermediate level. PHP is so common and well supported that for a host not to offer PHP is a bad sign.

    As Ian said you don't "convert" processing to Perl. I do not know of any formmail script that is secure since every one I've seen requires you to put the email address the results are being sent to in a hidden form field on the form. Which makes it insanely easy to harvest. A few hosts who do offer their own processing script like GoDaddy require all forms to go to the same email address that must be entered in your control panel in an attempt to mitigate harvesting but that is extremely limiting.

    You can get hosting that supports PHP for $4 or even less a month (hostgator) and for a business site that isn't much money. It is certainly less than what it would cost in time and hassle to try and come up with a cgi form processor that isn't going to flood with spam or be hijacked to spam others.


    Free Expression Web Tutorials
    For an Expression Web forum with without the posting issues try expressionwebforum.com
    • Marked as answer by truetejas Saturday, September 03, 2011 11:07 PM
    Friday, September 02, 2011 2:33 PM
  • Ditto Cheryl. PHP is free and open source, so there's really no justification for a provider not offering PHP/MySQL. Perl is an opaque, difficult to read language which, in use, often resembles regular expressions, which is perhaps not surprising given its history as a text processing and command-line/shell scripting language. At a guess I would say that it is most popular among Linux and other *nix fans.

    Are you certain that your relative/client got her facts straight? I have not seen a commercial hosting provider in years who offered only Perl/CGI. One must wonder how they compete in today's market, and why your client would have chosen them to begin with.

    In any event, double-check that, and if they do offer PHP/MySQL, there are hundreds of sources of free, easily implemented PHP contact form processors available to choose from. If they don't, it really is time to move along to a different provider.

    cheers,
    scott


    Please remember to "Mark as Answer" the responses that resolved your issue. It is common courtesy to recognize those who have helped you, and it also makes it easier for visitors to find the resolution later.
    • Marked as answer by truetejas Saturday, September 03, 2011 11:07 PM
    Saturday, September 03, 2011 2:56 PM