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Previous Chapter 1
The Common Gateway Interface (CGI)

1.7 CGI Considerations

Now that we have decided on a language for CGI programming, let's look at some considerations that need to be taken to create effective virtual documents.

First and most importantly, you need to understand what kind of information is to be presented. If it is plain text or HTML, there is no problem. However, if the data is unreadable by the client, a gateway has to be written to effectively translate that data.

This leads to another important matter: The original (or "unreadable") data has to be organized in such a way that it will be easy for the gateway to read from and write to the data source. Once you have the gateway and you can retrieve data, you can present it in numerous ways. For example, if the data is numerical in nature, you can create virtual graphs and plots using various utility software. On the other hand, if the data consists of graphical objects, you can modify the information using numerous graphic manipulation tools.

In summary, you need to think about what you want to present and how to prevent it long before the actual process of implementing CGI programs. This will ensure the creation of effective virtual documents.

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