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Another Web-Design Anecdote

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  • Shlomi Fish
    When I worked in Smart-Link (http://www.smlink.com/) I was a half-time tester and half-time Jack-of-all-trades programmer. One of the tasks that I was given to
    Message 1 of 3 , Feb 12 7:04 AM
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      When I worked in Smart-Link (http://www.smlink.com/) I was a half-time
      tester and half-time Jack-of-all-trades programmer. One of the tasks that
      I was given to do was to write a form which programmers will fill whenver
      they commited a change to the Visual Source Safe[1] source tree, so it
      will send a notification E-mail to our Q&A engineer.

      I said that it would be quite easy to do in HTML, and eventually got a
      green light to continue with it. Now, I wanted to do it in Perl. However,
      our Sys Admin returned from a Microsoft course full of "ideals". He said,
      Perl CGI was slow, and would cause memory leaks. I told Perl in fact had
      an ISAPI module, and that I could also write ASPs in Perl, so it was just
      as good as normal ASPs. I also told him that I could not find an ASP
      primitive to send an E-mail message[2].

      He eventually agree and we set up Perl 5 and IIS' Perl support on the
      server. We did not manage to set up ISAPI from some reason, but vanilla
      Perl CGI worked nicely.

      Apache 1.3.x alpha for Win32 came out at that time, and I decided to try
      it out. However, I just could not write a perl script that would send an
      E-mail message no matter what method I tried. All my scripts ran perfectly
      from the command line, but failed on Apache.

      After a lot of pondering and trial and error I discovered that DNS lookups
      did not work, and even wrote a C program to demonstrate it. I sent a bug
      reoprt on it to the Apache guys and they said that they will fix it in
      their next Alpha release. But meanwhile the Sys Admin said he will just
      give me a directory in which I can put CGI scripts for the IIS.

      Afterwards, writing the form handler went pretty well, and I had little
      trouble. I believe I had to modify it a bit once or twice afterwards. I
      eventually contacted the Sys Admin and asked him if he wishes us to re-try
      setting up the Perl ISAPI. He said, that I should not bother, and that
      he'll just reboot the server once in a while to get rid of the memory
      leaks. (or he could set up a Linux server... ;-))

      Best regards,

      Shlomi Fish



      [1] - They should have used CVS instead, yes.

      [2] - Chen eventually told me that a COM object that does that exists, and
      that it is called CDONTS or whatever.

      ----------------------------------------------------------------------
      Shlomi Fish shlomif@...
      Home Page: http://t2.technion.ac.il/~shlomif/
      Home E-mail: shlomif@...

      "Let's suppose you have a table with 2^n cups..."
      "Wait a second - is n a natural number?"
    • Tzafrir Cohen
      ... I understand that CGI is slow. But why would CGI have memory leaks? You run a separate processfor each request. Is the OS that buggy that it has memory
      Message 2 of 3 , Feb 12 7:21 AM
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        On Tue, 12 Feb 2002, Shlomi Fish wrote:

        >
        > I said that it would be quite easy to do in HTML, and eventually got a
        > green light to continue with it. Now, I wanted to do it in Perl. However,
        > our Sys Admin returned from a Microsoft course full of "ideals". He said,
        > Perl CGI was slow, and would cause memory leaks.

        I understand that CGI is slow. But why would CGI have memory leaks?

        You run a separate processfor each request. Is the OS that buggy that it
        has memory leaks, or is there anything I'm missing?

        --
        Tzafrir Cohen /"\
        mailto:tzafrir@... \ / ASCII Ribbon Campaign
        Taub 229, 972-4-829-3942, X Against HTML Mail
        http://www.technion.ac.il/~tzafrir / \
      • Shlomi Fish
        ... It is something that has to do with WinNT or IIS or IIS handling of CGI scripts, or the integration of them. Maybe it is fixed in recent versions of the
        Message 3 of 3 , Feb 12 10:29 AM
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          On Tue, 12 Feb 2002, Tzafrir Cohen wrote:

          > On Tue, 12 Feb 2002, Shlomi Fish wrote:
          >
          > >
          > > I said that it would be quite easy to do in HTML, and eventually got a
          > > green light to continue with it. Now, I wanted to do it in Perl. However,
          > > our Sys Admin returned from a Microsoft course full of "ideals". He said,
          > > Perl CGI was slow, and would cause memory leaks.
          >
          > I understand that CGI is slow. But why would CGI have memory leaks?
          >
          > You run a separate processfor each request. Is the OS that buggy that it
          > has memory leaks, or is there anything I'm missing?
          >

          It is something that has to do with WinNT or IIS or IIS' handling of CGI
          scripts, or the integration of them. Maybe it is fixed in recent versions
          of the Windows/IIS combo. And it could also have been a rumour.

          Regards,

          Shlomi Fish

          > --
          > Tzafrir Cohen /"\
          > mailto:tzafrir@... \ / ASCII Ribbon Campaign
          > Taub 229, 972-4-829-3942, X Against HTML Mail
          > http://www.technion.ac.il/~tzafrir / \
          >
          >
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          ----------------------------------------------------------------------
          Shlomi Fish shlomif@...
          Home Page: http://t2.technion.ac.il/~shlomif/
          Home E-mail: shlomif@...

          "Let's suppose you have a table with 2^n cups..."
          "Wait a second - is n a natural number?"
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