Sendmail CGI generates Apache error

Alex Rice alex at
Sat Nov 29 17:21:59 EST 2003

On Nov 29, 2003, at 3:04 PM, katir at wrote:

> Due to spiders harvesting email addresses from our web sites, which 
> results in a flood of spam, we are planning to remove them all and use 
> a form-post-to-cgi model. I would like to use transcript.  If anyone 
> has invented this wheel already, email me off list.

You are doing it the hard way. There any lots of methods for 
obfuscating email addresses on web sites to hide from spam harvesters. 
There is no reason to force people to use form-mailers. I dislike those 
and I think a lot of other people do too. See


> The following actually works, the mail is sent, but it is followed up 
> immediately with an error msg from the server... any ideas? for some 
> strange reason the error is not logged into the webmaster/error log... 
> i suspect that's because in fact it works,  ie the email *is* sent.... 
> does apache expect us to handle stdout?  But, there is none...?

You didn't show us the entire script?
What is the exact error message from the web server?

Most of the time 500 server error problems are because the script does 
not return a valid http header, or returns other content before the 
http header.

Immediately after startup, before doing any other work:

put "Content-type: text/html" & crlf & crlf
put "doing it...<br>"

Now you have sent a valid http header, and are in much better shape for 
discovering what the error message is.

You *always* have to send a valid http header of some kind back to the 
browser, when writing a CGI.

> #!/mc
> ## disclaimer: this is just a start, we obviously need
> ## a lot of error checking for user input
> ## and feed back to the user by http... which will all
> ## be added later.
> on startup
> if $REQUEST_METHOD is "POST" then
>    read from stdin until empty
>    ## put the form data into an array,
>    put  urlDecode (it)  into tDataIn
>    split tDataIn by "

Alex Rice <alex at> | Mindlube Software | 

what a waste of thumbs that are opposable
to make machines that are disposable  -Ani DiFranco

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