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Guestbook Frequently Asked Questions
    1. Everything seems to work, but the guestbook isn't written to.
    2. Everything works, but when I turn on the mail option, it errors out.
    3. Why doesn't the date show up on my page?
    4. Are there any sites that will host my guestbook?
1. Everything seems to work, but the guestbook isn't written to.
Most likely there is one of two solutions:

1. Check to make sure it is correctly chmoded - One of the most commons errors, is the one that occurs with chmod. The problem is often that users forget to chmod, or they use the wrong commands. If you have a setup in which the guestbook.pl is in the cgi-bin directory and the rest of your documents are in a guestbook directory, you would cd to the correct directory and perform the following commands:

$ chmod 777 guestbook/
$ chmod 777 guestbook/guestbook.html
$ chmod 777 guestbook/guestlog.html
$ chmod 744 guestbook/addguest.html
$ chmod 755 cgi-bin/guestbook.pl


The above '$' symbols represent your Unix prompt.

2. Make sure the paths are correct in the cgi scripts - Make sure that in your variables for the cgi scripts, the paths to the documents are correct. If you are on a Unix system, you can take the filename and type:

more filename

If it spits out the file, you probably have the correct path. Do not use '~' in your path, instead spell out each directory in the filepath.
2. Everything works, but when I turn on the mail option, it errors.
Short Answer:

Check your mail path.

Long Answer:

This often happens to users because of one of two problems. Either they haven't corrected the sendmail path or their email address, or they don't have sendmail.

1. Check path to sendmail and mailing address - Remember if you turn on the mail option you must set two new variables. The $mailprog variable and the $recipient variable. Many people run into the problem on the $mailprog variable, because they forget to change this. Many systems do not have sendmail in the /usr/lib directory which is default in my scripts, and some don't even have sendmail! To find out where its located on your system, use the following command at your unix prompt:

which sendmail

This will tell you where sendmail is on your system. If it says it could not find it, you don't necessarily not have it, just ask your system administrator. The other common problem is to make sure that you have set your email address correctly.

2. The second most common error is that your system doesn't have sendmail. If this is the case, ask your system administrator what mail programs you do have that you can send mail from a cgi program with? Some of them are: mailx, mail, etc... You can use the which command for these as well. If anyone has a patch for mailx or whatever, send it to me and I will put it here.
3. Why doesn't the date show up on my page?
I have heard from several people that the date for many of my scripts is causing 501 errors and messing up the scripts. This seems to happen the most on Sun OS machines, and the problem seems to be that there are a couple of characters that the version of date you are running does not support. Specifically the %A and %Z options. If you are having problems with the date, try one of the three options below:

This one usually happens on Sun OS machines:

Change any of the commands and lines that contain something similar to:

$date = `date +"%A ... %Z"`;

so that they no longer have any %A or %Z attributes in them.

Another possible problem is that you are using the default cgi-bin on an NCSA server or another web server that comes with a pre-made cgi script called 'date'. This can cause problems if you do not set your script to point to the unix date command. To find out where that is, type this at your unix prompt:

which date

That should give you a path to the date command.

The third and final possible problem could arise if you are not using a Unix machine to run these scripts on. This is often where my scripts fail on other machines. I have heard from many people that the following will fix it:

At the top of the script just beneath the #! line, put the following statement:

require "ctime.pl";

Then wherever you see the $date variable being defined, substitute it for:

$date = &ctime(time);

Hopefully one of the above solutions will help to fix any date problems you may be having with my scripts.
4. Are there any sites that will host my guestbook?
There are several sites which will host your guestbook for you if you do not have CGI access of your own or cannot get my script to work. None of them that I know of use my guestbook, however they will have something similar. Below are a few of the most popular:

      Lpage.com
            This is a famous guestbook server, however many users who come to my
            archive looking for a guestbook, come complaining of the speed and
            downtime at Lpage. It is free, however.

 

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