|I understand that you recommend Perl for writing CGI scripts and 'web applications'. Where should I go to get started?
Perl is by far the most common language used to write CGI scripts. A fairly easy learning curve, coupled with tons of freely available source code, make it a perfect choice for the beginning (and advanced!) web coder. One of its greatest strengths is that the language was written with text processing in mind. Given that the web is almost nothing but text, it's a perfect match.
You can download the latest version of Perl at the official Perl site:
This site also contains a lot of great general information about writing Perl and Perl CGI scripts. There are also numerous online tutorials and books available to help you get started.
But what if I just want a script to install and start using it right away?
DreamHost has a number of pre-written CGI scripts available at no cost, including forms and counters. See the Related Links in the column to the left for more information.
The sites below offer numerous scripts that you can use with a CGI-enabled Dreamhost account. Some are better than others, so you should shop around before deciding on a given script.
Note: Although we will attempt to help with generic CGI problems you have, we do not provide technical support for any external scripts/CGIs. We'll help if we can within reason, but we can't guarantee that any given script will work with our servers. If you need help installing or debugging a certain script, we can do so at extra cost.
The CGI Resource Index
Bandley3 CGI & PHP Scripts (Hosted at DreamHost!)
The CGI Collection
Web Bazarr Perl Scripts
PerlCrawler (Perl search engine)
These are scripts specifically for running CGI based message boards on your site. Each have somewhat different feature sets and requirements, but all work fine with our servers.
UBBThreads (Requires MySQL, $229 a license)
GossamerForum (Requires MySQL, $200 a license)
YaBB (No MySQL Needed, FREE)
Discus (No MySQL needed, FREE [$150 for Discus Pro])
IkonBoard (MySQL optional, FREE)
Last updated: Jan 21, 2002.
User Post (2006-01-05 17:48:17 by sonson)
Another message board to use would be
Resuources are often also found at
(this includes lots of man pages for the Perl modules.
User Post (2002-05-15 02:31:26 by aaw)
The version of YaBB referenced above is definitely not a good idea, but now that all Dreamhost plans include MySQL, there is a nice PHP/SQL version of YaBB, YaBBSE, available:
User Post (2002-05-07 16:02:53 by ardco)
About a month ago DH announced it is discouraging using YaBB.
=== announcement ===
Over the last six months, our administration team has become aware of
the bulletin board script YaBB (short for Yet Another Bulletin Board).
The script has caught our attention due to its resource-intensive
nature. That is, YaBB consumes a large share of server resources (in
terms of memory and CPU utilization) for just being a Bulletin Board
script. A YaBB site need NOT be terribly busy for it to consume more
than acceptable levels of server resources.
YaBB has also caught our attention due to the increasing number of you
who are adopting it for use on your site.
This concerns us greatly. While YaBB may provide a good deal of user
functionality, at this point we're certain that its backend was not
written with scalability in mind. That is, while a 10-message-per-day
YaBB board may not make a noticeable impact on a server, a
200-message-per-day bulletin board YaBB can bring a server to its knees.
YaBB is written in Perl, with a flat-file database for its data storage
backend. This is horribly inefficient in UnixLand, and quite frankly
does not scale well.
We're strongly encouraging everyone to switch to a more scalable
solution. Bulletin boards written in PHP accessing a MySQL database
backend are generally fairly reliable. Since all of our plans now
include MySQL for free, you will (almost definitely) incur no additional
service fees from us when you make your switch.
In particular, for smaller bulletin boards, we recommend phpbb
(www.phpbb.com) as an open source and free solution. For larger
bulletin boards, we've also see very good performance with the
commercial bulletin board solution vbulletin (www.vbulletin.com). While
this is by no means an exhaustive review (nor is it an official stamp of
DreamHost approval), if you went with one of those two suggestions,
you'd probably be ok.
Why in the world would you want to migrate your bulletin board from YaBB
to a PHP/MySQL based bulletin board? In the past three months we've
recognized the need to become more aggressive in disabling busy YaBB
boards to protect the stability of your servers. That very much means
that if your YaBB board becomes busy enough, you may find it
sporadically disabled, and even possibly permanently disabled.
While the end result may seem draconian, our intentions are for the good
of all. Our approach is quite considerate and we won't leave you hung
out to dry. If you plan on migrating, contact us, and we'll make all
attempts to leave your YaBB running untouched for several months.
Happy DreamHost Stability Team!