cgi and 1 & 1

  slowhand_1000 11:03 09 Oct 2004

I am doing a site, hosted by 1 and 1, for a friend who wants to use a cgi comments/order form.

Not being able to create my own I used a template of 1 and 1's using their Web Elements. When the form is sent the first time it seems to work ok. But on trying to send for a second time an 'error 500: Internal Server Error' page appears. I have also tried re-generating the form a few times just in case.

My friend wants the form integrated into his webpage and at first I thought it was because I had copied the code wrong. So I recreated the same form on my website (also with 1 and 1) and it works fine.

Am I right in thinking that the problem is at 1 and 1? Only this issue has been going on for 10 days now and my friend wishes to have the order section of the site up and running within the week.

I have had replies from 1 and 1's customer support but say that they try the form and it appears ok.

Going on from there is it easy enough to upload another cgi form. I keep seeing reference to FormMail on the net.

Many thanks


  slowhand_1000 11:05 09 Oct 2004

Excuse the double posting.
FE if you could delete the other post please.

  Forum Editor 12:29 09 Oct 2004

Can you post a link to the site that's giving trouble?

  slowhand_1000 14:08 09 Oct 2004

is click here

As mentioned it works ok the first time, then try it again and we get the error 500 message.

Just a couple of points though.

When you click the 'Exit confirmation' it takes you back to the website. As yet unfinished. I know it should not be online till it's ready but nobody knows it's there yet. Although some feedback does not hurt, well not too much.

The page it goes to has an identical form that I'm sure did work for the first day or two.

And lastly I have noticed that the confirmation email sent to him has stopped arriving for the last 6-8 tests. They show as being delivered when viewing the Statistics at 1 and 1.

But looking at 1 and 1's CGI Output Monitor, when I ask it to look in the default directory this message is return

Result:- cgi: File not present or has invalid modes

Though I'm not to sure if I am telling it to look in the right directory, if it's in that directory at all. Would it be in another directory?


  slowhand_1000 14:16 09 Oct 2004

If I click on the link in the above post and send a test message it works fine.

Click the link a second and third time it works fine again and again.

But copy and past the link into a browser it only works the once.

  slowhand_1000 14:31 09 Oct 2004

I've just tried pasting the link into my lads pc, running Mozzila and it worked 6 times on the trot.

Switched to IE on his pc and it worked only once.

Thought the form on the actual site did not work. So obviously something wrong on that one. I was more concerned about the basic un-tampered form from 1 and 1 not working.

  slowhand_1000 23:31 09 Oct 2004

I had a look at the link you gave. Without checking all the errors it highlighted I had a look at about 10 of them and the 'missing' code was there.

The <form> tag looks similar to another I have that works ok. It starts <form accept-charset="UTF-8"

I have had another mail from 1 and 1 and they still say that there's nothing wrong with it.

Perhaps they are all running Mozzila. I jest.

  slowhand_1000 12:14 10 Oct 2004

no need for apologies at all. What's the saying "Two heads ....."

The form on contact.htm does not work at all. In fact I have taken the form off the page for now.

It was the previous version of the form that is in the link above click here

Just to re-cap. The form is generated using 1 and 1's program called Web Elements. I have tried again to generate a new form and get the same result, error 500. But if I create a new form using the same program on my account at 1 and 1 the form works fine.

It just seems strange that 1 and 1 say all is ok but others get the error.

  slowhand_1000 12:35 10 Oct 2004

I have since found that if a new browser window is opened and the link pasted into that it works fine time after time.
But if you use the same browser window and paste the link in again it fails to work.

  slowhand_1000 21:23 13 Oct 2004

I have had an email from 1 and 1 stating that they did have a problem on their server and the problem has been sorted.


The form that is generated by their program is here click here

If I use that link the form works time and time again, returning you to the website after sending. Unlike before when it would not send after the 1st attempt.

But rather than a 'click here' and my friends customers going to that form he would like the form integrated into his page click here

I have all but 'kicked the cat' in trying to get the right bits of code off the 1st link into the page as required. All I get is 'Error 500-Internal server error'

Even if I view the source code of the 1st link and copy the code into a blank html document in Dreamweaver, thus re-creating the 1st link from 1 and 1 I get the error 500 again.

Can anyone point me to what code I need off the original to put into the required page?

The end user is not bothered about the blue background as the original, all he wants is a plain white form. Though if it has to be blue then that's ok.

Sorry to have come back with this but I'm all out of ideas.



  Taran 23:59 13 Oct 2004

500 errors are a pain to troubleshoot, since they can cover so much ground. Anything from file permissions to the wrong path to the CGI bin can output a 500 server error.

Ordinarily my first guess would be that that you have the wrong file permissions applied to either the script itself or the folder it lives in. That is often the simplest problem/solution, but in your case this is compounded with an unusual form snippet from 1&1 and also by the fact that the form works perfectly on another account.

There appear to be a couple of hidden form fields with a unique key value. Without this information the form will die a death, since this is used to tell the form handler script that the form it is handling is OK.

Assuming you have access to the cgi-bin, why not just use a good form mailer script and configure it manually to suit ? You can get any number of form handlers in PHP (no cgi-bin required) or CGI/Perl, ASP or whatever.

Another potential workaround could be to show the existing form page in your friends page using an iframe. Iframes, or inline frames, allow you to display one page inside a window in another page, a bit like having a textbox on a page with the content pulled from another page.

This could (possibly) work but would again depend on the security tagging 1&1 have used for matching the form to the handler and it may not process a request from a parent page with the form displayed in an iframe.

If you want to try iframes post to that effect. Aside from that, I'd suggest hassling 1&1 and asking them to verify that all is well with the account after the recent issues.

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