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Being someone who just implemented his first CGI::Application code yesterday (replacing a current app), let me tell you what C::A does for you.
  1. You are now explicitly implementing portions of your website as a state machine. This aids documentation and maintainability by naming your if-else blocks.
  2. The state machine control-code is now done for you.
  3. You are more easily implementing MVC, with C::A as your Controller code.
  4. It is very nice to see the code for many related pages all in one place.
  5. All your code now easily shares a print() method. (I have mine in my C::A superclass.) This allows for things like:
    sub some_state { my $self = shift; # do some stuff here to populate %template_params return $self->print( $display_mode, $template_name, %template_params, ); }
  6. Handling redirects and save-type pages is done for you. For an excellent example of this, check out http://www.mail-archive.com/cgiapp@lists.erlbaum.net/msg00849.html.
  7. You can accidentally turn your cgi-scripts into Apache handlers. (Well, it's a little more complicated than that, but it definitely gets you 90% of the way there.)

Also, you might be confusing something I was having issues with, at first. I originally thought I needed to implement my entire application as one monolithic C::A app. But, a friend of mine showed me what his company did. They have some 20 different C::A's that all work together, passing responsability off as necessary. They have one main C::A, which handles logging and the homepage. Then, every major subsystem (reports, user admin, preferences, etc) have their own C::A. If something is complicated, create another C::A inside that. His rule of thumb was 10-12 states, at most. More than that and you should look at breaking it up into two C::A's (if possible). Also, every one of your C::A's inherits from some abstract superclass that inherits from C::A, which implements things like how to connect to the DB, what CGI class to use, how to display, and other basic functionality.

------
We are the carpenters and bricklayers of the Information Age.

Please remember that I'm crufty and crochety. All opinions are purely mine and all code is untested, unless otherwise specified.


In reply to Re: Why CGI::Application? by dragonchild
in thread Why CGI::Application? by sdbarker

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