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Server-side programming, also called middleware, was developed to satisfy the need for processing on the server computer. The common gateway interface (CGI) can be used for this purpose. You, the developer, write a program that uses the CGI rules to access information such as form data and generate a new HTML document to be sent to the client. The Perl language is a frequent choice for these programs, which is the reason why you would read about “cgi/perl” programs. The new generation of server-side programming supplies this same function with an approach that eases the programming task. Since the main output of a server-side program is to produce HTML, each of these newer products is designed to be HTML interspersed with the coding logic. The first of the new middleware products, ColdFusion , now a product of the Macromedia Company, uses the approach of defining its own tags to specify logic. The tags fit in well with the HTML tags. This book will not cover ColdFusion, but the knowledge you gain from working with ASP and PHP should help you understand the ColdFusion examples. The ASP and PHP approach is to use scripting languages with built-in functions (in ASP, these functions are constructed as object methods). The middleware scripting is interspersed with regular HTML. The PHP print and the ASP Response.Write can be used to generate HTML. This HTML along with the HTML written directly in the file is what is sent to the browser computer.