Because of the way that Java is designed the programmer does not have easy access to the system's environment variables. Because of the way that the Java Development Kit (JDK) is set up, it is necessary to use multiple tokens to invoke a program, which does not mesh very well with the standard HTML forms/CGI manner of operations. There are ways around these limitations, and I have implemented one of them. Read further for details.
Since I wrote the previous paragraph in 1996, there have been many changes in the Java technology. It is likely that a better solution to running server-side Java programs is now available -- perhaps you should take a look at servlets.
I am assuming that you have a general knowledge of HTML and CGI concepts and at least a minimal knowledge of your HTTP server. You should also know how to program in Java, or a lot of this will not make sense.
The latest version of this document can be read at http://www.orbits.com/software/Java_CGI.html.
The latest version of the package described here can be accessed via anonymous FTP at ftp://ftp.orbits.com/pub/software/java_cgi-0.5.tgz. The package distribution includes SGML source for this document.
The package is distributed under the terms of the GNU Library General Public License. This document can be distributed under the terms of the Linux HOWTO copyright notice.
If you use this software, please make some reference to http://www.orbits.com/software/Java_CGI.html, so that others will be able to find the Java CGI classes.
I have run out of time to maintain and support this package, so this will probably be its final release. If anyone out there is sufficiently enamoured of this software that they wish to take over the maintenace of it, please contact me at
I have created a majordomo list to allow people to help each-other work through their mutual problems in installing and using this software. Send a message to
email@example.com, containing the word subscribe.