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Form Processor with no SPAM from robots.

Manage Remote websites from your website. Allow clients to update sections of their own web pages.

Secure file manager with upload progress meter. A printer's best friend. Find out more.

Program Name: Question Manager
Original Release: November 2000
Cost: Free
Platform: UNIX or Linux
Requires: Perl4+

  1. In brief
  2. Requirements
  3. Introduction
  4. Configuration
  5. Installation
  6. Un-Install
  7. Program Control Panel
    1. Summary
    2. Changing the password
    3. Program Configuration Settings
    4. Exiting
    5. WebSite
    6. Submitted Questions
    7. Answer Templates
  8. Additional Functions
    1. Forwarding Template
    2. Deleting questions and templates
    3. Purging the databases
    4. Resetting the counters
  9. Security
  10. Disclaimer
  11. Support
  12. Markers

In Brief
It is strongly reccommended you read this whole file carefully before attempting to install it on your server. However, to get this program up and running on a UNIX server, generally, all you need do is:

• Set the correct path to Perl in the .cgi files

• Set the $Datakey variable in the Question_cfg.cgi file. The $Datakey is an added level of protections. The $Datakey must be exactly ten characters long, letters or numbers only. This removes the ability of other users of this program to view your data files.

• Upload all files to your cgi-bin or a directory within your cgi-bin.
   DO NOT UPLOAD UNINSTALL.CGI • CHMOD the .cgi files to 755

• Load your Browser , point it to the Question_setup.cgi file and follow the on screen instructions

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This program requires Perl5 or higher installed on a UNIX server. You must have CGI privileges/access to install and run this program. This program will not run on an NT web server and has not been tested on a Mac Server.

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This program, is specifically designed for web masters and web site management/support personnel. The aim of this program is to automate many of the redundant tasks you must perform, thereby freeing up your time for more cost effective/cash generating endeavors. Web Site Question Manager is a program that helps you with the repetitive and time consuming task of responding to clients/site visitors questions.

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Before you can install this program, there are a few configuration items you must first address. Path To Perl All CGI programs written in Perl must start with a line that tells the web server where to look for the Perl interpreter. This means the very first line of each of the .cgi files MUST be the Path to Perl. Here are some examples of common paths to Perl:


This program was shipped with a default path of: #!/usr/bin/perl5

The first configuration item to address is to make sure that this is the correct Path to Perl for your web server. Your Virtual Hosts support/FAQ pages will tell you what the correct Path to Perl is for your web server. If this information can not be found on the support/FAQ pages then you should contact your System Administrator or Support Dept. to find out the correct value. In lieu of them being available, the samples above are fairly standard. Try them all out in the order above and see if any work for you.

Next, use your test editor to open the file "Question_cfg.cgi". Just below the header, there is one variable called $DataKey. You must set this variable to a completely random sequence of numbers and letters, upper case or lower case is fine but do NOT use any punctuation characters. Setting this $DataKey is a required step and it plugs a security hole that is present in all standardized, distributed CGI programs. There is an explanation of this accompanying the variable, please read the explanation and set the key now. Remember that it must be exactly ten characters long. If there is a problem with the Data Key that you set, the program will not set-up properly and you will be prompted to correct it.

On most servers, this should be the end of any configuration changes you have to set in the script. Please note that there are no user edit able fields in Question_admin.cgi, Question.cgi, Question_setup.cgi or Question_uninstall.cgi.

This program uses our advanced set-up routine, which will create all it's own directories and set it's own permissions on data directories. If the program encounters a problem during the set-up process, you will be given specific directions on what to do. If the instructions given don't allow you to successfully install the program or you are not comfortable following the instructions, contact us via our support forum.

Please note that unless the program tells you otherwise, you do not have to create or set permissions on any directories.

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To install this program, you must have an FTP client and be familiar with how to use its basic functions. If your not sure how to achieve any of the stated functions or commands with your FTP client, please refer to our FAQ on installation and on using FTP clients at:


You must also have set the Path to Perl if it is different from the shipped value.

Here are the installation steps:

1. Open your FTP client and connect to your web space.

2. In your cgi-bin (some call it just "cgi") create a sub-directory with any legal name that you want (i.e. "QuestionManager").
3. CHMOD this sub-directory to 755 (rwx-rx-rx).

4. Change into this sub-directory with your FTP client.

5. Making sure your FTP client is set to transfer in ASCII mode and not binary mode, transfer the files Question_setup.cgi, Question_admin.cgi, Question_cfg.cgi and Question.cgi into the newly created sub-directory.

6. CHMOD each or these files to 755 (rwx-rx-rx).

7. Close your FTP client.

8. Launch your web browser and in the address line of the browser, type the full URL to the setup script:


9. You should now see a set-up screen asking you to enter a User Name and Password (you have to enter the password twice). If you see this screen, it means the program has been installed correctly. Enter your new User Name and Password. Enter the Password a second time in the space provided. Submit the form.

10. If you made any mistakes along the way, you will get a warning message with instructions on what to do to correct the error. If you get an error that says the program could not set-up the password file, this means that the program is unable to access the data directory. If this was the first pass through the set-up screen, then there is a server specific problem. Contact us at our support centre for assistance. If this is not the first pass through the set-up screen and you were asked to create some sub-directories, then the program and sever are not able to resolve the Root directory. In this case, you must do the following:
a. You must now create a directory on your server for the data files to be written to. Follow the instructions in the installation area above. This time however, the data directory must be outside of the cgi-bin and it must be CHMOD 777.

b. Once you have done that, use your text editor (Notepad or similar) to open the Question_cfg.cgi file. Just below the script header block you will see a variable like this:

      $DefaultData = "";

Set the absolute path to that directory in the above variable. It will look like:

      $DefaultData = "/usr/name/htdocs/some_data_directory";

c. Note that this variable does NOT end with a slash.

d. Save the changes to the file then re-upload it to the same directory it was originally installed in on the server.

e. Run the set-up routine again. If the problem persists, contact us at the support forum for assistance.

Once you have received the screen that says "Set-up Successful" your program is installed, configured and ready to run. Prior to using it for form submissions, you should go directly to the section on "Settings" in the Administration portion of this document. This will explain how to use and set configuration parameters from the administration interface.

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This program ships with an easy un-install program. If you decide that you no longer wish to use the program, instead of manually deleting all the files, use our un-install program. This will ensure that all program generated files are removed from the server including data AND executable files.

Simply upload the un-install file to the same directory as your other files , making sure the correct path to perl is set (it requires that the Question_cfg.cgi file still be in place) and CHMOD it 755. You then go to your browser and type in the full URL to the Question_uninstall.cgi program and press enter. This will remove all the files. There is no confirmation and no warning screen. Un-installing the program permanently removes the files and there is no way to recover lost data unless you contact your System Administrator to restore them from the last server backup.


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