Information Technology Division

WWWBoard for Faculty and Staff

WWWBoard is a hypertext, online bulletin board to be used on the World Wide Web. It was written by Matt Wright.

To get WWWBoard working, you must copy a perl script to your cgi-bin directory. Other required files will be copied to a folder in your "public_html" directory.

Install WWWBoard

  1. Get CGI permission
    • Complete a cgi permission form and return it to ITD, 003 Cope Administration Bldg. (basement),
      (615) 898- 2512. Permission confirmation / cgi-bin directory setup may take one or more days.
  2. After receiving cgi access and the name of your cgi-bin directory, log on to frank.
  3. Create a link to your cgi-bin directory: ln -s /usr/local/etc/httpd/cgi-bin/users/ your_username cgi-bin
  4. Change to your cgi-bin directory: cd cgi-bin
  5. Copy the perl script "" to your personal cgi-bin directory:
    cp /usr/local2/httpd/htdocs/bin/wwwboard/
    Note: This entire command should be typed on one line!

Set Up the Files

  1. In your home directory, do the following:
    1. IF you have a "public_html" directory, skip to step 2. If not, do the following:
      • frank $ mkdir public_html (this is the directory for your Web pages.)
      • frank $ chmod a+rx public_html (this changes the permissions on this directory)
    2. cd public_html (change to this directory)
    3. mkdir wwwboard (make a directory for your WWWBoard files)
    4. chmod a+rx wwwboard (change the permissions)
    5. cd wwwboard (change to the directory)
    6. cp /usr/local2/httpd/htdocs/bin/wwwboard/data.txt . (copy the WWWBoard files to the current directory) 1
    7. cp /usr/local2/httpd/htdocs/bin/wwwboard/*.gif . (copy the gif files to this directory) 2
    8. cp /usr/local2/httpd/htdocs/bin/wwwboard/*.html . (copy the html file)
      Steps 6, 7, and 8 end with a period preceded by a space; this indicates "current directory."
    9. mkdir messages (make the subdirectory for the messages)
    10. chmod a+rwx messages (change the permissions)
    11. chmod a+rwx *.txt (change the permissions)
    12. chmod a+rwx *.html (change the permissions)
    13. chmod a+r *.gif (change the permissions)

      make sure the file permissions in "wwwboard" are as follows:
      -rwxrwxrwx data.txt
      drwxrwxrwx messages
      -rw-r--r-- squig4.gif
      -rw-r--r-- squig5.gif
      -rwxrwxrwx wwwboard.html

  2. Edit "" in your personal cgi-bin directory
    1. cd ../../cgi-bin
    2. Use either pico or vi and edit the file (i.e., pico
    3. Search for "Make Changes" and make the changes described. I believe there are 3 changes to make
    4. Save file and exit the editor.
    5. chmod a+rx {change the permissions)
  3. Edit the file wwwboard.html in your wwwboard directory.
    1. cd {change to your personal account}
    2. cd public_html/wwwboard {change to your wwwboard directory}
    3. Use either pico or vi and edit the file wwwboard.html {i.e.,pico wwwboard.html}
    4. Search for Make changes and make the changes described.
    5. You may change the explanatory information at the top of the file (i.e., the part that gives the title and the text starting with "Please enter your comments...")
    6. Save the file and exit the editor.

1 "data.txt" contains the integer that will be used to number the messages. You may edit this file if necessary.

2 The two gif files are used in the HTML page that is displayed for the online discussion.

II. You must add a link to WWWBoard from one of your web pages.

1. If you are using this with a class you may want to create a class page with syllabus, lecture notes, and a link to your discussion group ( i.e., the link to WWWBoard). It is recommended that you add the link only after you are sure WWWBoard is working correctly in your account.

2. Look at some examples first

3. Open Netscape and display MTSU Home Page.

III. Getting started with WWWBoard

1. Open Netscape and display MTSU Home Page.

2. Go to

3. The first page you see is in Figure 1.

Figure 1

4. To post the first question or message, fill in "Name," "E-Mail," and "Subject." Then type in the message and select "Post A Message! (see Figure 2) The subject of my first question is "Using the Web". It is a hypertext link; therefore, to read my question you must select it.

5. Now you can post a new message/question if you are a group participant or you might want to respond to my message.

a. To post a new message fill in the boxes on Figure 2 under "Post a Message!"

Figure 2

b. To respond to a message, or another response

1. Select the response, and it will be displayed. (See Figure 3)

2. The followups numbered #1 and #2 simply move you to a different part of the page. To respond, select Post Followup ( i.e. #2).

3. Fill in Name and Email, then place cursor at #3 on Figure 3 and type in your response.

Figure 3

4. If you select "Submit Follow Up", it says "message added", and displays your message. Then (#4) "On-line Discussion". Now On-line Discussion Form is displayed.

5. To get your message to show up, select Reload at the top of Netscape's page.

REMEMBER: You must select Netscape's Reload Command in order to see your message or response. This must be emphasized over and over to discussion group participants!!

IV. To delete a WWWBoard Message

1. Determine the number of the message or response to be deleted. Simply select the message and its number will be displayed in the "Location" window of Netscape (near the top of the Netscape window).

2. Edit wwwboard.html

Use pico or vi to edit the file. Assume the message to be deleted is #25. Search the file for that number. Delete all lines starting with the line


and ending with the line


Be careful not to delete other lines. Save the file and exit the editor. Now select Netscape's Reload command to determine whether or not the message is gone. Assume the deletion was successful.

3. Now change to the messages directory and remove the corresponding file.

cd messages {change to messages directory}
rm 25.html {remove the file numbered 25}

V. WWWAdmin 2.0 Installation Instructions

  1. Log into frank
  2. Change to your cgi-bin directory
  3. frank $ cd cgi-bin
  4. Copy into your cgi-bin directory
    frank $ cp /usr/local2/httpd/htdocs/bin/wwwboard/
  5. Open using the pico editor
    frank $ pico
  6. Change the following variables to read as follows...
    • $basedir = "/users /yourgroup/yourusername/public_html/wwwboard";
    • $baseurl = "";
    • $cgi_url = "";
  7. Change the permissions on
    frank $ chmod a+rx
  8. Change to your wwwboard directory
    frank $ cd ../public_html/wwwboard
  9. Copy password file to wwwboard directory
    frank $ cp /usr/local2/httpd/htdocs/bin/wwwboard/passwd.txt
  10. Change the permissions on passwd.txt
    frank $ chmod a+rwx passwd.txt
  11. Call up the script in your browser by typing the URL you used for the $cgi_url variable above.
  12. Use the following as your initial username and password.
    • Username: WebAdmin
    • Password: WebBoard

VI. Questions?

Contact Curt Curry (x5160 or