Consumer Rankings

How to use CGI programs to allow list subscribers to enter and rank their favorite products or services.

The ranking software I presented this month is only in its earliest stages and will undoubtedly have improved by the time this issue of Linux Journal reaches your hands.

Along with improvements in the user interface and the possible addition of a hierarchical category system, there are several related applications I would like to add. One would return the highest-ranked items within a category, allowing a user to find the best choice without having to wade through dozens or hundreds of reviews. Hard-core users of this system might want to read only those reviews which have appeared since the last time they visited the site. Some additional personalization, including the use of cookies to remember the user's name and e-mail address, would reduce the amount of typing someone would have to do. An editing facility for system administrators will undoubtedly prove useful as the system grows. Finally, it is always nice to provide a search function, just in case an Italian restaurant is accidentally classified as a café.

The programs we examine this month demonstrate that it is not particularly difficult to produce a simple user ranking system. This is especially true if we take advantage of the power a relational database affords us in storing and retrieving data. Best of all, subscribers to my e-mail list can now spend their time trading information, leaving the recommendations to a set of CGI programs.


Reuven M. Lerner , an Internet and Web consultant, moved to Modi'in, Israel following his November marriage to Shira Friedman-Lerner. His book Core Perl will be published by Prentice-Hall in the spring. Reuven can be reached at The ATF home page, including archives, source code and discussion forums, is at


One Click, Universal Protection: Implementing Centralized Security Policies on Linux Systems

As Linux continues to play an ever increasing role in corporate data centers and institutions, ensuring the integrity and protection of these systems must be a priority. With 60% of the world's websites and an increasing share of organization's mission-critical workloads running on Linux, failing to stop malware and other advanced threats on Linux can increasingly impact an organization's reputation and bottom line.

Learn More

Sponsored by Bit9

Linux Backup and Recovery Webinar

Most companies incorporate backup procedures for critical data, which can be restored quickly if a loss occurs. However, fewer companies are prepared for catastrophic system failures, in which they lose all data, the entire operating system, applications, settings, patches and more, reducing their system(s) to “bare metal.” After all, before data can be restored to a system, there must be a system to restore it to.

In this one hour webinar, learn how to enhance your existing backup strategies for better disaster recovery preparedness using Storix System Backup Administrator (SBAdmin), a highly flexible bare-metal recovery solution for UNIX and Linux systems.

Learn More

Sponsored by Storix