The official CGI logo from the spec announcement
In 1993 the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) team wrote the specification for calling command line executables on the www-talk mailing list. The other Web server developers adopted it, and it has been a standard for Web servers ever since. A work group chaired by Ken Coar started in November 1997 to get the NCSA definition of CGI more formally defined. This work resulted in RFC 3875, which specified CGI Version 1.1. Specifically mentioned in the RFC are the following contributors:
Historically CGI scripts were often written using the C language. RFC 3875 "The Common Gateway Interface (CGI)" partially defines CGI using C, as in saying that environment variables "are accessed by the C library routine getenv() or variable environ".