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RE: Accessibility and mailto links

From: Robert Neff <rneff@bbnow.net>
Date: Tue, 5 Jun 2001 09:01:20 -0500
To: <karl.hebenstreit@gsa.gov>
Cc: <miraz@firstbite.co.nz>, <graham_oliver@yahoo.com>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
good point on the security, karl.  as a business rule, i require all forms
that convey name, email or personal information to be under SSL.  and email
is optional, but required if you want a reply.


-----Original Message-----
From: karl.hebenstreit@gsa.gov [mailto:karl.hebenstreit@gsa.gov]
Sent: Tuesday, June 05, 2001 8:45 AM
To: rneff@bbnow.net
Cc: miraz@firstbite.co.nz; graham_oliver@yahoo.com; w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject: RE: Accessibility and mailto links

As Rob alluded to with Customer Relationship Management systems, forms can
provide a way of categorizing and routing responses, or launching workflow
processes.   Another major advantage forms have over e-mail is that they
can be designed not to allow attachments.  In fact, most form systems
preclude the use of attachments unless the software has been specifically
designed to allow them.   Attachments can cause all kinds of problems, from
their cumulative size raising storage issues to providing an opportunity
for attacks through spam/denial-of-service or even viruses.   Furthermore,
E-mail messages are seldom secure, so there is always the risk of allowing
improper access to sensitive information.

As the U.S. government, for privacy reasons we're most often not allowed to
ask for and cannot retain e-mail addresses when we do, so most government
sites use forms, and many may not even have an associated e-mail address..
To address the frustration that Miraz mentions, it is possible for forms to
capture a person's e-mail address, and have the submittal process generate
an e-mail message to them which can contain most or all of the information
a person has entered on the form.   Many e-commerce sites generate this
type of message as part of an order confirmation.


Karl Hebenstreit, Jr.
US General Services Administration
Office of Governmentwide Policy
Office of FirstGov
1776 G Steet NW, Suite 105
Washington, DC  20006
E-mail:  Karl.Hebenstreit@gsa.gov
Direct::  202-275-0540
Office:  202-275-0560
Fax:  202-275-0566
Websites: http://www.firstgov.gov

"Robert Neff" <rneff@bbnow.net>@w3.org on 06/05/2001 01:28:36 AM

Sent by:  w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org

To:   "Miraz Jordan" <miraz@firstbite.co.nz>, "Graham Oliver"
      <graham_oliver@yahoo.com>, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
cc:    (bcc: Karl F. Hebenstreit Jr./MB/CO/GSA/GOV)

Subject:  RE: Accessibility and mailto links

i disagree.  forms offer a huge advantage for customers because they do not
require the user to have an email package and we all know how flaky the
email set-ups can be. and how they may not work.  i can go to the library
a public kiosk and be allowed to use email or need to set it up and remove
it.  whereas a form can be used on a public system.

unfortunately, you will need to get used to forms.  there are needed for
sites that have mail traffic and interaction with the customer.  form
messaging systems greatly reduce the costs of manual processes.  while some
messaging systems can import email information into the database, forms are
much more efficient and scalable. scalability is the key as well as
the message as it gets passed around in the workflow.  this is for tracking
how long i had it and who had it last.  you must take care of the customer
on the response to thier question.  most systems have this is as a part of
Customer Relationship Management systems and they are getting cheaper for
mid-level sites to afford, but not fast enough.

from an implementation aspect, email is not efficient and is a huge burden
to manage, whereas, forms are an effective way to manage customer traffic.

cheers, rob

-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org]On
Behalf Of Miraz Jordan
Sent: Monday, June 04, 2001 10:30 PM
To: Graham Oliver; w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject: Re: Accessibility and mailto links

At 02:41 +0100 05/06/2001, Graham Oliver wrote:
>mailto' links can be a problem because :-
>The alternative is a forms based approach to sending
>Any thoughts

As a user of a regular old graphical browser I find being forced to
use a form to send email extremely annoying. My email is contained in
my email application where I can search and store as I see fit. I can
easily compose mail and save drafts or mail which needs further
considering before sending.

If I'm forced to send mail via a form this "breaks" my system. I
generally end up copying and pasting from the form to a regular
message I send to myself, thus losing the sender and addressee info.

In addition, the space on a form is often pathetic, forcing me into
annoying scrolling.

I also hate it when the feedback / email address is kept secret from
me via a form.

I have absolutely no objection to websites which give me a choice
between a form and a mailto link.



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Received on Tuesday, 5 June 2001 09:55:44 UTC

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