(no subject)

gert braakman (gbraakma@knoware.nl)
Sat, 4 Mar 95 18:41:03 GMT


Date: Sat, 4 Mar 95 18:41:03 GMT
Message-Id: <9503041841.AA04055@indy.knoware.nl>
To: www-html@www10.w3.org
From: gbraakma@knoware.nl (gert braakman)
Subject: Re: 



--========================_7951882==_
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"

>In writing some html, I have discoverd that at least on our
>system the mailto: type of href does not work in Netscape
>which is a major concern.
>
>What can we do to get it to? Netscape is an important enough
>percantage of browsers that we have to get it to work.
>
>Are we going to have to resort to writing a CGI script
>to send a form as mail or what?


Hello richard,

This looks like a job for an CGI script. Laura Lemay wrote a book called
WEB publishing with HTML. It contains a chapter about writing CGI scripts
(with are basicly very simple) for processing the mailto: statement.

Below some text in with she tells (to the author of TIDBITS) where she
found the information on HTML on the internet

___________________________________________________________________

"Teach Yourself HTML in a Week (and Write a Book About it in Eight)"

by Laura Lemay
ISBN:0-672-30667-0
Sample chapter available online at http://www.mcp.com

I first saw the Web in early 1993, when a friend showed me Mosaic
running on his Sun Workstation.  I had been on the internet for years
before that, but I had never seen anything that was so visual and
playful and allowed you to navigate around the internet as easily. 

This is really cool, I thought. 

Unfortunately, at the time I was working primarily on Macintoshes, and I
didn't have access to the software.  Except for a few stolen moments on
unix machines, I didn't have much of a chance to play with it until
early 1994.  And then play with it I did. 

As a writer, I found it fascinating that this was a simple and effective
way of communicating information across the net to anyone who could read
it.  As a confirmed internet addict, I quickly found that I could easily
spend hours on the Web jumping from link to link and from page to page
and discovering new gems of information within the Web.  It was
tremendous fun, and the more I explored it, the more I wanted to get
involved in doing it myself. 

At the time I was working as a technical writer, writing programmer's
documentation and not being very happy doing it.  I had always wanted to
write a book, and given my writerly inclinations it seemed only obvious
that if I wanted to learn how to write Web pages, so might other people. 
Why not put together a proposal and see if I could get a publisher to
let me write it?

                    The Plan

Around the time I was beginning to consider what might go into a book
about HTML, Mark Taber of Sams publishing posted a message to usenet
looking for authors to write about the Web.  I sent him a shorter
version of my proposal, and we then exchanged lots of email and
developed the plan that would eventaully turn into the "Teach Yourself"
book. 

My strengths for this book were not necessarily HTML itself -- when I
proposed the book, I had written only a few Web pages, attempted a form
or two, but beyond that I was hardly an expert.  What I did have that
qualified me to write the book was experience designing information
online, the ability to describe technical information clearly, and,
after a year of exploring the Web and seeing what was out there, a whole
lot of very strong opinions about what makes up good and bad web page
design.  For these reasons my editor at Sams and I settled on an HTML
book that half a description of HTML itself and half a handbook of hints
for design and for Web page style. 

As I formulated the final proposal, I kept several goals in mind.  One
was the equal focus on the HTML language and on design.  Another was
that the book be generic across many different kinds of computer
systems, particularly across PC, Mac, and UNIX systems.  One of the big
strengths of the web is that when you write a page for the Web, anyone
can read it on any computer that has a browser.  It doesn't matter
whether you're on a Macintosh or a PC running Windows or a high-end SGI
workstation.  So it was important to me that I not write an "HTML for
your 486/DX2 Running Windows For Workgroups 3.11" book.  Why limit the
scope of the book when the technology is so unlimited?

The third implicit goal for the book was to get it written and finished
in as short an amount of time as possible.  For marketing reasons, for
the book to be sucessful, it had to be out early.  We aimed for an end
of '94 release, which, given time for editing and production left me
with a very frightening eight weeks to write the book.  Even my writer
friends told me I was crazy, but I've always been good at challenges, so
I signed the contract, resigned from my job, and dove headlong into
writing the book. 

              Getting the Information

There is nothing in the book that a resourceful person with lots of time
couldn't find on the Web or elsewhere on the Internet, given enough time
and enough energy.  Thats exactly what I did to write it, after all. 

Finding specific information on the Web was a challenge, as one of the
bigger difficulties with the World Wide Web is its distributed and
unindexed nature.  Luckily, just as I was beginning the sections of the
book for which I had less technical knowledge, I stumbled on the Virtual
Library for Web Development at URL:http://www.charm.net/~web/Vlib/. 
Here was an index to available information on not only writing HTML, but
also with working with images, servers, CGI, and lots of other topics
that I hadn't planned to include in the book but that were still
fascinating. 

It was a gold mine of information, and from that as a starting point at
the top of my hotlist I was able to find just about all the information
I needed to write the book.  Since then, of course, many more indexes
for Web information have appeared, If I were writing the book now, the
Virtual Library would remain on my list, supplemented with the WWW
section of the Yahoo index -
(http://akebono.stanford.edu/yahoo/Computers/World_Wide_Web/), and the
tutorials at Web Communications (URL:http://www.webcom.com/htm)

In addition to prowling the Web I also kept up with the prolific
discussions about the WWW on Usenet (in the comp.infosystems.www
groups), in mailing lists, and in the Web conference on the WELL.  These
additional sources of information were invaluable, not only for finding
out bits of information that had eluded me, but also for getting a feel
for the sorts of questions and problems people were having while they
were learning how to develop content for the Web.  If a particular topic
was confusing people enough that they would ask for help, it would
obviously require extra detail in the book. 

Finally, there was the software.  Much of the software that drives the
Web is freely available for FTP, and if it was available I downloaded
it, compiled it, and ran it to figure out how it worked and to see if it
would be helpful to be or to others.  By the time the final chapter was
complete I had stored, on three systems: twelve browsers, five servers,
two dozen HTML converters and editors, nine tools for editing and
converting images, four for sound, two for video, and network software
to tie it all together.  Much of everything I played with and found
valuable is mentioned in the book. 

                      Writing it Down

Given the time constraints for writing the book, I coulnd't take the
time to sit down and learn about everything I needed to know and then
write about it once I understood it.  I had to learn as I wrote, and
given my initial lack of understanding of some of the more technically
complex parts of the Web such as server and browser interaction and
forms, that meant learning everything as fast as possible and
structuring my time such that I could continue to work even if something
was puzzling me. 

I researched and wrote during all hours of the day, keeping less of a 9
to 5 schedule and more of an 8 to 10, 11:30 to 4, 7 to 1am schedule.  To
keep from going completely out of my mind I watched movies on video,
stayed out late dancing at nightclubs, or went to a local park and
chased the ducks (although I should note for the record that I do not
advocate terrorizing wildlife as a way of relieving stress).  I had the
advantage of an understanding boyfriend and a good working environment
(a full-time internet connection, warm cats and all the diet coke I
could drink) that allowed me to focus and get the book finished. 

Probably the most valuable asset I had during the times when things
became complicated were other Web content developers.  I had several
friends who had done work on the Web, and I sent lots of email to people
who were having problems similar to mine.  With the help of other
developers, I was able to understand the technology better and make
recommendations in the book based on common practice and with an eye for
how the technology might change.  Even now that I've completed the book
and am now focusing on developing my own content, the help of other
developers is still and invaluable asset for creating good content. 

                      Onward

Even in its current state the book is far from complete.  Even as I
wrote it, new products were announced and new features became standard
that I simply didn't have a chance to include (and which often drove me
to distraction).  Netscape Communications announced thier browser and a
whole suite of extensions to the standard HTML tags that have since
changed the look of Web pages (sometimes for the worse).  Many features
of HTML Level Three such as text centering and tables began appearing in
more and more browsers even as the standard was still being written. 
And with the recent scandal over Unisys, Compuserve, and the GIF image
format, the presentation of images on the Web may change entirely over
the next couple months. 

However, even if the book is merely a snapshot of the technology that
was available during the two months I wrote it, the principles of
organizing and designing information don't change quite as readily as
the tools do, based as they are on years of research and lessons
learned.  With a good basis in understanding how information can be
organized and presented, keeping up with the technology and applying the
new HTML features to existing pages becomes far easier and is merely
icing on and already well-contructed cake. 



--========================_7951882==_
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable


___________________________________________________________________

"Teach Yourself HTML in a Week (and Write a Book About it in Eight)"

by Laura Lemay
ISBN:0-672-30667-0
Sample chapter available online at http://www.mcp.com

I first saw the Web in early 1993, when a friend showed me Mosaic
running on his Sun Workstation.  I had been on the internet for years
before that, but I had never seen anything that was so visual and
playful and allowed you to navigate around the internet as easily.=
=20

This is really cool, I thought.=20

Unfortunately, at the time I was working primarily on Macintoshes,=
 and I
didn't have access to the software.  Except for a few stolen moments=
 on
unix machines, I didn't have much of a chance to play with it until
early 1994.  And then play with it I did.=20

As a writer, I found it fascinating that this was a simple and effective
way of communicating information across the net to anyone who could=
 read
it.  As a confirmed internet addict, I quickly found that I could=
 easily
spend hours on the Web jumping from link to link and from page to=
 page
and discovering new gems of information within the Web.  It was
tremendous fun, and the more I explored it, the more I wanted to=
 get
involved in doing it myself.=20

At the time I was working as a technical writer, writing programmer's
documentation and not being very happy doing it.  I had always wanted=
 to
write a book, and given my writerly inclinations it seemed only obvious
that if I wanted to learn how to write Web pages, so might other=
 people.=20
Why not put together a proposal and see if I could get a publisher=
 to
let me write it?

                    The Plan

Around the time I was beginning to consider what might go into a=
 book
about HTML, Mark Taber of Sams publishing posted a message to usenet
looking for authors to write about the Web.  I sent him a shorter
version of my proposal, and we then exchanged lots of email and
developed the plan that would eventaully turn into the "Teach Yourself"
book.=20

My strengths for this book were not necessarily HTML itself -- when=
 I
proposed the book, I had written only a few Web pages, attempted=
 a form
or two, but beyond that I was hardly an expert.  What I did have=
 that
qualified me to write the book was experience designing information
online, the ability to describe technical information clearly, and,
after a year of exploring the Web and seeing what was out there,=
 a whole
lot of very strong opinions about what makes up good and bad web=
 page
design.  For these reasons my editor at Sams and I settled on an=
 HTML
book that half a description of HTML itself and half a handbook of=
 hints
for design and for Web page style.=20

As I formulated the final proposal, I kept several goals in mind.=
  One
was the equal focus on the HTML language and on design.  Another=
 was
that the book be generic across many different kinds of computer
systems, particularly across PC, Mac, and UNIX systems.  One of the=
 big
strengths of the web is that when you write a page for the Web, anyone
can read it on any computer that has a browser.  It doesn't matter
whether you're on a Macintosh or a PC running Windows or a high-end=
 SGI
workstation.  So it was important to me that I not write an "HTML=
 for
your 486/DX2 Running Windows For Workgroups 3.11" book.  Why limit=
 the
scope of the book when the technology is so unlimited?

The third implicit goal for the book was to get it written and finished
in as short an amount of time as possible.  For marketing reasons,=
 for
the book to be sucessful, it had to be out early.  We aimed for an=
 end
of '94 release, which, given time for editing and production left=
 me
with a very frightening eight weeks to write the book.  Even my writer
friends told me I was crazy, but I've always been good at challenges,=
 so
I signed the contract, resigned from my job, and dove headlong into
writing the book.=20

              Getting the Information

There is nothing in the book that a resourceful person with lots=
 of time
couldn't find on the Web or elsewhere on the Internet, given enough=
 time
and enough energy.  Thats exactly what I did to write it, after all.=
=20

=46inding specific information on the Web was a challenge, as one=
 of the
bigger difficulties with the World Wide Web is its distributed and
unindexed nature.  Luckily, just as I was beginning the sections=
 of the
book for which I had less technical knowledge, I stumbled on the=
 Virtual
Library for Web Development at URL:http://www.charm.net/~web/Vlib/.=
=20
Here was an index to available information on not only writing HTML,=
 but
also with working with images, servers, CGI, and lots of other topics
that I hadn't planned to include in the book but that were still
fascinating.=20

It was a gold mine of information, and from that as a starting point=
 at
the top of my hotlist I was able to find just about all the information
I needed to write the book.  Since then, of course, many more indexes
for Web information have appeared, If I were writing the book now,=
 the
Virtual Library would remain on my list, supplemented with the WWW
section of the Yahoo index -
(http://akebono.stanford.edu/yahoo/Computers/World_Wide_Web/), and=
 the
tutorials at Web Communications (URL:http://www.webcom.com/htm)

In addition to prowling the Web I also kept up with the prolific
discussions about the WWW on Usenet (in the comp.infosystems.www
groups), in mailing lists, and in the Web conference on the WELL.=
  These
additional sources of information were invaluable, not only for finding
out bits of information that had eluded me, but also for getting=
 a feel
for the sorts of questions and problems people were having while=
 they
were learning how to develop content for the Web.  If a particular=
 topic
was confusing people enough that they would ask for help, it would
obviously require extra detail in the book.=20

=46inally, there was the software.  Much of the software that drives=
 the
Web is freely available for FTP, and if it was available I downloaded
it, compiled it, and ran it to figure out how it worked and to see=
 if it
would be helpful to be or to others.  By the time the final chapter=
 was
complete I had stored, on three systems: twelve browsers, five servers,
two dozen HTML converters and editors, nine tools for editing and
converting images, four for sound, two for video, and network software
to tie it all together.  Much of everything I played with and found
valuable is mentioned in the book.=20

                      Writing it Down

Given the time constraints for writing the book, I coulnd't take=
 the
time to sit down and learn about everything I needed to know and=
 then
write about it once I understood it.  I had to learn as I wrote,=
 and
given my initial lack of understanding of some of the more technically
complex parts of the Web such as server and browser interaction and
forms, that meant learning everything as fast as possible and
structuring my time such that I could continue to work even if something
was puzzling me.=20

I researched and wrote during all hours of the day, keeping less=
 of a 9
to 5 schedule and more of an 8 to 10, 11:30 to 4, 7 to 1am schedule.=
  To
keep from going completely out of my mind I watched movies on video,
stayed out late dancing at nightclubs, or went to a local park and
chased the ducks (although I should note for the record that I do=
 not
advocate terrorizing wildlife as a way of relieving stress).  I had=
 the
advantage of an understanding boyfriend and a good working environment
(a full-time internet connection, warm cats and all the diet coke=
 I
could drink) that allowed me to focus and get the book finished.=
=20

Probably the most valuable asset I had during the times when things
became complicated were other Web content developers.  I had several
friends who had done work on the Web, and I sent lots of email to=
 people
who were having problems similar to mine.  With the help of other
developers, I was able to understand the technology better and make
recommendations in the book based on common practice and with an=
 eye for
how the technology might change.  Even now that I've completed the=
 book
and am now focusing on developing my own content, the help of other
developers is still and invaluable asset for creating good content.=
=20

                      Onward

Even in its current state the book is far from complete.  Even as=
 I
wrote it, new products were announced and new features became standard
that I simply didn't have a chance to include (and which often drove=
 me
to distraction).  Netscape Communications announced thier browser=
 and a
whole suite of extensions to the standard HTML tags that have since
changed the look of Web pages (sometimes for the worse).  Many features
of HTML Level Three such as text centering and tables began appearing=
 in
more and more browsers even as the standard was still being written.=
=20
And with the recent scandal over Unisys, Compuserve, and the GIF=
 image
format, the presentation of images on the Web may change entirely=
 over
the next couple months.=20

However, even if the book is merely a snapshot of the technology=
 that
was available during the two months I wrote it, the principles of
organizing and designing information don't change quite as readily=
 as
the tools do, based as they are on years of research and lessons
learned.  With a good basis in understanding how information can=
 be
organized and presented, keeping up with the technology and applying=
 the
new HTML features to existing pages becomes far easier and is merely
icing on and already well-contructed cake.=20



--========================_7951882==_--