Re: "Mailto" Command

Carl Morris (msftrncs@htcnet.com)
Fri, 4 Apr 1997 17:19:32 -0600


Message-Id: <199704042320.RAA13857@inet.htcnet.com>
From: "Carl Morris" <msftrncs@htcnet.com>
To: "Jukka Korpela" <jkorpela@cc.hut.fi>, "WWW HTML List" <www-html@w3.org>
Subject: Re: "Mailto" Command
Date: Fri, 4 Apr 1997 17:19:32 -0600

| My note was about sending form contents as mail messages. That is,
| what should happen if the ACTION in a FORM element specifies a
| mailto URL? The HTML 3.2 spec is not clear about this; 
| http://www.w3.org/pub/WWW/TR/REC-html32.html#form
| mentions such situation but does not specifically _require_ that
| it should work, and it seems to me that popular browsers do not
| seem to have wide support to it; see Notes at
| http://www.hut.fi/~jkorpela/HTML3.2/5.25.html
| 
| RFC 1867, section 5.6, says:
| 'Independent of this proposal, it would be very useful for HTML
| interpreting user agents to allow a ACTION in a form to be
| "mailto:" URL.'
| 
| And it seems to me that neither HTML 3.2 nor any other specification
| has made this a _requirement_.

And I blame no one!  Since when should a WWW form not be returned to
the WWW server that originally served it????  Technically it is
incorrect to send the form anywhere but the server that served it.  The
problem is all too common though, many people place forms in their
pages that go back to WEBCRAWLER or other search engines.   Also is the
common problem that common folk want to take data from the WWW without
having the resources to get that data on their own (In other words,
they don't have permission to use the SERVER's CGI interface, which
also usually means that their ISP has not given permission to "take
data from the WWW"!!!  Many ISP's consider this a business tactic when
you want to use forms, and you should be using a business account to do
so.)  The third excuse against mailto for forms is WWW sites that want
you to send them e-mail, and provide you a WWW based form to do it in,
but refuse to show you the address its going to.  I find this very
annoying.  If I want to send someone e-mail, I'll write it in my e-mail
client where I have spell checking and more!

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