Re: "Mailto" Command

Walter Ian Kaye (
Tue, 8 Apr 1997 16:49:53 -0700 (PDT)

Date: Tue, 8 Apr 1997 16:49:53 -0700 (PDT)
From: Walter Ian Kaye <>
To: WWW HTML List <>
Subject: Re: "Mailto" Command
In-Reply-To: <>
Message-ID: <>

On Mon, 7 Apr 1997, Carl Morris wrote:
> >  Technically it is
> > incorrect to send the form anywhere but the server that served it.
> > Incorrect with respect to what? Your opinion?
> Logic...

Gee, what about all the magazine subscription forms that go snailmail to
Boulder, Colorado instead of to the magazine's HQ? :-) This WWW form thing
is simply the HTML counterpart to that. It's a kind of delegation. See?

> >  The
> > problem is all too common though, many people place forms in their
> > pages that go back to WEBCRAWLER or other search engines.
> In my opinion (and as I recall, Dave Raggett, Tony Sanders, Marc A,
> and the other designers of forms) this is a feature, not a bug.
> No,  it is the problem that has caused people to think that a form in a WWW

Right; method=get is a separate issue from action=mailto.

> page can be answered via e-mail.  I do not answer WWW forms via e-mail!!!! 
> (mostly because it doesn't work, and it shows that the author of the form
> is lazy, its also usually a sign that the form will not be answered in a
> quality fashion, why answer it!)
> You may think its nice to have options.  When those options result in more
> hassles to the end users, then they're "optional" status has worn thin.  I
> find e-mail returned forms to be a hassle, and I know from experience that
> others have too.

I agree about its poor usability, and that's why I could never understand why
some people ask their ISP for a "" CGI. My initial reaction was, like,
"Huh?" :-) Though I don't think that's cause to "outlaw" action=mailto -- it's
just that it really amounts to "jury-rigging", and why seek that? ::shrug::
If it's due to an aversion to learning to write a CGI, well, heck, that's what
friends are for! Sometimes even strangers will write a script for you, and
sometimes even for free if it's a simple one. The 'Net is cool... ;)

    Walter Ian Kaye <>     Programmer - Excel, AppleScript,
          Mountain View, CA                         ProTERM, FoxPro, HTML     Musician - Guitarist, Songwriter