Re: An smtp URL scheme

Walter Ian Kaye (
Thu, 10 Jul 1997 20:08:50 -0700

Message-Id: <v03102838afeb52d43680@[]>
Date: Thu, 10 Jul 1997 20:08:50 -0700
From: Walter Ian Kaye <>
Subject: Re: An smtp URL scheme

At 10:55p -0400 07/10/97, Russell Steven Shawn O'Connor wrote:
 > On Thu, 10 Jul 1997, Walter Ian Kaye wrote:
 > >
 > >    <A HREF=";body=TheBody">
 > >
 > > resulted in the following in Eudora 3.1:
 > >
 > >    To:
 > >    Subject: Test&body
 > >
 > > because what that does is make it look like "Test&body" is the entire
 > > value of the "subject=" field.
 > Then Eudora is broken.  If you wanted Test&body you would write
 > <A HREF=""> (I think %26 is right)

Eudora is not broken. Why should an email app give a hoot about SGML
entities? It does not apply. Perhaps SGML is broken...

 > > Also, I believe a URL should remain constant no matter what application
 > > it appears in. Only markup-language applications would even understand
 > > the &amp; entity -- if I double-click the URL as shown above in Eudora
 > > (or launch it from *any* other non-browser application), it results in
 > >
 > >    Subject: Test&amp;body
 > >
 > > which is, of course, incorrect. And this would affect http URL schemes
 > > as well as mailto schemes, so it's not just an extended-mailto failing.
 > Enitites are allowed in attributes.  This allows us to do <IMG SRC="foo"
 > ALT="and then he said &quot;Let it be done&quot; and it was so">, and
 > similarly <A HREF="foo.html?lang=fran&ccedil;ais">.  This is why & must be
 > escaped as &amp; (or something equivlent).

Now you are confusing "allowed" with "must". I know that entities are
*allowed* in attribute values; I am saying they should be avoided in
URLs. The easy way to ensure that nothing will be interpreted as such
is to escape any semicolons appearing in a field value.

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