Re: Subject line in Mailto forms

Richard Levitte - VMS Whacker (
Mon, 16 Jun 1997 15:02:28 +0200

Date: Mon, 16 Jun 1997 15:02:28 +0200
Message-ID: <>
From: Richard Levitte - VMS Whacker <>
To: Walter Ian Kaye <>
In-reply-to: <v03102800afc9ddcc6a6c@[]> (message from Walter Ian
Subject: Re: Subject line in Mailto forms

   From: Walter Ian Kaye <>

   At 11:35a +0200 06/15/97, Arnoud "Galactus" Engelfriet wrote:
    > 1) it breaks all other clients, as RFC 1738 defines the value of
    > mailto to be an email address only. Thus, mail from those clients
    > will bounce, as "" is not a valid host.

   So update the client -- it's easy to add support for this. Perhaps it
   would also be good form to "mark" enhanced mailtos as such, so the user
   can be aware of the extra params if using an old client.

True enough.  Even Lynx handles that kind of markup...

    > 3) You have to URL-encode the value of the subject line, which
    > few people will do, as it's not intuitive.

   It'd be quite easy to develop a little "mailto-maker" program. Hmm,
   maybe I'll go write one for MacOS now...

There still are people (like me) that do not trust those fancy editors.
On the other hand, I do URL-encode things that need it, by hand :-).

    > <A HREF="">Mail me!
    > <PARAM NAME=subject VALUE="Look ma, a really long subject,
    > and it's not even URLencoded!">
    > <PARAM NAME=cc VALUE="">
    > <PARAM NAME=x-silly-header VALUE=Yeah..whatever>
    > </A>
    > or perhaps adding an attribute a la USEMAP (USEAPP? PARAMLIST?)
    > to A that links to a list of parameters, then you could even re-use
    > the information in multiple mailto links.

   And how would you pass that to other applications? Placing it all into the
   URL lets the other app take the single URL string and parse it. User clicks
   on a URL in MSIE, MSIE passes the mailto URL to Eudora, and Eudora parses
   the URL and creates the email message.

That's up tp the browser to handle correctly, isn't it?  I mean, the
browser has to be programmed to handle those PARAM tags correctly anyway,
so it can probably forward them some way to whatever other program.

   Perhaps a new URL scheme, say "email:"?

Oh, com'on, if you give it a few seconds of thought, you will understand
the confusion it will provoke.

R Levitte, Levitte Programming;  Spannv. 38, I;  S-161 43  Bromma;  SWEDEN
      Tel: +46-8-26 52 47;  Cel: +46-10-222 64 05;  No fax right now
  PGP key fingerprint = A6 96 C0 34 3A 96 AA 6C  B0 D5 9A DF D2 E9 9C 65
   Check for my public key.