W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-html@w3.org > January 1999

Re: Mailto

From: Ann Navarro <ann@webgeek.com>
Date: Thu, 21 Jan 1999 09:25:04 -0500
Message-Id: <199901211429.JAA26269@www10.w3.org>
To: "Inanis Brooke" <alatus@earthlink.net>, "www-html" <www-html@w3.org>
At 07:35 PM 1/20/99 -0800, Inanis Brooke wrote:

> but how software
>interprets the mailto tag, (i.e. which mail program it opens, what that mail
>program does, etc.) is determined, at least on win32, by the registry. 

Correct -- it's all in what email client currently holds the "default email
client" setting in the registry, IF such a setting exists (various actions
can unselect such settings, or move them around). 

>if they're 'net literate enough, they'll still be able
>to e-mail me, and if they're that 'net literate, I most certainly welcome a
>friendly message in my mailbox!

True, however, since these mailto schemes are being used for both forms and
simple links, and most users (and web sites that use them for forms) don't
know the difference, you end up with quite a few broken forms. The casual
surfer won't have a clue that their form response didn't get sent -- or
sits and wonders why their email program just popped up with a blank
message in it -- not connecting this to a failure in the mailto action. 

While I'm not trying to turn this into an anti-mailto rant, it's fairly
obvious that they're not a good solution for forms. Adding complexity to
them will make them even "more" broken for forms than they already are --
and break fairly traditional usage as a simple link. 

All in all, bad idea. 



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Received on Thursday, 21 January 1999 09:29:52 UTC

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