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Re: FORMs and GET

From: Paul Prescod <paul@prescod.net>
Date: Mon, 21 Jan 2002 12:03:22 -0800
Message-ID: <3C4C740A.17E57ECE@prescod.net>
To: www-forms@w3.org
Micah Dubinko wrote:
> For forms, the main advantage of GET is that it's currently deployed on a
> zillion browsers and everyone understands how it works.

I'm sure we're in agreement, but I want to make the point that GET had
advantages even when it was invented, before there was a legacy issue.
GET allows forms to be a user interface to complicated information
repositories, like the Google database, Yahoo's personals database,
Amazon's book database, etc. Before the web was about e-commerce, it was
about exposing database data across organizational boundaries in a
standardized way. 

POST does a poor job of this because the resulting query results cannot
be linked. Of course there are all sorts of server-side tricks that you
can do to trick the browser into doing a GET after a POST but this is
more difficult to code and has some client-side UI problems.

> clicking the submit control would generate a URI like
> http://www.google.com/search?q=foo

Does this also work for forms with multiple fields? 

In particular, I note that HTML forms tend to generate ampersands (yes,
there are issues with that choice of character) whereas XForms generate
semicolons. I'm all for moving towards semi-colons but shouldn't this be
a *choice*? I'd suggest that there needs to be a way to generage
"application/x-www-form-urlencoded" in a manner compatible with HTML.

There is an open issue about this so I look forward to it resolution.

 Paul Prescod
Received on Monday, 21 January 2002 15:04:47 UTC

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