Re: Automatic reply in HTML

Jim Davis (
Tue, 11 May 1993 09:38:17 -0400

I agree the functionality is useful. I am not sure that
a special purpose URL is desirable. Perhaps a more
general approach is possible. Consider that reply mail
contains aspects of general purpose form-filling queries
(which we've discussed, and which even Gopher has already)
and has also been implemented at least once by Nathaniel
Borenstein in AtomicMail (a Lisp-subset for making email
messages with programmable but safe side effects. reply mail
was one of the key purposes of AtomicMail. alas, it is proprietary
to Bellcore as I understand it, though he is working on a new
and better version which will be presented as an RFC.)

So though I have no specific syntactic proposal to make I
suggest reply mail might be either
1) a special case of general programmatic invocation
2) a special case of form-filling-queries

On the other hand I recognize the trend of late in WWW to
implement special purpose features in an adhoc manner without
trying to design the ultimate feature set; and this may even
be a good idea given our lack of experience in the matter.