Re: request for new forms submission consensus

Marc Andreessen (
Mon, 11 Oct 93 16:39:22 -0700

Tony Sanders writes:
> > All things being equal, I think I'd be happy with the current encoding
> > method (name=value&name=value with escaping) just slapped into the
> > body of an HTTP/1.0 'SUBMIT' request -- keeps things simple and
> > straightforward, avoids creating a new syntax, is known to properly
> > handle escaping issues, and servers and code already exist for
> > decoding/handling it.
> As you know I'm for just using the POST method. See example below of how
> I think this should work.
> As you can see I've used a "www" class content-type. I think that it's
> important to allocate a www class for our internal protocol messages.
> A content-type of text/plain might have a different affect
> (like just sending the owner of the posted to document email, or
> maybe making an annotation).
> If the form required authentication to submit then the user could edit
> the returned URL before the form was processed.
> > To be honest, the idea of encoding it in some kind of SGML format does
> > not excite me in the least -- what would be the added value?
> Agreed.
> Example form:

How about, then, <FORM ACTION="POST">
in this case? That meshes with the consensus we came to a while back
about using the URL encoding method only as a stopgap and adding
methods to the ACTION attribute in the future. (Or, would be fine
with me to use a different attribute also -- whichever.)

> <INPUT NAME="name">
> </FORM>
> Client:
> POST /hyplan/sanders.html HTTP/1.0
> Content-Length: 13
> MIME-Version: 1.0
> Content-type: www/form
> name=testing

Looks good, except -- is Content-Length to be required? (And if so, why?)

> Server:
> HTTP/1.0 201 URI follows
> Last-modified: Sunday, 03-Oct-93 19:32:54 GMT
> Date: Sunday, 03-Oct-93 19:37:52 GMT
> Server: plexus/3.0i
> Location:
> MIME-Version: 1.0
> Content-type: text/html
> <TITLE>Posted</TITLE>
> <A HREF="">Retrieve
> to lock and edit</A>