Re: request for new forms submission consensus

Christopher McRae (
Sun, 17 Oct 1993 12:34:04 PDT

Dave Raggett writes:
> Frans van Hoesel has pointed out the value in being able to
> use a checkbox or an icon or whatever to submit forms. In
> a tax return there might be a load of questions that become
> irrelevant when you click the checkbox to indicate that you
> are "single". In this case the form would be submitted and
> the server would then return it with the irrelevant questions
> greyed-out:
> Single? <INPUT NAME="single" TYPE=checkbox SUBMIT>
> The idea here is to make SUBMIT an independent attribute
> that can be used with arbitrary field types. You could
> have multiple "submit buttons" in the same form. This way
> authors can choose whether the form contents gets checked
> after each field on a per field basis.

Why not allow/define the use of MIME multipart messages for such applications?
That is, rather than using the SUBMIT attribute as above to retreive a
customized version of the form, why not include named sections of a document
section and define EXPAND/COLLAPSE attributes to control display? For instance,

MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: multipart/mixed;

Content-Type: application/html-form

[some stuff here]
<INPUT NAME="single" TYPE=checkbox EXPAND=single_form COLLAPSE=couple_form>
[more stuff here]

Content-Type: application/html-form
Part-Name: single_form

[ single-specific stuff goes here ]

Content-Type: application/html-form
Part-Name: couple_form

[ couple-specific stuff goes here ]


Note that one could also use only one of EXPAND or COLLAPSE to toggle display
of a document section as opposed to selecting between alternate sections.

Another example:
<SELECT SEVERAL NAME="what-to-do">
<LI EXPAND=book_selection_form> Read A Book
<LI EXPAND=walking_trail_map> Take a Walk
<LI EXPAND=bagelry_menu> Buy a Bagel
<LI EXPAND=tv_guide> Watch TV

This model would work well for those applications where the overhead of
transferring possibly irrelevant sections of a document was low relative to
the overhead of performng multiple GETs.

Christopher McRae mail:
UCSF Center for Knowledge Management at&t: 415/476-3577
530 Parnassus Avenue, Box 0840 fax: 415/476-4653
San Francisco, California 94143