Re: Forms, mailto-URLs, and The Right Thing

Rob Hartill (
Fri, 27 Jan 1995 18:49:39 +0100

> > .but not if that means sending URL encoded mail to human readers when
> > the form explicitly asks for plain text to be sent.
> > i=Mail+which+looks+anything+like%0D%0Athis+isn%27t+particularly+readable%0D%0Ais+it+%3F
> How about a variant of the way you used to handle updates for the
> Movie Database? (don't know if you do it this way anymore. Been a
> while since I contributed...:-).

The movie database now uses vanilla mailto: to submit data.
(NCSA Mosaic users have lots of fun with this...)
The new data is formatted for the user and displayed with a
mailto: address.

Netscape users click on the link, add a subject line (shame this can't
be automated via the mailto URL), then click on the "include" button
to copy the text into the mail editor. The mail server at the other end
strips off the ugly "> " line prefix (which should be configurable) before
processing it.

I'd probably switch to a mailto: form, if only Netscape behaved and
sent plain text instead of URL encoded mail.

Why not URL decode on the mail server ? - it's not my mailserver. I
can't keep asking for it to be changed to accept different types of
mangled data.

Netscape form mailto: exists but is so "broken" that it is useless.
It doesn't conform to the HTML spec that I've read. "enctype" and
<MH HIDDEN> get ingored.

I have my fingers crossed for 1.1

Ncom, how about a list of the features that will be fixed in 1.1 ?,
so that the impatient among us can see that we aren't being ignored...
your automated bug report acknowledgement mail gets tedious after a while.

Robert Hartill                 
Los Alamos National Laboratory                    Phone: (505) 665 2280
Theoretical Division, T-8, MS B285                  Fax: (505) 667 5585
P.O. Box 1663
Los Alamos, NM 87545, U.S.A.