html forms

Discussion in 'HTML' started by Rebekha Ljoekelsoey, Mar 14, 2006.

  1. Can I ask for clarification regarding hidden elements in forms and the use
    of the mailto:

    I have recently been told that the inclusion of the mailto: will render the
    form inoperative
    <input type="hidden" name="recipient" value="mailto:">

    Mailto: in the hidden field shouldn't be there are it makes the form
    inoperable. Mailto: should only be used in a normal email link.

    Your comments would be warmly appreciated
    Rebekha Ljoekelsoey, Mar 14, 2006
    #1
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  2. Rebekha Ljoekelsoey wrote:

    > Can I ask for clarification regarding hidden elements in forms and the use
    > of the mailto:
    >
    > I have recently been told that the inclusion of the mailto: will render
    > the form inoperative
    > <input type="hidden" name="recipient" value="mailto:">
    >
    > Mailto: in the hidden field shouldn't be there are it makes the form
    > inoperable. Mailto: should only be used in a normal email link.
    >
    > Your comments would be warmly appreciated


    Never heard of a problem with such values. From the browsers point of view
    it is just some text that is to be sent to the server along with the other
    values from visible or hidden controls.

    Using 'mailto:...' for the ACTION attribute of the FORM element does often
    not work as intended, because it requires fully configured mail setup on
    the visitors computer - something that is not available, if the user uses
    webmail or no mail at all.

    And 'mailto:...' may not work in A HREF for the same reason.

    --
    Benjamin Niemann
    Email: pink at odahoda dot de
    WWW: http://www.odahoda.de/
    Benjamin Niemann, Mar 14, 2006
    #2
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  3. "Benjamin Niemann" <> wrote in message
    news:dv657i$uf2$...
    > Rebekha Ljoekelsoey wrote:
    >
    > > Can I ask for clarification regarding hidden elements in forms and the

    use
    > > of the mailto:
    > >
    > > I have recently been told that the inclusion of the mailto: will render
    > > the form inoperative
    > > <input type="hidden" name="recipient" value="mailto:">
    > >
    > > Mailto: in the hidden field shouldn't be there are it makes the form
    > > inoperable. Mailto: should only be used in a normal email link.
    > >
    > > Your comments would be warmly appreciated

    >
    > Never heard of a problem with such values. From the browsers point of view
    > it is just some text that is to be sent to the server along with the other
    > values from visible or hidden controls.
    >
    > Using 'mailto:...' for the ACTION attribute of the FORM element does often
    > not work as intended, because it requires fully configured mail setup on
    > the visitors computer - something that is not available, if the user uses
    > webmail or no mail at all.
    >
    > And 'mailto:...' may not work in A HREF for the same reason.
    >
    > --
    > Benjamin Niemann
    > Email: pink at odahoda dot de
    > WWW: http://www.odahoda.de/


    many thanks for the answer, I am having terrible problems with an examining
    board who insist that the form will NOT work with the mailto included

    Rebekha
    Rebekha Ljoekelsoey, Mar 14, 2006
    #3
  4. Rebekha Ljoekelsoey wrote:

    >
    > "Benjamin Niemann" <> wrote in message
    > news:dv657i$uf2$...
    >> Rebekha Ljoekelsoey wrote:
    >>
    >> > Can I ask for clarification regarding hidden elements in forms and the

    > use
    >> > of the mailto:
    >> >
    >> > I have recently been told that the inclusion of the mailto: will render
    >> > the form inoperative
    >> > <input type="hidden" name="recipient" value="mailto:">
    >> >
    >> > Mailto: in the hidden field shouldn't be there are it makes the form
    >> > inoperable. Mailto: should only be used in a normal email link.
    >> >
    >> > Your comments would be warmly appreciated

    >>
    >> Never heard of a problem with such values. From the browsers point of
    >> view it is just some text that is to be sent to the server along with the
    >> other values from visible or hidden controls.
    >>
    >> Using 'mailto:...' for the ACTION attribute of the FORM element does
    >> often not work as intended, because it requires fully configured mail
    >> setup on the visitors computer - something that is not available, if the
    >> user uses webmail or no mail at all.
    >>
    >> And 'mailto:...' may not work in A HREF for the same reason.

    >
    > many thanks for the answer, I am having terrible problems with an
    > examining board who insist that the form will NOT work with the mailto
    > included


    Having a second thought on it...
    Something that may or may not work with the 'mailto:' is the server-side
    script that recieves the form data. But this is an implementation detail of
    this specific piece of software and you should consult the documentation
    about what values the script expects.

    --
    Benjamin Niemann
    Email: pink at odahoda dot de
    WWW: http://www.odahoda.de/
    Benjamin Niemann, Mar 14, 2006
    #4
  5. On Tue, 14 Mar 2006, Rebekha Ljoekelsoey wrote:

    > Can I ask for clarification regarding hidden elements in forms and
    > the use of the mailto:
    >
    > I have recently been told that the inclusion of the mailto: will
    > render the form inoperative


    > <input type="hidden" name="recipient" value="mailto:">
    >
    > Mailto: in the hidden field shouldn't be there are

    [as?]
    > it makes the form inoperable.

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    That is obviously meaningless in the terms in which it is stated.
    "The form" will do nothing more nor less than submit an appropriate
    character-string value to the server. What then happens, depends on
    the server-side script, which is not in evidence here.

    > Mailto: should only be used in a normal email link.


    There isn't any "link" in evidence here - only a "form control" (to
    use the language of the HTML4 spec). Its value is just a string of
    characters - with no particular meaning until the server-side script
    does something with them, and thereby assigns them meaning.

    Maybe they're trying to tell you that the server-side script cannot
    process this value in its terms? We really have no idea.

    > Your comments would be warmly appreciated


    Then again, maybe your critic is confusing it with:

    <form ... action="mailto:...">

    which is surely not a good idea. Or maybe you are?

    By the way, it would be CRAZY to allow a script to accept an email
    address from an unidentified web user, and then send a mail to that
    address: that's called a "spam relay", and will cause severe
    headaches as soon as the usual suspects find it.
    Alan J. Flavell, Mar 14, 2006
    #5
  6. "Alan J. Flavell" <> wrote in message
    news:p...
    > On Tue, 14 Mar 2006, Rebekha Ljoekelsoey wrote:
    >
    > > Can I ask for clarification regarding hidden elements in forms and
    > > the use of the mailto:
    > >
    > > I have recently been told that the inclusion of the mailto: will
    > > render the form inoperative

    >
    > > <input type="hidden" name="recipient" value="mailto:">
    > >
    > > Mailto: in the hidden field shouldn't be there are

    > [as?]
    > > it makes the form inoperable.

    > ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    >
    > That is obviously meaningless in the terms in which it is stated.
    > "The form" will do nothing more nor less than submit an appropriate
    > character-string value to the server. What then happens, depends on
    > the server-side script, which is not in evidence here.
    >
    > > Mailto: should only be used in a normal email link.

    >
    > There isn't any "link" in evidence here - only a "form control" (to
    > use the language of the HTML4 spec). Its value is just a string of
    > characters - with no particular meaning until the server-side script
    > does something with them, and thereby assigns them meaning.
    >
    > Maybe they're trying to tell you that the server-side script cannot
    > process this value in its terms? We really have no idea.
    >
    > > Your comments would be warmly appreciated

    >
    > Then again, maybe your critic is confusing it with:
    >
    > <form ... action="mailto:...">
    >
    > which is surely not a good idea. Or maybe you are?
    >
    > By the way, it would be CRAZY to allow a script to accept an email
    > address from an unidentified web user, and then send a mail to that
    > address: that's called a "spam relay", and will cause severe
    > headaches as soon as the usual suspects find it.
    >


    Thanks for this The Examining Board are insisting that the inclusion of
    mailto: in the hidden section
    <input type="hidden" name="recipient" value="mailto:">
    of the form will render it inoperable and who are we to argue with the
    Oxford and Cambridge Examining Board

    Manny thanks for all your help

    Rebekha Magne Ljoekelsoey
    Rebekha Ljoekelsoey, Mar 14, 2006
    #6
  7. Rebekha Ljoekelsoey

    Steve Pugh Guest

    "Rebekha Ljoekelsoey" <> wrote:

    >Can I ask for clarification regarding hidden elements in forms and the use
    >of the mailto:


    Normally the answer is don't use mailto in forms because normally
    people are trying to do something stupid like <form
    action="mailto:">

    >I have recently been told that the inclusion of the mailto: will render the
    >form inoperative
    ><input type="hidden" name="recipient" value="mailto:">


    It might, it might not. The above is perfectly fine HTML. What it does
    as part of a form submission is outside the realms of HTML.

    >Mailto: in the hidden field shouldn't be there are it makes the form
    >inoperable.


    That depends entirely on the script that handles the submitted form
    data. If the script is expecting an e-mail address then including
    mailto: will screw things up. Of course of the script is expecting an
    e-mail address and will just send the form submission to that e-mail
    address then you have other problems...

    >Mailto: should only be used in a normal email link.


    And only then with care.

    >Your comments would be warmly appreciated


    What's the big picture?

    Steve
    --
    "My theories appal you, my heresies outrage you,
    I never answer letters and you don't like my tie." - The Doctor

    Steve Pugh <> <http://steve.pugh.net/>
    Steve Pugh, Mar 14, 2006
    #7
  8. "Steve Pugh" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > "Rebekha Ljoekelsoey" <> wrote:
    >
    > >Can I ask for clarification regarding hidden elements in forms and the

    use
    > >of the mailto:

    >
    > Normally the answer is don't use mailto in forms because normally
    > people are trying to do something stupid like <form
    > action="mailto:">
    >
    > >I have recently been told that the inclusion of the mailto: will render

    the
    > >form inoperative
    > ><input type="hidden" name="recipient" value="mailto:">

    >
    > It might, it might not. The above is perfectly fine HTML. What it does
    > as part of a form submission is outside the realms of HTML.
    >
    > >Mailto: in the hidden field shouldn't be there are it makes the form
    > >inoperable.

    >
    > That depends entirely on the script that handles the submitted form
    > data. If the script is expecting an e-mail address then including
    > mailto: will screw things up. Of course of the script is expecting an
    > e-mail address and will just send the form submission to that e-mail
    > address then you have other problems...
    >
    > >Mailto: should only be used in a normal email link.

    >
    > And only then with care.
    >
    > >Your comments would be warmly appreciated

    >
    > What's the big picture?
    >
    > Steve
    > --
    > "My theories appal you, my heresies outrage you,
    > I never answer letters and you don't like my tie." - The Doctor
    >
    > Steve Pugh <> <http://steve.pugh.net/>


    Big picture. I recently had several candidates enter an examination and they
    all failed for including the mailto: in the hidden element of an html
    interactive form. The examining body said that this action resulted in
    making the form inoperative, now I know and you know that this is not true
    as all the mailto: in a hidden element produces is a copy of the forms
    content to be sent to the recipient along with the webmail thingy.
    Very frustrating, but who can argue with OCR

    RML
    Rebekha Ljoekelsoey, Mar 14, 2006
    #8
  9. Rebekha Ljoekelsoey

    Steve Pugh Guest

    "Rebekha Ljoekelsoey" <> wrote:

    >
    >"Steve Pugh" <> wrote in message
    >news:...
    >> "Rebekha Ljoekelsoey" <> wrote:
    >>
    >> >Can I ask for clarification regarding hidden elements in forms and the

    >use
    >> >of the mailto:

    >>
    >> Normally the answer is don't use mailto in forms because normally
    >> people are trying to do something stupid like <form
    >> action="mailto:">
    >>
    >> >I have recently been told that the inclusion of the mailto: will render

    >the
    >> >form inoperative
    >> ><input type="hidden" name="recipient" value="mailto:">

    >>
    >> It might, it might not. The above is perfectly fine HTML. What it does
    >> as part of a form submission is outside the realms of HTML.
    >>
    >> >Mailto: in the hidden field shouldn't be there are it makes the form
    >> >inoperable.

    >>
    >> That depends entirely on the script that handles the submitted form
    >> data. If the script is expecting an e-mail address then including
    >> mailto: will screw things up. Of course of the script is expecting an
    >> e-mail address and will just send the form submission to that e-mail
    >> address then you have other problems...
    >>
    >> >Mailto: should only be used in a normal email link.

    >>
    >> And only then with care.
    >>
    >> >Your comments would be warmly appreciated

    >>
    >> What's the big picture?
    >>

    >Big picture. I recently had several candidates enter an examination and they
    >all failed for including the mailto: in the hidden element of an html
    >interactive form.


    Why did they do so? Were they used to working with a form that
    required such a construction (which is odd)? Did the exam question
    give any information about why any hidden field would be needed at
    all?

    > The examining body said that this action resulted in
    >making the form inoperative,


    Which it might, as I explained above. (Assuming that 'inoperative'
    means that the form submission will not be processed properly. There's
    nothing about this construction, odd though it may be, that will stop
    the form being submited, it just might all go wrong after that...)

    > now I know and you know that this is not true


    I know no such thing. As I haven't see the script on the server
    handling the submission of the form (have you?) then I can't say
    whether it can cope with this particular value in the submission.

    >as all the mailto: in a hidden element produces is a copy of the forms
    >content to be sent to the recipient


    That doesn't sound at all likely. If the contents of the form
    submssion are to be mailed to the address specified in a hidden form
    field then that hidden form field should contain just an address. Not
    an address preceeded by the characters mailto:.

    The script handling the form submission may be able to handle it with
    the extra characters as well, but why should it?

    And as I implied earlier, any form-to-email system that relies on the
    recipient being given in a hidden field is badly coded in the first
    place. Does the script on the server check to see whether anyone has
    tampered with the data and substituted a different address there? Does
    it allow mailing to any domain? In other words is this is a gift horse
    to spammers?

    > along with the webmail thingy.


    Now you've totally lost me.

    >Very frustrating, but who can argue with OCR


    Um, you can if you want to. But without seeing the syllabus, course
    notes, the exam in question and your students' complete answers I
    can't really say whether you'd be arguing from a correct or incorrect
    position.

    Steve
    --
    "My theories appal you, my heresies outrage you,
    I never answer letters and you don't like my tie." - The Doctor

    Steve Pugh <> <http://steve.pugh.net/>
    Steve Pugh, Mar 14, 2006
    #9
  10. Thanks for your considerable help
    ">
    > Steve
    > --
    > "My theories appal you, my heresies outrage you,
    > I never answer letters and you don't like my tie." - The Doctor
    >
    > Steve Pugh <> <http://steve.pugh.net/>
    Rebekha Ljoekelsoey, Mar 14, 2006
    #10
  11. Rebekha Ljoekelsoey

    Toby Inkster Guest

    Rebekha Ljoekelsoey wrote:

    > many thanks for the answer, I am having terrible problems with an examining
    > board who insist that the form will NOT work with the mailto included


    The form will work. The server-side script may or may not be able to
    handle the input -- but without seeing the documentation, or source code
    for the server side script, this is impossible to judge.

    If OCR didn't provide source code or documentation for this particular
    script, either in the exam or syllabus, then the question is unanswerable.

    I'd be happy to write to them with a message to that effect if you like.
    Just e-mail me. ("From" address on this message will be valid until the
    end of April.)

    --
    Toby A Inkster BSc (Hons) ARCS
    Contact Me ~ http://tobyinkster.co.uk/contact
    Toby Inkster, Mar 14, 2006
    #11
  12. Thank you for all your help, it has been very much appreciated
    Rebekha Ljoekelsoey, Mar 15, 2006
    #12
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