Limitations on mailto: Arguments

Discussion in 'HTML' started by jim evans, Sep 8, 2005.

  1. jim evans

    jim evans Guest

    I am trying to send a block of text in the body of an email using the
    mailto: &body method. Apparently there are various characters that
    cannot be included in a string you send this way. After fooling with
    it for an hour I figured out that one of them is the ampersand
    delimiter (&). But after I stripped those out another character seems
    to have taken its place. I know simple character data works fine
    because I tested it with about 10K of aBc's etc.

    Is there a list of the characters that cannot be included in mailto:
    arguments?

    jim
    jim evans, Sep 8, 2005
    #1
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  2. jim evans wrote:

    > I am trying to send a block of text in the body of an email using the
    > mailto: &body method. Apparently there are various characters that
    > cannot be included in a string you send this way. After fooling with
    > it for an hour I figured out that one of them is the ampersand
    > delimiter (&). But after I stripped those out another character seems
    > to have taken its place. I know simple character data works fine
    > because I tested it with about 10K of aBc's etc.
    >
    > Is there a list of the characters that cannot be included in mailto:
    > arguments?
    >
    > jim


    Form to email this way is very unreliable. Think about it, there are a
    large number of folks who only have webmail and this will fail
    miserably. Build a server-side script, PHP or Perl etc to receive your
    form data and generate the email to relay it to you.

    --
    Take care,

    Jonathan
    -------------------
    LITTLE WORKS STUDIO
    http://www.LittleWorksStudio.com
    Jonathan N. Little, Sep 9, 2005
    #2
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  3. jim evans

    Toby Inkster Guest

    jim evans wrote:

    > I am trying to send a block of text in the body of an email using the
    > mailto: &body method. Apparently there are various characters that
    > cannot be included in a string you send this way. After fooling with
    > it for an hour I figured out that one of them is the ampersand
    > delimiter (&).


    mailto:?subject=X%26Y&body=%22X%26Y%22+is+a+Coldplay+album

    Using any of this stuff after the '?' is really stupid though. In many
    situations it will break, and people may be unable to mail you; or if they
    are able to mail you, they won't use the subject lines or body specified.

    That said, if *I* wanted to e-mail *you*, what makes you think that *you*
    should set the subject line? If I'm the one sending the e-mail, surely
    only I know what the e-mail is about?

    --
    Toby A Inkster BSc (Hons) ARCS
    Contact Me ~ http://tobyinkster.co.uk/contact
    Toby Inkster, Sep 9, 2005
    #3
  4. Toby Inkster wrote:
    <snip>
    > That said, if *I* wanted to e-mail *you*, what makes you think that *you*
    > should set the subject line? If I'm the one sending the e-mail, surely
    > only I know what the e-mail is about?


    To give a credible answer to this question, long time ago when websites
    were new and hosting with CGI support was very expensive I use Jim's
    method because my choices were limited and the subject line had codes to
    help flag and sort the email when I received it. But hosting with CGI is
    much more affordable and pervasive now and server-side is the way to go.
    I advised him as such.

    The only place where I still use 'mailto' links is in the
    copyright|webmaster line at the bottom of pages in website's I manage
    and create. It is amazing how inarticulate folks can be with email! I
    receive countess emails where folks will ask questions about things but
    neglected to describe or reference in their message what they are
    talking about! Prime examples are throughout this NG! ;-) I use code to
    insert domain and page title into the subject line. Either folks don’t
    mind, don’t notice, don’t know how to change, or are too lazy to change
    the subject line afterwards, but at times it has been helpful to orient
    me when I receive email comments.




    --
    Take care,

    Jonathan
    -------------------
    LITTLE WORKS STUDIO
    http://www.LittleWorksStudio.com
    Jonathan N. Little, Sep 9, 2005
    #4
  5. jim evans

    jim evans Guest

    On Fri, 09 Sep 2005 07:53:10 +0100, Toby Inkster
    <> wrote:

    >jim evans wrote:
    >
    >> I am trying to send a block of text in the body of an email using the
    >> mailto: &body method. Apparently there are various characters that
    >> cannot be included in a string you send this way. After fooling with
    >> it for an hour I figured out that one of them is the ampersand
    >> delimiter (&).

    >
    >mailto:?subject=X%26Y&amp;body=%22X%26Y%22+is+a+Coldplay+album
    >
    >Using any of this stuff after the '?' is really stupid though. In many
    >situations it will break, and people may be unable to mail you; or if they
    >are able to mail you, they won't use the subject lines or body specified.
    >
    >That said, if *I* wanted to e-mail *you*, what makes you think that *you*
    >should set the subject line? If I'm the one sending the e-mail, surely
    >only I know what the e-mail is about?


    I posted this question here because HTMLers use mailto: more than most
    people. I'm not using it on the web, I'm using it in a program of
    mine and I'm using it to send diagnostic data. When the program
    encounters errors, I collect diagnostic data and want to send it to me
    in an email. The users are usually clueless about how to find files
    in directories and attach them to email. I decided the easiest way to
    do it was to put the diagnostic information in the body of an email,
    then all the user has to do is click "Send" But, it's turned into
    such a PITA I'm about to give it up.

    jim
    jim evans, Sep 9, 2005
    #5
  6. jim evans

    Toby Inkster Guest

    jim evans wrote:

    > I'm not using it on the web, I'm using it in a program of mine and I'm
    > using it to send diagnostic data. When the program encounters errors, I
    > collect diagnostic data and want to send it to me in an email.


    So for what do you need a "mailto:" link?

    Collect the data up and send it off using something like "blat" (Google
    for it), or your own SMTP routines. Don't pass the data via a "mailto:"
    link to the user's own e-mail client -- you'll only end up giving *them* a
    chance to screw the data up.

    --
    Toby A Inkster BSc (Hons) ARCS
    Contact Me ~ http://tobyinkster.co.uk/contact
    Toby Inkster, Sep 10, 2005
    #6
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