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Need help with HTML form

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  • Rudolf Horbas
    Hi folks, could some of You please help me with the following problem: I made a form for Certified Medical Education (CME), which is a kind of online quiz for
    Message 1 of 10 , Mar 27, 2001
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      Hi folks,

      could some of You please help me with the following problem:

      I made a form for Certified Medical Education (CME), which is a kind
      of online quiz for medical doctors to keep them up-to-date. We are
      thinking of a cgi-based solution in the future, but at the moment
      HTML will have to do the job.

      The form seemed to work o.k., but every 2 or three feedbacks we get
      empty mails (just mails with a header, but no content, see example
      below), although the senders, after inquiry, confirm to have filled
      the form completely.

      Have You ever heard about this phenomenon? Did I make a glitch, or
      could it happen in certain configurations?
      Is the bcc-part a problem for some mail clients?
      (<FORM METHOD="post"
      ACTION="mailto:mw6755@...?bcc=Rudolf.Horbas@...&subject=CME
      -Test" ENCTYPE="text/plain">)

      I've set up a shorter version of the form under
      http://www.medkomm.de/sha/zerfo/test.html to check out for You; I put
      myself as recipient into the form header, so You can safely submit
      any answers (don't try to answer the questions seriously, they're in
      German, anyway :-). Just check some boxes, if You please.)

      Thank You,

      Rudi
      _______________________________

      <example header>

      Return-Path: <xxx@...>
      X-Flags: 0000
      Delivered-To: GMX delivery to xxx@...
      Received: (qmail 26820 invoked by uid 0); 27 Mar 2001 12:26:36 -0000
      Received: from unknown (HELO fw-inhouse-4.) (xxx.xx.xxx.xx)
      by mx0.gmx.net (mx22) with SMTP; 27 Mar 2001 12:26:35 -0000
      Received: (from uucp@localhost)
      by fw-inhouse-4. (8.8.8/8.8.8) id OAA12032
      for <Rudolf.Horbas@...>; Tue, 27 Mar 2001 14:26:35 +0200 (MET
      DST)
      Received: from fw-inhouse-lan(xxx.xx.xx.x), claiming to be
      "fw-inhouse-4"
      via SMTP by fw-inhouse-lan, id smtpdAAAWhaaFx; Tue Mar 27 14:26:22
      2001
      Received: by dab-ms01.int.diraba.de with Internet Mail Service
      (5.5.2650.21)
      id <GP1MLTBL>; Tue, 27 Mar 2001 14:26:21 +0200
      Message-ID: <xxx@...>
      From: "xx,xx" <xx.xx@...>
      To: "'xx@...'" <xx@...>
      Subject: Diabetes-Fortbildung_200101
      Date: Tue, 27 Mar 2001 14:26:20 +0200
      MIME-Version: 1.0
      X-Mailer: Internet Mail Service (5.5.2650.21)
      Content-Type: text/plain;
      charset="iso-8859-1"

      </example header>
    • thefrank
      Hi Rudi, From W3C: The content type application/x-www-form-urlencoded is inefficient for sending large quantities of binary data or text containing non-
      Message 2 of 10 , Mar 27, 2001
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        Hi Rudi,

        From W3C:
        "The content type "application/x-www-form-urlencoded" is inefficient
        for sending large quantities of binary data or text containing non-
        ASCII characters. The content type "multipart/form-data" should be
        used for submitting forms that contain files, non-ASCII data, and
        binary data." --http://www.w3.org/TR/html40/interact/forms.html

        I wonder if, occasionally, some submitters are sending content
        including non ASCII characters?

        regards,

        tf
      • Lotta
        Hi Rudolf, ... I don t know from own experience but I ve read warnings against using mailto often enough. If I remember right posts are sometimes lost in cyber
        Message 3 of 10 , Mar 27, 2001
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          Hi Rudolf,

          >The form seemed to work o.k., but every 2 or three feedbacks we get
          >empty mails (just mails with a header, but no content, see example
          >below), although the senders, after inquiry, confirm to have filled
          >the form completely.

          I don't know from own experience but I've read warnings against using
          mailto often enough. If I remember right posts are sometimes lost in cyber
          space and sometimes the email client is brought up empty. Something to do
          with user configuration. Wonder why the users send a message if they can
          see that it's empty???

          If you don't want to bother with CGI you could perhaps use some remotely
          hosted service if you can stand a little spam. I've tried a couple and it
          worked well.

          Lotta
        • Grant
          ... The problem with using mailto is with some email clients. Some email clients do not transfer the form data to the email body. There are plenty of server
          Message 4 of 10 , Mar 27, 2001
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            > Have You ever heard about this phenomenon? Did I make a glitch, or
            > could it happen in certain configurations?
            The problem with using mailto is with some email clients.
            Some email clients do not transfer the form data to the email body.
            There are plenty of server side alternatives which send email directly. Most
            isps already have these components/scripts installed.
            With Nt servers for instance you can use cdonts or some other isp provides
            com object. Just ask your isp.
          • David Paterson
            formmail.pl is a CGI script supported on every ISP that I have encontered. Very easy to configure. ... From: Grant [mailto:emerge@ps.gen.nz] Sent: Tuesday,
            Message 5 of 10 , Mar 27, 2001
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              formmail.pl is a CGI script supported on every ISP that I have encontered.
              Very easy to configure.

              -----Original Message-----
              From: Grant [mailto:emerge@...]
              Sent: Tuesday, March 27, 2001 2:40 PM
              To: ntb-html@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: RE: [NH] Need help with HTML form



              > Have You ever heard about this phenomenon? Did I make a glitch, or
              > could it happen in certain configurations?
              The problem with using mailto is with some email clients.
              Some email clients do not transfer the form data to the email body.
              There are plenty of server side alternatives which send email directly. Most
              isps already have these components/scripts installed.
              With Nt servers for instance you can use cdonts or some other isp provides
              com object. Just ask your isp.






              Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
            • Rudolf Horbas
              Hi Lotta, ... using ... in cyber ... to do ... That seems to be precisely the problem we are facing. Pity I didn t come across those warnings before :-( ...
              Message 6 of 10 , Mar 28, 2001
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                Hi Lotta,

                >>Rudi:
                > >... every 2 or three feedbacks we get
                > >empty mails ...

                >Lotta:
                > I don't know from own experience but I've read warnings against
                using
                > mailto often enough. If I remember right posts are sometimes lost
                in cyber
                > space and sometimes the email client is brought up empty. Something
                to do
                > with user configuration.

                That seems to be precisely the problem we are facing. Pity I didn't
                come across those warnings before :-(

                >Wonder why the users send a message if they can
                > see that it's empty???

                Because they're stupid :-))) No, I guess they just don't see the mail
                (Outlook Express sends them immediately, and Netscape doesn't even
                show them in the outbox. And they just think everything's ok and
                taken care of (as it should be).

                > If you don't want to bother with CGI you could perhaps use some
                remotely
                > hosted service if you can stand a little spam. I've tried a couple
                and it
                > worked well.

                I'm afraid that won't do. German users generally disapprove of spam,
                and MDs are probably even more negative. Right now, we've decided to
                provide a pdf to print and send by snail, until we can provide a
                reliable cgi-based solution. We're dreaming of a script that also
                evaluates the form for us ...

                Thanks for Your time,

                Rudi
              • Rudolf Horbas
                ... or ... That seems to be exactly the problem. It looks like a HTML-only solution is not possible. Phooey! But in the long run, we ll go for cgi, anyway,
                Message 7 of 10 , Mar 28, 2001
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                  >>Rudi:
                  > > Have You ever heard about this phenomenon? Did I make a glitch,
                  or
                  > > could it happen in certain configurations?

                  Grant:
                  > The problem with using mailto is with some email clients.
                  > Some email clients do not transfer the form data to the email body.

                  That seems to be exactly the problem.

                  It looks like a HTML-only solution is not possible. Phooey! But in
                  the long run, we'll go for cgi, anyway, because we'd like to have the
                  quiz evaluated right away.

                  Thanks,

                  Rudi
                • Lotta
                  Rudolf, ... Watch it. . . I m a user most of the time. ;-) ... Maybe I ve never filled in a mailto form. I couldn t resist so I filled in yours. Dora gave me
                  Message 8 of 10 , Mar 28, 2001
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                    Rudolf,

                    > >Wonder why the users send a message if they can
                    > > see that it's empty???

                    >Because they're stupid :-)))

                    Watch it. . . I'm a user most of the time. ;-)

                    >No, I guess they just don't see the mail
                    >(Outlook Express sends them immediately, and Netscape doesn't even
                    >show them in the outbox. And they just think everything's ok and
                    >taken care of (as it should be).

                    Maybe I've never filled in a mailto form. I couldn't resist so I filled in
                    yours. Dora gave me several warnings and the option to see the text before
                    it was sent. Good Dora. Is 2_1=1119 and 2_2=1107 right?

                    >I'm afraid that won't do. German users generally disapprove of spam,
                    >and MDs are probably even more negative. Right now, we've decided to
                    >provide a pdf to print and send by snail, until we can provide a
                    >reliable cgi-based solution. We're dreaming of a script that also
                    >evaluates the form for us ...

                    No, no. The users won't get a single email. You will get maybe a newsletter
                    a week or nothing at all and the forms sent to you will maybe have a few
                    lines added to them. Nothing worse than that.

                    Do you have access to CGI on your server? If so why don't you install a
                    script? BNBForm is a mainly copy and paste one. Even I got it to work in
                    less than an hour, you'll fix it in half that time.
                    http://www.bignosebird.com/cgi.shtml. Or is the problem that you don't have
                    CGI? PDF, tsssssss. :-)

                    Lotta
                  • thefrank
                    Hi Rudi, ... the quiz evaluated right away. If your web servers have PHP or will let you load PHP, you may want to consider a simpler alternative to CGI.
                    Message 9 of 10 , Mar 28, 2001
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                      Hi Rudi,

                      >in the long run, we'll go for cgi, anyway, because we'd like to have
                      the quiz evaluated right away.

                      If your web servers have PHP or will let you load PHP, you may want
                      to consider a simpler alternative to CGI. Usually delivers faster too.

                      regards,

                      tf
                    • Rudolf Horbas
                      Lotta, ... Aaargh! I didn t mean it like that! Just mocking the arrogance of geeks :-) ... filled in ... before ... U-huh. I couldn t use true/false as values
                      Message 10 of 10 , Mar 29, 2001
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                        Lotta,

                        > > >Wonder why the users send a message if they can
                        > > > see that it's empty???
                        >
                        > >Because they're stupid :-)))
                        >
                        > Watch it. . . I'm a user most of the time. ;-)

                        Aaargh! I didn't mean it like that! Just mocking the arrogance of
                        geeks :-)

                        > Maybe I've never filled in a mailto form. I couldn't resist so I
                        filled in
                        > yours. Dora gave me several warnings and the option to see the text
                        before
                        > it was sent. Good Dora. Is 2_1=1119 and 2_2=1107 right?

                        U-huh. I couldn't use true/false as values (would have made cheating
                        easy), so I used numeric 6 different values that are assigned to
                        true/false. Kind of dumb. In a script, there will probably be a hash
                        file with something like
                        ...
                        2_1=clicked true
                        2_2=clicked false
                        ...

                        > No, no. The users won't get a single email. You will get maybe a
                        newsletter
                        > a week or nothing at all and the forms sent to you will maybe have
                        a few
                        > lines added to them. Nothing worse than that.

                        Hmm. This doesn't sound bad. I don't mind getting spammed a bit; I
                        just wouldn't want to have the users bothered.

                        > Do you have access to CGI on your server? If so why don't you
                        install a
                        > script?

                        Yes, we have CGI access. And there definitely will be a script, after
                        the bad experience with the HTML form mail.

                        > BNBForm is a mainly copy and paste one. Even I got it to work in
                        > less than an hour, you'll fix it in half that time.

                        Uhmm, that sets a high standard (sweat!). I just d'loaded BNBForm,
                        but I also got loads of other form2mail-scripts. I was gonna install
                        them, but then developped the ambition to come up with an all-in-one
                        solution (form evaluation), and decided to go for the simplest
                        solution first.

                        > PDF, tsssssss. :-)

                        (blush) Well, er ... an even simpler solution

                        Rudi
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