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Multiple addresses in mailto:

In the following simplified tag:

<a
href='mailto:<ad******@somewhere.com>,<ad******@no where.com>?subject=Testing'>
click here</a>

When clicked, both addresses appear as "To:" recipients when using
Thunderbird or Outlook as default clients; whereas only one address
appears when Outlook Express is the default client.

I tried comma separators, semi-colons and newlines. All these work for
both Thunderbird and Outlook. Nothing seems to work for Outlook
Express, but curiously the subject did appear correctly.

Is there a way to get OE to list multiple addresses from an <a> tag? I
googled this, but found nothing helpful...

Mark
May 30 '06 #1
15 28965
Rainman wrote:
In the following simplified tag:

<a
href='mailto:<ad******@somewhere.com>,<ad******@no where.com>?subject=Testing'> click here</a>


Eeep. I don't think that's allowed. I'd suggest you have a regular mailto:
to a single email address - and then set up a forward or mailing list to
pass it on to as many addresses as you like.

--
David Dorward <http://blog.dorward.me.uk/> <http://dorward.me.uk/>
Home is where the ~/.bashrc is
May 30 '06 #2
David Dorward wrote:
Rainman wrote:
In the following simplified tag:

<a

href='mailto:<ad******@somewhere.com>,<ad******@no where.com>?subject=Testing'>
click here</a>


Eeep. I don't think that's allowed. I'd suggest you have a regular mailto:
to a single email address - and then set up a forward or mailing list to
pass it on to as many addresses as you like.


Thanks. It may not be a part of the standard, but I doubt Thunderbird
would even allow it if it were prohibited by the RFC822 standard.
Therefore, I conclude that it is allowed, albeit an extension.

I cannot do it the way you suggest because the e-mail addresses are
dynamic based on ever-changing database content...

So, in re-asking my original question: Is there a way for OE to make
use of the multiple address feature?

Mark
May 30 '06 #3
Rainman wrote:
I cannot do it the way you suggest because the e-mail addresses are
dynamic based on ever-changing database content...
So have your forwarding system use that database.
So, in re-asking my original question: Is there a way for OE to make
use of the multiple address feature?


There are more email clients in the world then Thunderbird, Outlook and
Outlook Express.

--
David Dorward <http://blog.dorward.me.uk/> <http://dorward.me.uk/>
Home is where the ~/.bashrc is
May 30 '06 #4
Rainman wrote:
David Dorward wrote:
Rainman wrote:
In the following simplified tag:

<a

href='mailto:<ad******@somewhere.com>,<ad******@no where.com>?subject=Testing'>

click here</a>


Eeep. I don't think that's allowed. I'd suggest you have a regular
mailto: to a single email address - and then set up a forward or
mailing list to pass it on to as many addresses as you like.


Thanks. It may not be a part of the standard, but I doubt
Thunderbird would even allow it if it were prohibited by the RFC822
standard.


RFC 1783 (URLs) says that a mailto: URL takes an RFC822 address
specification. RFC822 is obsoleted by RFC2822; and RFC2822 says that an
address specification can include a mailbox-list, which is a
comma-separated list of mailboxen. I conclude that what you are trying
to do is permitted.

However UA support for "mailto:" is at best patchy; the recommendation
is to avoid it completely, or failing that restrict yourself to
specifying a single address.

Attempting to include a subject, in particular, will definitely not work
in all UAs. Also note that <a href=mailto:... assumes that the user has
an email UA configured at all. That is by no means a foregone
conclusion; many users nowadays seem content to settle for webmail.
Neither of my kids has a proper email UA configured, for example.

It is much better to use a formmail script. That will give you the kind
of versatility you appear to want, while completely sidestepping the
mailto: URL scheme, the deficient browser support that it implies, and
the question of whether any email UA is configured in the first place.

--
Jack.
May 30 '06 #5
On Tue, 30 May 2006, Jack wrote:

[...]
It is much better to use a formmail script. That will give you the
kind of versatility you appear to want, while completely
sidestepping the mailto: URL scheme, the deficient browser support
that it implies, and the question of whether any email UA is
configured in the first place.


And infuriate those of us who prefer to keep all our emails logged
in the place where, erm, our emails are logged.

How the *eck are we supposed to be able to audit our emails when we've
sent them "blind" through someone else's web form? Grumble.

And the spammers are always hunting for mail forms that they can
scribble on. Even if they only spam the owner of the form, they're a
nuisance. I'm assuming of course that there isn't some loophole for
using them as a spam relay, as has happened so many times before.
And local form submissions presumably bypass your mail server's
anti-spam defences.

In no time at all, I fear the questioner would be back asking how to
protect his form from spam.

So it's not as simple a choice as you make out.

What you /mustn't/ try, though, is using a mailto: URL as the action
on a <form...> element. Even if there are some browsers which will do
what you intended with it. But a mailto: URL in an *href* isn't all
that bad - even if the browser isn't configured to respond to it
automagically, it can still be copy/pasted into a mail client.

IMHO and YMMV, anyhow.
May 30 '06 #6
Alan J. Flavell wrote:
On Tue, 30 May 2006, Jack wrote:

[...]
It is much better to use a formmail script. That will give you the
kind of versatility you appear to want, while completely
sidestepping the mailto: URL scheme, the deficient browser support
that it implies, and the question of whether any email UA is
configured in the first place.


And infuriate those of us who prefer to keep all our emails logged
in the place where, erm, our emails are logged.


It's no worse than the fact that your phone calls, voice messages,
sticky notes, and direct conversations aren't logged in your Sent Items
box. OTOH some considerate websites do give you a checkbox to indicate
that you'd like a copy of your message sent to your e-mail address.

Anyway, the fact is that it's the *only* solution if you want everyone
to be able to contact you, not just people with e-mail clients.
May 30 '06 #7
All,

A lot of interesting thoughts on this matter, and all are appreciated.
It gives me more to chew on.

Let it be known, though, that the page is password-protected, and is for
teachers which displays a list of students for each class taught by that
teacher. This <a> tag allows the teacher to send an e-mail to a list of
all the students at once. Thus, the list changes per class and per
teacher, and is retrieved from a database hanging off the web server.

I have no knowledge of the e-mail client being used by the teacher, but
the top 3 are Outlook, OE and Thunderbird, so I want to try to
accommodate at least these.

I give this background because the insights expressed so far have given
me hints that there is a better way of doing this, i.e., a better way of
allowing teachers to e-mail all students at once. Yes, I could do this
using a form, but then teachers would have to be without the tools they
are familiar with, such as spell-checking, font effects, background
stationary, attaching documents, etc. I know there is probably a way to
do all that stuff, too, through a form, but the pay ($0) isn't high
enough to justify that much work.

Since we have only a couple dozen teachers, I don't feel all that bad
telling them that if they want to use this feature, they'll have to can
the OE and use something that is capable to using comma-separated
addresses in a mailto: ...

Mark
May 30 '06 #8
On Tue, 30 May 2006, Harlan Messinger wrote:
Alan J. Flavell wrote:

And infuriate those of us who prefer to keep all our emails logged
in the place where, erm, our emails are logged.
It's no worse than the fact that your phone calls, voice messages,
sticky notes, and direct conversations aren't logged in your Sent
Items box.


Which is why I usually email my correspondent with a summary of our
conversation, both for them and for my records. As I get older, this
seems to get more and more necessary :-{
OTOH some considerate websites do give you a checkbox to indicate
that you'd like a copy of your message sent to your e-mail address.
(Which their web server then typically emails to us with an
unreplyable envelope-sender address, causing our mail system to reject
the item according to its anti-abuse policy... Been there, done
that...)

For what it's worth: my tendency when confronted with one of these
things is to compose my intended mail, but addressed to myself. Log
it in the mail log, and copy/paste it into the form. My usual
experience with these things is that submission then fails for some
reason or another, but at least I don't have to re-type the message
again - I have it handy in the log for any further attempts I can be
bothered to make.
Anyway, the fact is that it's the *only* solution if you want
everyone to be able to contact you,
Well, yes, that's sort-of correct as to the "ability" to contact you,
but it's not necessarily the solution that will motivate everyone to
/want/ to contact you. Many of them will, I hear, have had similar
experiences, of dutifully composing a mail into someone else's form,
and then had their submission attempt fail, or the text scrambled into
incoherence by the script, or whatever.
not just people with e-mail clients.


And just how are they supposed to get your reply if they don't do
email? Even their accustomed web/mail interface can have an address
copy/pasted into it if they can find one on your page.
May 30 '06 #9
Alan J. Flavell wrote:
On Tue, 30 May 2006, Jack wrote:

[...]
It is much better to use a formmail script. That will give you the
kind of versatility you appear to want, while completely
sidestepping the mailto: URL scheme, the deficient browser support
that it implies, and the question of whether any email UA is
configured in the first place.
And infuriate those of us who prefer to keep all our emails logged in
the place where, erm, our emails are logged.

How the *eck are we supposed to be able to audit our emails when
we've sent them "blind" through someone else's web form? Grumble.


Compromise: offer both. Or formmail + email address ready for copy/paste.
And the spammers are always hunting for mail forms that they can
scribble on. Even if they only spam the owner of the form, they're a
nuisance. I'm assuming of course that there isn't some loophole for
using them as a spam relay, as has happened so many times before.
And local form submissions presumably bypass your mail server's
anti-spam defences.
I kinda doubt that making formmail spam-proof is on-topic here. It's an
old problem, and it's well solved.
So it's not as simple a choice as you make out.


I didn't mean to suggest that it's a simple choice; in the past I've
always used a mailto: link myself, ignoring the growing prevalence of
webmail-only visitors. I meant to 'exercise' the arguments against
relying on mailto:.

--
Jack.
May 31 '06 #10
VK

Rainman wrote:
Let it be known, though, that the page is password-protected, and is for
teachers which displays a list of students for each class taught by that
teacher. This <a> tag allows the teacher to send an e-mail to a list of
all the students at once. Thus, the list changes per class and per
teacher, and is retrieved from a database hanging off the web server.


So do you need a help or a public blessing to use it? :-)

Out of mailto: pseudo-protocol itself there is no technical problems:

<a href="mailto:address1?cc=address2&cc=address3">Cli ck me</a>

so the first address goes right to mailto:, the rest as cc.

The problem can be on the server, as the majority of SMTP servers have
limit on amount of recipients in a single message (that's a part of
basic spam protection). Usually this limit is 20 addresses. So if you
have more than 20 students in class and each teacher uses their own
ISP, they can get different outcomes depending on their ISP politics:
1) letter is sent to all recipients
2) letter is sent to first 20 resipients in the list only
3) letter is bounced
4) letter is bounced and sender's account temporarily blocked for
potential spam investigation.

May 31 '06 #11

Rainman wrote:
href='mailto:<ad******@somewhere.com>


Abandon the HTML mailto links (too Spammy anyway) and switch to a
server-side form. Then you can have as many addresses as you want.

May 31 '06 #12
On Wed, 31 May 2006, Andy Dingley <di*****@codesmiths.com> wrote:
Rainman wrote:
href='mailto:<ad******@somewhere.com>
Abandon the HTML mailto links (too Spammy anyway)


If I'm providing something for others to use, then I'm not sure that
my own convenience is the first priority.

In any case, I get mercilessly spammed (two of my addresses are in the
top three spam-attacked addresses on our mail server) - the few of
those spams that don't get rejected by our existing defences are
basically used as a spamtrap to improve the anti-spam defences. This
would be necessary anyway (my address/es are openly listed by various
directories over which I have little control). Trying to hide from
spammers is basically pointless - the only workable approach is to
have adequate anti-spam defences in the mailer itself. IMNSHO.
and switch to a server-side form.


Which also get mercilessly spammed nowadays, by bots that go looking
around the web for anything they can scribble their spam into.

And the routinely-offered defence workarounds for that will put your
page in violation of disability requirements.

If you're aiming to be contact-able, then - no matter what solution
you choose - you're going to have to deal with spam, seems to be the
long and short of it. So don't choose your contact technique based on
your own perceived convenience vis a vis anti-spam defences - choose
it for the convenience of those who you expect to get in touch with
you, and erect the appropriate defences against abuse of the methods
you choose. As another has already commented, there can be arguments
in favour of showing an email address /and/ providing a form, if you
want to. Personally, I favour the email address, but I accept that
others have different priorities.
May 31 '06 #13
JRS: In article <4e*************@individual.net>, dated Tue, 30 May
2006 17:34:47 remote, seen in news:comp.infosystems.www.authoring.html,
Harlan Messinger <hm*******************@comcast.net> posted :
On Tue, 30 May 2006, Jack wrote: [...]
It is much better to use a formmail script.
Anyway, the fact is that it's the *only* solution if you want everyone
to be able to contact you, not just people with e-mail clients.

Providing a form for mailing is not the only solution, from the point of
view of the client user.

A superior solution is to provide an E-mail address (possibly with
mailto:) AND a form for mailing. The user then has a choice.

--
John Stockton, Surrey, UK. ?@merlyn.demon.co.uk Turnpike v4.00 IE 4
<URL:http://www.jibbering.com/faq/> JL/RC: FAQ of news:comp.lang.javascript
<URL:http://www.merlyn.demon.co.uk/js-index.htm> jscr maths, dates, sources.
<URL:http://www.merlyn.demon.co.uk/> TP/BP/Delphi/jscr/&c, FAQ items, links.
May 31 '06 #14
Gazing into my crystal ball I observed Rainman <na**@yourdomain.com>
writing in news:44**************@yourdomain.com:
Let it be known, though, that the page is password-protected, and is for
teachers which displays a list of students for each class taught by that
teacher. This <a> tag allows the teacher to send an e-mail to a list of
all the students at once. Thus, the list changes per class and per
teacher, and is retrieved from a database hanging off the web server.


Then you probably really would be better off using a form solution.

sql = "SELECT email FROM students WHERE teacher = 'Miss Jean Brodie'"
Then loop through the addresses to send the mail.

--
Adrienne Boswell at Home
Arbpen Web Site Design Services
http://www.cavalcade-of-coding.info
Please respond to the group so others can share

Jun 1 '06 #15
Rainman wrote:
Is there a way to get OE to list multiple addresses from an <a> tag? I
googled this, but found nothing helpful...


You might try the CC option

<a href="mailto:so*****@example.com?c*************@ex ample.com,
anotherperson@example">Email Us</a>

Although putting in multiple addresses works in my Outlook Express v6.
Did you make sure there was a space after the comma?

<a href="mailto:so*****@example.com, so*********@example.com,
anotherperson@example">Email Us</a>
--
Brian O'Connor (ironcorona)
Jun 4 '06 #16

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