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Determine user's default email client

P: n/a
Is there a way to determine what a user's default email client is? I
read a post from 3 years ago that said no. I guess I'm hoping
something has come along since then.
Jul 23 '05 #1
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88 Replies


P: n/a
On 5 Oct 2004 05:08:20 -0700, Mike <th*************@yahoo.com> wrote:
Is there a way to determine what a user's default email client is? I
read a post from 3 years ago that said no. I guess I'm hoping something
has come along since then.


You might be able to through ActiveX, but as I stay clear of that, I
couldn't say. Irrespective of that, in most cases the answer is still no.
I can't say of what use it would be, anyway.

Mike

--
Michael Winter
Replace ".invalid" with ".uk" to reply by e-mail.
Jul 23 '05 #2

P: n/a
On 5 Oct 2004 05:08:20 -0700, Mike wrote:
Is there a way to determine what a user's default email client is? I
read a post from 3 years ago that said no. I guess I'm hoping
something has come along since then.


Hi tech stuff.

// requires 'wetware' plug-in, sold separately
window.prompt("What is your email client?");

--
Andrew Thompson
http://www.PhySci.org/codes/ Web & IT Help
http://www.PhySci.org/ Open-source software suite
http://www.1point1C.org/ Science & Technology
http://www.lensescapes.com/ Images that escape the mundane
Jul 23 '05 #3

P: n/a
On Tue, 05 Oct 2004 12:48:12 GMT, Andrew Thompson <Se********@www.invalid>
wrote:
On 5 Oct 2004 05:08:20 -0700, Mike wrote:
Is there a way to determine what a user's default email client is? I
read a post from 3 years ago that said no. I guess I'm hoping
something has come along since then.


Hi tech stuff.

// requires 'wetware' plug-in, sold separately
window.prompt("What is your email client?");


Sorry to nit-pick, but that's not necessarily the same thing, is it. A
user might say that their mail client is the Hotmail Web interface, yet
their system's configured client is Mozilla. Similarly, a user might use
Opera's built-in M2 client for their mail, but haven't had it override OE
on a Windows installation.

Mike

--
Michael Winter
Replace ".invalid" with ".uk" to reply by e-mail.
Jul 23 '05 #4

P: n/a
Mike wrote:
Is there a way to determine what a user's default email client is?
In an Internet/standard security context the answer is no. (and there
may be no default e-mail client, and if there is the browser may not
know about it).

In a lax security context, running exclusively Windows IE, then you can
probably pull the information from the registry with WSH, and also know
enough about the users to know that their e-mail client will exist and
be properly set-up. Though you would probably also already know which it
was in that context.
I read a post from 3 years ago that said no.
I guess I'm hoping something has come along since then.


What has come along is ever tighter security (and more user veto) in web
browsers in response to ever more aggressive and abusive web coding.

Richard.
Jul 23 '05 #5

P: n/a
On Tue, 05 Oct 2004 13:03:45 GMT, Michael Winter wrote:

(A.T.)
// requires 'wetware' plug-in, sold separately
window.prompt("What is your email client?");


Sorry to nit-pick, but that's not necessarily the same thing, is it. ..


(rolls eyes dramatically) Never let technical details
get in the way of a good story, Mike!

[ Besides, I hear the wetware plug-in does not have a very high
usage rate amongst your average net surfers in any case. Something
about 'pop-up thoughts' and the possibility of spyware... ]

--
Andrew Thompson
http://www.PhySci.org/codes/ Web & IT Help
http://www.PhySci.org/ Open-source software suite
http://www.1point1C.org/ Science & Technology
http://www.lensescapes.com/ Images that escape the mundane
Jul 23 '05 #6

P: n/a
Michael Winter wrote:
[snip]
Sorry to nit-pick, but that's not necessarily the same thing, is it. A


I'll go one better, 'wetware' isn't sold (not in my part of the world
anyway), it's conceived ;-)

Fred.
Jul 23 '05 #7

P: n/a
On Tue, 05 Oct 2004 13:42:51 GMT, Andrew Thompson <Se********@www.invalid>
wrote:

[snip]
(rolls eyes dramatically) Never let technical details
get in the way of a good story, Mike!
Didn't I say a few days ago that I deserved to be labelled pedantic. :D
[ Besides, I hear the wetware plug-in does not have a very high
usage rate amongst your average net surfers in any case. Something
about 'pop-up thoughts' and the possibility of spyware... ]


:)

Mike

--
Michael Winter
Replace ".invalid" with ".uk" to reply by e-mail.
Jul 23 '05 #8

P: n/a
In article <b4**************************@posting.google.com >,
th*************@yahoo.com (Mike) wrote:
Is there a way to determine what a user's default email client is? I
read a post from 3 years ago that said no. I guess I'm hoping
something has come along since then.


For the internet, it is best to avoid sending email through an email
client.

Instead, use a form to send the data to a server and have the server
send the email. One server program to send email is cgiemail. See:
http://web.mit.edu/wwwdev/cgiemail/user.html I have used cgiemail and
it has a nice capability to generate an autoresponse.

There are also free email servers on the internet.
I quote a post by Mike Winter

However, you can use a third-party form mail service,
such as Bravenet and Response-O-Matic.
Robert
Jul 23 '05 #9

P: n/a
Michael Winter wrote:
Is there a way to determine what a user's default email client is?
// requires 'wetware' plug-in, sold separately
window.prompt("What is your email client?");


Sorry to nit-pick, but that's not necessarily the same thing, is it. A
user might say that their mail client is the Hotmail Web interface, yet
their system's configured client is Mozilla.


The question was about the user's default, not the system default :)

--
David Dorward <http://blog.dorward.me.uk/> <http://dorward.me.uk/>
Home is where the ~/.bashrc is
Jul 23 '05 #10

P: n/a
Robert wrote:
In article <b4**************************@posting.google.com >,
th*************@yahoo.com (Mike) wrote:
Is there a way to determine what a user's default email client is? I
read a post from 3 years ago that said no. I guess I'm hoping
something has come along since then.
For the internet, it is best to avoid sending email through an email
client.


I disagree.
Instead, use a form to send the data to a server and have the server
send the email.


I hate form based email and prefer to use the full capabilities of my
email client.

--
If Fed Ex and UPS were to merge, would they call it Fed UP?
Jul 23 '05 #11

P: n/a
In article <ce**************************@msgid.meganewsserver s.com>,
Andrew DeFaria <An****@DeFaria.com> wrote:
Robert wrote:
In article <b4**************************@posting.google.com >,
th*************@yahoo.com (Mike) wrote:
Is there a way to determine what a user's default email client is? I
read a post from 3 years ago that said no. I guess I'm hoping
something has come along since then.


For the internet, it is best to avoid sending email through an email
client.


I disagree.
Instead, use a form to send the data to a server and have the server
send the email.


I hate form based email and prefer to use the full capabilities of my
email client.


I think we are talking about different things.

Here the application is to send some form data to someone for
processing. The person doesn't want to invest in a complex server
application. The person just wants to send some form data to someone
email account.

It is tempting just to use the browser email client. The problem is
that the email client doesn't have to be configured.
Jul 23 '05 #12

P: n/a
Andrew DeFaria wrote:
Robert wrote:
In article <b4**************************@posting.google.com >,
th*************@yahoo.com (Mike) wrote:
Is there a way to determine what a user's default email client is? I
read a post from 3 years ago that said no. I guess I'm hoping
something has come along since then.

For the internet, it is best to avoid sending email through an email
client.


I disagree.


You have that right. Even when its been shown to be solid advice not to
use mailto: on an internet site.
Instead, use a form to send the data to a server and have the server
send the email.

I hate form based email and prefer to use the full capabilities of my
email client.


And that is your choice. But given an internet audience, that can not be
reasonably assumed. But to be fair, I will give you a chance to back up
your beliefs. Fair enough?

If you can provide script or HTML that can successfully send an email
(through an email client) in my IE6, I will start endorsing mailto:.
Until then, its a *very very bad idea* for an internet site.

My IE6 SP2 Configuration:

No email client associated.
Email in IE6 SP2 is sent via a Flash App from my ISP.

Now, how do you propose to navigate to my login page, log me in, fill
out that Flash form, then send it?

--
Randy
comp.lang.javascript FAQ - http://jibbering.com/faq
Jul 23 '05 #13

P: n/a
On 6/10/04 6:10 pm, Randy Webb wrote:
If you can provide script or HTML that can successfully send an email
(through an email client) in my IE6, I will start endorsing mailto:.
Until then, its a *very very bad idea* for an internet site.


Some people (myself included) find web forms more of a hassle than ordinary
mailto links.

When I send an email from my regular email client, it fills in my name and
email address automatically. It checks my spelling. It retains a copy of
every email I send. It attaches my default signature containing my website
URL, phone number and other such information that recipients might find
useful. It also allows me to add other headers such as CC, BCC, Priority.

I can't do any of that with a web form.

But I also realize that some people are unable to use mailto: links
successfully. The obvious answer is to offer both alternatives to your
visitors.

That's my 2p worth, anyhow.

Phil
--
Philip Ronan
ph***********@virgin.net
(Please remove the "z"s if replying by email)
Jul 23 '05 #14

P: n/a
On Tue, 05 Oct 2004 19:44:54 +0100, David Dorward <do*****@yahoo.com>
wrote:

[Mike <th*************@yahoo.com> wrote:]
Is there a way to determine what a user's default email client is?

[snip]
The question was about the user's default, not the system default :)


I suppose you could read it that way, but I'd associate the phrase
"default client" with the client that would be invoked when performing
some kind of mail action. That is, the system default.

Mike

--
Michael Winter
Replace ".invalid" with ".uk" to reply by e-mail.
Jul 23 '05 #15

P: n/a
Randy Webb wrote:
Andrew DeFaria wrote:
Robert wrote:
In article <b4**************************@posting.google.com >,
th*************@yahoo.com (Mike) wrote:

Is there a way to determine what a user's default email client is?
I read a post from 3 years ago that said no. I guess I'm hoping
something has come along since then.

For the internet, it is best to avoid sending email through an email
client.
I disagree.


You have that right. Even when its been shown to be solid advice not
to use mailto: on an internet site.


I've seen no such solid advice as you say exists.
Instead, use a form to send the data to a server and have the server
send the email.


I hate form based email and prefer to use the full capabilities of my
email client.


And that is your choice. But given an internet audience, that can not
be reasonably assumed.


Sure it can. You mean you can not assume that somebody using a browser
is also using and email client?!? I bet more people use email than browsers.
But to be fair, I will give you a chance to back up your beliefs. Fair
enough?

If you can provide script or HTML that can successfully send an email
(through an email client) in my IE6, I will start endorsing mailto:.
Until then, its a *very very bad idea* for an internet site.

My IE6 SP2 Configuration:

No email client associated.
Email in IE6 SP2 is sent via a Flash App from my ISP.

Now, how do you propose to navigate to my login page, log me in, fill
out that Flash form, then send it?


Why do you have no email client configured? That's extremely odd. You
say that all you haven is IE6 and you do all of your email through
that?!? You're user agent here says Mozilla/5.0. Last I checked Mozilla
not only does email (quite well mind you) but installs such that the
default email client is indeed configured. Therefore mailto links work.

Or have you purposely turned that off such that you don't use Mozilla to
do email (but do use it to respond to this newsgroup?!?). If you have
purposely turned it off because you deliberately wish to disable it then
you are also explicitly saying that you don't want mailto links to work.
If that be the case then there should be no surprise to you that they don't.

Also, you are assuming that a user has not done the reverse and decided
that emailing is OK but browsing is wrong and had disabled his browser,
in which case browser based form email will not work.

Look, mailto links are exactly for sending email and that's why the
named it that.

--
Department of Redundancy Department
Jul 23 '05 #16

P: n/a
Philip Ronan wrote:
Some people (myself included) find web forms more of a hassle than
ordinary mailto links.

When I send an email from my regular email client, it fills in my name
and email address automatically. It checks my spelling. It retains a
copy of every email I send. It attaches my default signature
containing my website URL, phone number and other such information
that recipients might find useful. It also allows me to add other
headers such as CC, BCC, Priority.

I can't do any of that with a web form.
Exactly. Also, you often cannot see the sending address on a form. Now a
lot of companies use that to hide it so that you can't email them
repeatedly should they fail to respond (well you could script up
something to constantly hit their web site but talk about major hassle).
I don't that either. Look I tell you who I am and I expect the same
courtesy from people I communicate with, be it by phone, in person,
letter or email.
But I also realize that some people are unable to use mailto: links
successfully.


Which people might these be? Why not take the tack of getting them to be
able to successfully use their email clients?

--
2 + 2 = 5 for extremely large values of 2.
Jul 23 '05 #17

P: n/a
Andrew DeFaria wrote:
Randy Webb wrote:
Andrew DeFaria wrote:
Robert wrote:

In article <b4**************************@posting.google.com >,
th*************@yahoo.com (Mike) wrote:

> Is there a way to determine what a user's default email client is?
> I read a post from 3 years ago that said no. I guess I'm hoping
> something has come along since then.
For the internet, it is best to avoid sending email through an email
client.
I disagree.

You have that right. Even when its been shown to be solid advice not
to use mailto: on an internet site.

I've seen no such solid advice as you say exists.


http://www.isolani.co.uk/articles/mailto.html

http://groups.google.com/groups?hl=e...ang.javascript

might be interesting reading.
Instead, use a form to send the data to a server and have the server
send the email.
I hate form based email and prefer to use the full capabilities of my
email client.

And that is your choice. But given an internet audience, that can not
be reasonably assumed.

Sure it can. You mean you can not assume that somebody using a browser
is also using and email client?!? I bet more people use email than
browsers.


Yes, it means I can not assume that a browser has a default email client
associated with it. IE6 on WinXP - straight out of the box - has NO
email client associated with it. *none*. Every time I click a mailto:
link in IE, it asks me if I want to install Outlook Express and
associate it. Sorry, I would rather have a root canal done through my
rectum than install the POS. And I get that effect because the unknowing
"web guru" thinks its the "best way" to send an email. Its not.

But to be fair, I will give you a chance to back up your beliefs. Fair
enough?

If you can provide script or HTML that can successfully send an email
(through an email client) in my IE6, I will start endorsing mailto:.
Until then, its a *very very bad idea* for an internet site.

My IE6 SP2 Configuration:

No email client associated.
Email in IE6 SP2 is sent via a Flash App from my ISP.

Now, how do you propose to navigate to my login page, log me in, fill
out that Flash form, then send it?

Why do you have no email client configured? That's extremely odd. You
say that all you haven is IE6 and you do all of your email through
that?!? You're user agent here says Mozilla/5.0. Last I checked Mozilla
not only does email (quite well mind you) but installs such that the
default email client is indeed configured. Therefore mailto links work.


My user agent for news is indeed Mozilla. I use it strictly for the News
Agent and Browsing, *not* email. But granted, its probably because I
have never had the time, nor inclination, to sit and go through the
setup, learn all its vulnerabilities, how to fix them, and then use it.

But when I installed Mozilla, it did *not* configure the email section.
I stopped it because when I installed it, my email was configured
through a web-based application (via Flash) that is used by Comcast
Cable. In fact, the *only* way for me to send email from that address is
through that application. It can't even be configured for Mozilla (not
that I want to).

But you still have not addressed the question. How do you propose to
write a link that when clicked will open the Comcast site, log me in,
and open the compose mail flash app, and then fill it out?

Also, I didn't say thats all I have. I was giving my IE6 configuration,
for you to explain to me how you intend for a mailto: link to work in
that configuration.

If you want, I can also give you the configuration of the PC's on the
intranet that I work on all day. Every one of them is running Windows XP
(some have SP2, some don't), but not a single one has an email client
installed.
Or have you purposely turned that off such that you don't use Mozilla to
do email (but do use it to respond to this newsgroup?!?). If you have
purposely turned it off because you deliberately wish to disable it then
you are also explicitly saying that you don't want mailto links to work.
I am not "explicitly saying" anything, I am declining to setup more of a
browser combination that I have a need for. I didn't do it that way to
"break mailto links", I did it that way because its the way *I* wanted
it. Not the way some web guru thinks, or needs, it to be set up so
his/her unreliable mailto: links will work.
If that be the case then there should be no surprise to you that they
don't.
It didn't surprise me *before* set it up that way. But to be fair, I
will quote code on the MSDN site:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/de...ned/mailto.asp

<A HREF="mailto:mt***@microsoft.com?
subject=Feedback&amp;
body=The%20InetSDK%20Site%20Is%20Superlative">
Click here to send feedback to the InetSDK.</A>

I can tell you, from testing, what that link does in AOL. Can you guess?
Also, you are assuming that a user has not done the reverse and decided
that emailing is OK but browsing is wrong and had disabled his browser,
in which case browser based form email will not work.
If they are using email and not browsing, that is there choice. I don't
really care. But mailto: on an internet site is *unreliable*. But, if
they have, how in the world do you think a mailto: link would work, on a
website, for someone that has disabled the browser??????
Look, mailto links are exactly for sending email and that's why the
named it that.


I never said that wasn't the intended purpose of a mailto: link, I said
"They do not work *reliably*" with "reliably" being the key word there.
--
Randy
comp.lang.javascript FAQ - http://jibbering.com/faq
Jul 23 '05 #18

P: n/a
On 6/10/04 10:25 pm, Andrew DeFaria wrote:
But I also realize that some people are unable to use mailto: links
successfully.


Which people might these be? Why not take the tack of getting them to be
able to successfully use their email clients?


People who are using someone else's computer, or borrowing a terminal at the
local library (where there isn't any email software installed).

That kind of thing.

--
Philip Ronan
ph***********@virgin.net
(Please remove the "z"s if replying by email)
Jul 23 '05 #19

P: n/a
On 6/10/04 11:45 pm, Randy Webb wrote:
Randy Webb wrote:

I've seen no such solid advice as you say exists.


http://www.isolani.co.uk/articles/mailto.html


/bangs head against wall...

That article is about the pitfalls of declaring mailto URLs as the action
attribute of web forms.

It is not relevant to this thread.

--
Philip Ronan
ph***********@virgin.net
(Please remove the "z"s if replying by email)
Jul 23 '05 #20

P: n/a
Lee
Philip Ronan said:

On 6/10/04 11:45 pm, Randy Webb wrote:
Randy Webb wrote:

I've seen no such solid advice as you say exists.


http://www.isolani.co.uk/articles/mailto.html


/bangs head against wall...

That article is about the pitfalls of declaring mailto URLs as the action
attribute of web forms.

It is not relevant to this thread.


Certainly it's relevant. All of the warnings about mailto in that
article apply to the "mailto:" protocol, regardless of whether it
appears in an ACTION attribute or an HREF attribute.

Jul 23 '05 #21

P: n/a
Randy Webb wrote:
I've seen no such solid advice as you say exists.
http://www.isolani.co.uk/articles/mailto.html


Starts of with an invalid assumption: "Every website out there that
wishes to interact with its visitors uses a form". Not necessarily the
case. Maybe I just want to email the person. Additionally "HTML Forms
are the most common feedback mechanisms on the web today" - again,
wrong. I'm not talking about the situation where one it trying to
collect information from the user. I'm talking about free format
conversation! I'm also not talking about the <form action="mailto:...">
rather just the <a href="mailto:..."> variety.
http://groups.google.com/groups?hl=e...ang.javascript

Also assumes the user is submitting data with the link through the form tag.

might be interesting reading.
> Instead, use a form to send the data to a server and have the
> server send the email.

I hate form based email and prefer to use the full capabilities of
my email client.

And that is your choice. But given an internet audience, that can
not be reasonably assumed.
Sure it can. You mean you can not assume that somebody using a
browser is also using and email client?!? I bet more people use email
than browsers.

Yes, it means I can not assume that a browser has a default email
client associated with it. IE6 on WinXP - straight out of the box -
has NO email client associated with it. *none*. Every time I click a
mailto: link in IE, it asks me if I want to install Outlook Express
and associate it. Sorry, I would rather have a root canal done through
my rectum than install the POS. And I get that effect because the
unknowing "web guru" thinks its the "best way" to send an email. Its
not.


If you don't want Outlook Express then install a better mailer.
But to be fair, I will give you a chance to back up your beliefs.
Fair enough?

If you can provide script or HTML that can successfully send an
email (through an email client) in my IE6, I will start endorsing
mailto:. Until then, its a *very very bad idea* for an internet site.

My IE6 SP2 Configuration:

No email client associated.
Email in IE6 SP2 is sent via a Flash App from my ISP.

Now, how do you propose to navigate to my login page, log me in,
fill out that Flash form, then send it?


Why do you have no email client configured? That's extremely odd. You
say that all you haven is IE6 and you do all of your email through
that?!? You're user agent here says Mozilla/5.0. Last I checked
Mozilla not only does email (quite well mind you) but installs such
that the default email client is indeed configured. Therefore mailto
links work.


My user agent for news is indeed Mozilla. I use it strictly for the
News Agent and Browsing, *not* email. But granted, its probably
because I have never had the time, nor inclination, to sit and go
through the setup, learn all its vulnerabilities, how to fix them, and
then use it.


Your loss I guess.
But when I installed Mozilla, it did *not* configure the email
section. I stopped it because when I installed it, my email was
configured through a web-based application (via Flash) that is used by
Comcast Cable. In fact, the *only* way for me to send email from that
address is through that application. It can't even be configured for
Mozilla (not that I want to).
How.... limiting...
But you still have not addressed the question. How do you propose to
write a link that when clicked will open the Comcast site, log me in,
and open the compose mail flash app, and then fill it out?
In your wild assed, self contained and thoroughly limited and highly
specialized environment, you're right. You can't.
Also, I didn't say thats all I have. I was giving my IE6
configuration, for you to explain to me how you intend for a mailto:
link to work in that configuration.
I fail to see why I must limit myself to such an odd configuration? You
say you have something else. Why then are you not using it?
If you want, I can also give you the configuration of the PC's on the
intranet that I work on all day. Every one of them is running Windows
XP (some have SP2, some don't), but not a single one has an email
client installed.
If they don't have an email client installed then I guess emailing is
not one of the functions they are likely to be performing anyway!
Or have you purposely turned that off such that you don't use Mozilla
to do email (but do use it to respond to this newsgroup?!?). If you
have purposely turned it off because you deliberately wish to disable
it then you are also explicitly saying that you don't want mailto
links to work.


I am not "explicitly saying" anything,


Sure you are. You are saying the mailto links will not work in my set up
"'cause I don't want them to".
I am declining to setup more of a browser combination that I have a
need for. I didn't do it that way to "break mailto links", I did it
that way because its the way *I* wanted it.
Then you realize that you do so fully knowing that mailto links will break.
Not the way some web guru thinks, or needs, it to be set up so his/her
unreliable mailto: links will work.
I've never seen a mailto link be unreliable. It has always brought up a
mail composition window as it was intended to do for me.
It didn't surprise me *before* set it up that way. But to be fair, I
will quote code on the MSDN site:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/de...ned/mailto.asp
<A HREF="mailto:mt***@microsoft.com?
subject=Feedback&amp;
body=The%20InetSDK%20Site%20Is%20Superlative">
Click here to send feedback to the InetSDK.</A>

I can tell you, from testing, what that link does in AOL. Can you guess?
It probably functions like most of AOL - it probably doesn't work well.
Then again AOL doesn't work well either. Wonder why? 'Cause they don't
pay attention to standards! Why is it announced as www.somewhere.com and
then the always add "AOL keyword: somewhere". Only AOL has those
keywords and they are not standard. It's of no surprise that their
software often doesn't function well.
Also, you are assuming that a user has not done the reverse and
decided that emailing is OK but browsing is wrong and had disabled
his browser, in which case browser based form email will not work.


If they are using email and not browsing, that is there choice.


If they are using browsing and not email then similarly it's their choice!
I don't really care.
Nor do I.
But mailto: on an internet site is *unreliable*.
It's as reliable as many other web protocols, in fact, more reliable
than most. RealPlayer, for example, has their own protocol for streaming
(at least they used to but I gave up on them years ago so it might have
changed). For a web link it works fine *IFF* you have RealPlayer
installed and set up as the default app for such web protocols. This is
not that much different than email, 'cept email and email clients are
much, much more prevalent.
But, if they have, how in the world do you think a mailto: link would
work, on a website, for someone that has disabled the browser??????


Do you ever send web links in email (e.g. http://www.google.com)? How do
you know the receiver uses a browser and that the browser they choose to
use supports such a protocol and URL (what if they are using lynx or a
text mode browser or say a cell phone and your URL is a large image?)?
Now we all know that most people use a browser and that most browsers
can accept an http'ized URL and will do the right thing, 'cause it's
standard, etc. Well same goes for mailto in that it's standard and there
is an assumption that the user uses an email client and that the email
client conforms to the RFC for the mailto link. I fail to see how this
is different (except, as noted, for the case where you are gathering
information from the user in the form of a form and wanting explicit
control over the email content - a case which I was not discussing).
Look, mailto links are exactly for sending email and that's why the
named it that.


I never said that wasn't the intended purpose of a mailto: link, I
said "They do not work *reliably*" with "reliably" being the key word
there.


Again, they work reliably for me and everybody else I know ('cept you
and your configuration is odd).

--
C:\> Bad command or file name! Go stand in the corner.

Jul 23 '05 #22

P: n/a
Lee
Andrew DeFaria said:
Why do you have no email client configured? That's extremely odd.


No it isn't.

I'm sitting in front of three computers.
I use all of them for browsing.
I only have an email client on one of them.

I also use a computer in a lab at the local University.
It has Mozilla installed, and even has an email client
configured, but all SMTP traffic is blocked.

I sometimes use the browser at the local library.
There is no email client on the machine.

I also use my PDA for browsing. It has an email client,
but the browser doesn't support the mailto: protocol.

Any one of these may be considered as "extremely odd",
but there are enough people with one or more of these
situations (or variations) that, taken together, it is
not extremely odd for a browser to have no email client.

Jul 23 '05 #23

P: n/a
Lee wrote:
Andrew DeFaria said:
Why do you have no email client configured? That's extremely odd.
No it isn't.


Yes it is.
I'm sitting in front of three computers.
I use all of them for browsing.
I only have an email client on one of them.
That's odd.
I also use a computer in a lab at the local University.
It has Mozilla installed, and even has an email client
configured, but all SMTP traffic is blocked.
That's similarly odd.
I sometimes use the browser at the local library.
There is no email client on the machine.
That's odd too.
I also use my PDA for browsing. It has an email client,
but the browser doesn't support the mailto: protocol.

Any one of these may be considered as "extremely odd",
but there are enough people with one or more of these
situations (or variations) that, taken together, it is
not extremely odd for a browser to have no email client.


Well it is for me.
--
Cannot find REALITY.SYS. Universe halted.
Jul 23 '05 #24

P: n/a
Philip Ronan wrote:
On 6/10/04 11:45 pm, Randy Webb wrote:

Randy Webb wrote:

I've seen no such solid advice as you say exists.


http://www.isolani.co.uk/articles/mailto.html

/bangs head against wall...

That article is about the pitfalls of declaring mailto URLs as the action
attribute of web forms.

It is not relevant to this thread.


Keep reading it, and it goes into the pitfalls of IE and OE. Yes, its
mostly about mailto in web forms, but it does touch on the other uses.
And granted, its not the one I was looking for (there is another, that I
can not find, that covers mailto: as an href).

Perhaps some day I may sit down, test it in different browsers, with
different parameters to mailto: and post the results. Not so much to
debunk mailto: but to show how it reacts in certain scenarios.

--
Randy
comp.lang.javascript FAQ - http://jibbering.com/faq
Jul 23 '05 #25

P: n/a
Andrew DeFaria wrote:
Lee wrote:


<--snip-->
I also use my PDA for browsing. It has an email client,
but the browser doesn't support the mailto: protocol.

Any one of these may be considered as "extremely odd",
but there are enough people with one or more of these
situations (or variations) that, taken together, it is
not extremely odd for a browser to have no email client.

Well it is for me.


I think I have it figured out now.

If a system is configured the way you think it should be, then the
mailto: works and all is fine. If the system is not configured that way
(for whatever reason), then its "odd". Got it.

Either way, mailto is *still* unreliable.

--
Randy
comp.lang.javascript FAQ - http://jibbering.com/faq
Jul 23 '05 #26

P: n/a
You guys are nuts!
What is more reliable - mailto: or forms?
Ha! Yesturday i had a power outage and spend the whole evening without internet - so none of those
two(mailto: or forms) worked for me - and you talk about reliability!

The most reliable protocol - US Postal Service!
Every month i send my bills and they all reach a recipient without my OE/Firefox/Mozilla being
configured!

By the way, having OE or any other mail client configured is odd especially when you live with your
girlfriend and talk emails with some other girls :)))

Seriousely, i've always only used forms on my websites because - 1) spammers, 2) girlfriensd:)

Good luck all!
MuZZy
Jul 23 '05 #27

P: n/a
Randy Webb wrote:
I think I have it figured out now.

If a system is configured the way you think it should be, then the
mailto: works and all is fine. If the system is not configured that
way (for whatever reason), then its "odd". Got it.
Yes then the system is indeed misconfigured.
Either way, mailto is *still* unreliable.


It's been reliable for me and millions of others for years. Again, sorry
you are having problems with it.

--
Backup not found: (A)bort (R)etry (P)anic
Jul 23 '05 #28

P: n/a
Andrew DeFaria wrote:
Randy Webb wrote:
I think I have it figured out now.

If a system is configured the way you think it should be, then the
mailto: works and all is fine. If the system is not configured that
way (for whatever reason), then its "odd". Got it.

Yes then the system is indeed misconfigured.


No, it is configured exactly as it was intended to be. Thats not
misconfigured. It is configured properly, just not configured for your
broken mailto: to work.
Either way, mailto is *still* unreliable.

It's been reliable for me and millions of others for years. Again, sorry
you are having problems with it.


I never said it wasn't reliable for you, I said it wasn't reliable for
an internet website.

Now, if your intentions are to keep rambling about how my system is
"misconfigured" or "odd", then please let me know so I can kill file you
so I don't have to read it anymore. Its unreliable, it always has been,
and it always will be. The fact that you prefer to keep your head stuck
in the sand and realize that is not for me to try to persuade you
differently.

I suppose your next argument is that you conducted a survey and to
produce the results you used a mailto: link to get the info?
--
Randy
comp.lang.javascript FAQ - http://jibbering.com/faq
Jul 23 '05 #29

P: n/a
Andrey wrote:
You guys are nuts!
What is more reliable - mailto: or forms?
Why mailto of course! :-)

Have you forgotten that not all browsers support forms?
Ha! Yesturday i had a power outage and spend the whole evening without
internet - so none of those two(mailto: or forms) worked for me - and
you talk about reliability!

The most reliable protocol - US Postal Service!
Glad you've had luck with them. I've had problems - at times - but
admittedly they are fairly reliable. Then again I keep my own systems
fairly reliable too. Power outages? Sometimes. Moving and getting a new
ISP? Yeah that too. But then again a day or two of inaccessibility is
not a big deal. I mean the USPS doesn't deliver me anything on Sundays.
To me that's 1 day out a week or about an 86% uptime. (We could factor
in the fact that they are not open at night either if you want...) Even
my systems are in the 90%'s and I do way more with them then just send
messages.
Every month i send my bills and they all reach a recipient without my
OE/Firefox/Mozilla being configured!
Horse and buggy days I guess! I haven't written a check in 10 years! All
online bill payments.
By the way, having OE or any other mail client configured is odd
especially when you live with your girlfriend and talk emails with
some other girls :)))
If you actually let your girlfriend log in as you and have not secured
your system via at least of password then you deserve what you get!
There are many forms and ways to protect your email and other valuable
data from prying eyes. Even with web based email your girlfriend can
still log on as you and read your email.
Seriousely, i've always only used forms on my websites because - 1)
spammers, 2) girlfriensd:)


Perhaps your girlfriend is spamming you dude! ;-)

--
Everyone has the right to be stupid, but your abusing the privilege.
Jul 23 '05 #30

P: n/a
Lee
Andrew DeFaria said:

Lee wrote:
Andrew DeFaria said:
Why do you have no email client configured? That's extremely odd.
No it isn't.

Well it is for me.


That's an excellent attitude, as long as you're the only
person who's going to be using the site.

I don't personally know anybody who uses Internet Explorer.
Does that make it ok for me to stop testing pages in it?

Jul 23 '05 #31

P: n/a
Randy Webb wrote:
Andrew DeFaria wrote:
Randy Webb wrote:
I think I have it figured out now.

If a system is configured the way you think it should be, then the
mailto: works and all is fine. If the system is not configured that
way (for whatever reason), then its "odd". Got it.
Yes then the system is indeed misconfigured.


No, it is configured exactly as it was intended to be. Thats not
misconfigured. It is configured properly, just not configured for your
broken mailto: to work.


It configured in an odd way such as to lesson the amount of it's utility
- OK?
Either way, mailto is *still* unreliable.


It's been reliable for me and millions of others for years. Again,
sorry you are having problems with it.


I never said it wasn't reliable for you, I said it wasn't reliable for
an internet website.


OK, it's been reliable for me (and many others) from countless websites
for years. Better?
Now, if your intentions are to keep rambling about how my system is
"misconfigured" or "odd",
I'm just telling you what is.
then please let me know so I can kill file you so I don't have to read
it anymore.
Go for it dude. You control your killfile not I.
Its unreliable, it always has been, and it always will be.
For you. Again, sorry you're having troubles.
The fact that you prefer to keep your head stuck in the sand and
realize that is not for me to try to persuade you differently.
My head is definitely not in the sand.
I suppose your next argument is that you conducted a survey and to
produce the results you used a mailto: link to get the info?


No survey's necessary here dude.

--
Why do people say "did you see that" when watching a movie at the
theater? No, I paid $12 to come to the cinema and stare at the floor!
Jul 23 '05 #32

P: n/a
Lee wrote:
Andrew DeFaria said:
Lee wrote:
Andrew DeFaria said:

Why do you have no email client configured? That's extremely odd.

No it isn't.
Well it is for me.


That's an excellent attitude, as long as you're the only person who's
going to be using the site.


It's odd for me and many others.
I don't personally know anybody who uses Internet Explorer. Does that
make it ok for me to stop testing pages in it?


I guess that depends on your audience.

--
A conclusion is simply the place where you got tired of thinking.
Jul 23 '05 #33

P: n/a
On 7/10/04 12:42 am, Lee wrote:
Certainly it's relevant. All of the warnings about mailto in that
article apply to the "mailto:" protocol, regardless of whether it
appears in an ACTION attribute or an HREF attribute.
..../sigh

OK, let's take a look shall we?

These are the problems listed under "Mailto Drawbacks" in the page you
mentioned (apart from the obvious one that a "mailto" action is undefined
for FORM elements in HTML):
An error that there is no mail reader on the users machine.
If nothing happens when a I clicks on a mailto link, then I'm not likely to
go away thinking that my message has been sent, am I? (Obviously this would
be a major problem for a mailto form because I would be unaware of the
problem.)
An error because the browser cannot identify the users mail reader.
See above
No mail being sent, because the user cancels the mail request so as to avoid
revealing the user's email address.
So people can change their minds. So what?
The email disappears into nothingness because the action mailto: is further
malformed from a proper email address by the use of ?subject - which is an
invalid email address.
That's just plain wrong. Take a look at RFC 2368 when you're not too busy...
Clients that resolve mailto URLs into mail messages should be
able to correctly create RFC 822-compliant mail messages using
the "subject" and "body" headers.

The email arrives to the website owner, only to appear blank, since either or
both of the browser and mail reader could not add the contents of the form to
the email.


Form? What form?

Like I said, the problems of combining mailto and forms are irrelevant to
this thread.

I mentioned in an earlier post that there may be some circumstances where
people might be unwilling or unable to use mailto links, which is why it is
also a good idea to provide a properly scripted web form as well. But
basically your argument seems to boil down to the fact that mailto doesn't
work for YOU, so NOBODY should use it.

Basically you're just spouting rubbish

--
Philip Ronan
ph***********@virgin.net
(Please remove the "z"s if replying by email)
Jul 23 '05 #34

P: n/a
On Wed, 06 Oct 2004 18:45:33 -0400, Randy Webb <Hi************@aol.com>
wrote:

[snip]
http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/de...ned/mailto.asp
[OT]
I hate those links. They only work in browsers that supports Microsoft's
MSDN sidebar.
[/OT]
<A HREF="mailto:mt***@microsoft.com?
subject=Feedback&amp;
body=The%20InetSDK%20Site%20Is%20Superlative">
Click here to send feedback to the InetSDK.</A>

I can tell you, from testing, what that link does in AOL. Can you guess?


It also fails to work as intended in Opera as my browser and mail client.
The only thing that link does is set the To address. I suppose that might
be better than nothing, but it does show irrefutably that a form would be
more reliable for presetting content.

[snip]

Mike

--
Michael Winter
Replace ".invalid" with ".uk" to reply by e-mail.
Jul 23 '05 #35

P: n/a
Andrew DeFaria wrote:
Randy Webb wrote:
Andrew DeFaria wrote:
Randy Webb wrote:

No, it is configured exactly as it was intended to be.
Thats not misconfigured. It is configured properly, just
not configured for your broken mailto: to work.


It configured in an odd way such as to lesson the amount#
of it's utility - OK?


If Randy's description of his e-mail system is accurate (and there is no
reason to believe otherwise) then configuring a mail client to work with
his browses would be futile and deliver no additional utility.
Either way, mailto is *still* unreliable.

It's been reliable for me and millions of others for
years. Again, sorry you are having problems with it.


I never said it wasn't reliable for you, I said it
wasn't reliable for an internet website.


OK, it's been reliable for me (and many others) from
countless websites for years. Better?


Given the extensive list of what you are dismissing as "odd" and
"misconfigured" systems in which mailto: will certainly not work you are
defining reliable as; works for an unquantifiable subset of internet
users.

And blaming the users for whom it doesn't work for causing their own
problems. An attitude that is not dissimilar form blaming the user for
not using a default configuration of a recent version of IE on a Windows
desktop computer when they cannot access an IE only web site. The next
stage in that argument is usually to start fabricating and throwing
around statistics that imply that some "normal" majority represents a
sufficiently large percentage of the potential users that the residue
can be disregarded out of hand.

The client (the person who wants, and is probably paying for, a web
site) probably would prefer a definition of reliable that was more like;
works for 100% of the people 100% or the time. The combination of forms
and server-side scripting comes closer to that then any alternative (by
a long way). But if the client employs a developer who doesn't want to
do the work (or doesn't have the skills) they may be bamboozled into
accepting mailto:, and never be any the wiser because one of the
features of unreliable internet authoring is that you don't often get to
hear from the people for whom it is unreliable (especially when the
unreliability is in the communication/feed-back system). They go
elsewhere and do their business with the implementers of the reliable
alternatives.

<snip>
The fact that you prefer to keep your head stuck in the
sand and realize that is not for me to try to persuade
you differently.


My head is definitely not in the sand.


Some other not-so-well-lit location?
I suppose your next argument is that you conducted a survey
and to produce the results you used a mailto: link to get
the info?


No survey's necessary here dude.


I am frequently remedied of the developer posing to this group who said
"I use pop-up windows extensively and I have never had any complaints
about them", who's feedback page was in a pop-up window.

I am also reminded of rather odd little (vanity published) book called
"Does the Earth Rotate?" (published 1919 [1]) by a (English) westcounty
fruitcake and religious zealot called William Edgell, in which he
attempts to argue that the world is flat and the heavens fixed above it.
Mr Edgell come to this (unexpected, even in 1919) conclusion through
prolonged observation of the poll star. Fixing a narrow rigid tube that
pointed at the poll star to a framework in his garden he sat, night
after night, staring down this tube, observing that the poll star
remained completely stationary in the heavens and making extensive
records of his observations.

Eventually concluding that the only reasonable explanation for the fixed
position of the poll star could only be a fixed, flat earth under a
fixed heaven, with the sun and moon being the only bodies to ever move.
Eventually publishing his book to challenge the scientific and education
orthodoxy of the time. And challenging anyone interested to set
themselves up a similar tube and observe the fixedness of the poll star
for themselves. (The sections of the book where he stubbornly
misinterprets every alternative explanation are quite amusing, but too
time consuming to go into).

The irony of this being that while Mr Edgell stared down his tube at the
one fixed(ish) point in the sky he was blinkered to the rest of the
universe, arching around the poll star at a steady 15 degrees an hour.

Richard.

[1] This book came to light in the library of the then (1919) Radstock
village school teacher, inherited by a friend of mine (his grandson). A
library that also included the 1919 first English edition of Einstein's
"Special and General Theory of Relatively".
Jul 23 '05 #36

P: n/a
Philip Ronan wrote:
<snip>
The email disappears into nothingness because the action
mailto: is further malformed from a proper email address
by the use of ?subject - which is an invalid email address.


That's just plain wrong. Take a look at RFC 2368 when you're
not too busy...

<snip>

It is not so much the RFC but reality that makes appending subject
(body, etc) to mailto links a problem. It is a problem for Lotus Notes
mail clients (version <= 5 at least, as I recall) where a mailto: link
alone will work (open the mail client and insert the recipient address)
but add a query string and when the client opens there is no address, or
anything else.

Still Lotus Notes is an "odd" mail client only used by businesses, and
how many web sites owners want to reliably communicate with businesses?

Richard.
Jul 23 '05 #37

P: n/a
On 7/10/04 1:57 pm, Richard Cornford wrote:
It is not so much the RFC but reality that makes appending subject
(body, etc) to mailto links a problem. It is a problem for Lotus Notes
mail clients (version <= 5 at least, as I recall) where a mailto: link
alone will work (open the mail client and insert the recipient address)
but add a query string and when the client opens there is no address, or
anything else.

Still Lotus Notes is an "odd" mail client only used by businesses, and
how many web sites owners want to reliably communicate with businesses?


Lotus Notes?

Just because one lousy piece of software is broken doesn't mean we should
all avoid the features it can't handle. By your reasoning we shouldn't be
using CSS because it causes Netscape 4 to screw up. in any case, I never
said is was essential to include a subject line.

Using mailto: as the protocol of an HTML link is perfectly well documented
in all the relevant standards. There is nothing inherently "wrong" with it
at all. And it provides visitors with a much more user-friendly and flexible
way of contacting you, as I mentioned in an earlier post.

My website gets about 20000 hits from 500+ visitors every day. So far I've
never spotted any UAs identifying themselves as Lotus anything. Yes, it's a
business site. And yes I do care about communicating reliably with other
businesses. That's why I have an email link AND a feedback form as I've been
recommending all along.

I still don't understand why you have a problem with that.

--
Philip Ronan
ph***********@virgin.net
(Please remove the "z"s if replying by email)
Jul 23 '05 #38

P: n/a
Philip Ronan wrote:
Richard Cornford wrote:
It is not so much the RFC but reality that makes appending
subject (body, etc) to mailto links a problem. It is a
problem for Lotus Notes mail clients (version <= 5 at least,
as I recall) where a mailto: link alone will work (open the
mail client and insert the recipient address) but add a query
string and when the client opens there is no address, or
anything else.

Still Lotus Notes is an "odd" mail client only used by
businesses, and how many web sites owners want to reliably
communicate with businesses?
Lotus Notes?

Just because one lousy piece of software is broken doesn't
mean we should all avoid the features it can't handle.


It is one piece of software used by the entire (at least
non-manual/production) staff of companies.
By your reasoning we shouldn't be using CSS
because it causes Netscape 4 to screw up.
My point was every specific; for each subject line provided for a user
of OE/Outlook a user of Lotus Notes is hindered from communicating.

People hide CSS from Netscape 4, if you could detect the e-mail client
similar possibilities would exist for mailto:, but you cannot.
in any case, I never said is
was essential to include a subject line.
You did question Lee's specific point about ?subject, referring to the
"standard" in a way that suggested it was harmless.

<snip> There is nothing inherently
"wrong" with it at all.
Beyond the fact that its use alone will prevent communication with some
users.
And it provides visitors with a much more
user-friendly and flexible way of contacting
you, as I mentioned in an earlier post.
For the ones with e-mail clients fully configured and conforming with
the RFC.
My website gets about 20000 hits from 500+ visitors
every day. So far I've never spotted any UAs identifying
themselves as Lotus anything.
Lotus Notes uses embedded IE as its user agent, so you are looking for
UA strings common to IE 5.0+ (I assume you see those form time to time).
Yes, it's a business site. And yes I do care about communicating
reliably with other businesses. That's why I have an email
link AND a feedback form as I've been recommending all along.

I still don't understand why you have a problem with that.


I have never said I did have a problem with that. But what is important
to understand is that it is the mail form that provides the reliable
communication. Once you start with the reliable it isn't so important if
there are alternatives that don't work so well (though it would be a
good idea if mailto: links where appropriately labelled so it was clear
why they didn't work when they don't).

The bad advice is advocating mailto: as the *only* communication method,
and particularly advocating it to individuals who are ignorant of the
issues (particularly clients who rely on web professionals to know, and
(impartially) advise on, the technology they propose using).

A mailto: link in addition to a form will get you spammed, but if the
site can cope with that it is not so important.

Richard.
Jul 23 '05 #39

P: n/a
Lee
Philip Ronan said:

On 7/10/04 12:42 am, Lee wrote:
Certainly it's relevant. All of the warnings about mailto in that
article apply to the "mailto:" protocol, regardless of whether it
appears in an ACTION attribute or an HREF attribute.
.../sigh

OK, let's take a look shall we?

These are the problems listed under "Mailto Drawbacks" in the page you
mentioned (apart from the obvious one that a "mailto" action is undefined
for FORM elements in HTML):
An error that there is no mail reader on the users machine.


If nothing happens when a I clicks on a mailto link, then I'm not likely to
go away thinking that my message has been sent, am I? (Obviously this would
be a major problem for a mailto form because I would be unaware of the
problem.)


So, you would be aware of the problem. Does that mean that there
isn't a problem?
An error because the browser cannot identify the users mail reader.


See above


See above.

No mail being sent, because the user cancels the mail request so as to avoid
revealing the user's email address.


So people can change their minds. So what?


So the message doesn't get sent.

The email disappears into nothingness because the action mailto: is further
malformed from a proper email address by the use of ?subject - which is an
invalid email address.


That's just plain wrong. Take a look at RFC 2368 when you're not too busy...
Clients that resolve mailto URLs into mail messages should be
able to correctly create RFC 822-compliant mail messages using
the "subject" and "body" headers.

I don't get your point. Do you believe that the fact that an RFC
says that a problem doesn't exist means that it isn't common?
The email arrives to the website owner, only to appear blank, since either or
both of the browser and mail reader could not add the contents of the form to
the email.


Form? What form?


Ok, you found one that doesn't apply.

Like I said, the problems of combining mailto and forms are irrelevant to
this thread.

I mentioned in an earlier post that there may be some circumstances where
people might be unwilling or unable to use mailto links, which is why it is
also a good idea to provide a properly scripted web form as well. But
basically your argument seems to boil down to the fact that mailto doesn't
work for YOU, so NOBODY should use it.
On the contrary. We all know that there are many people for whom
it doesn't work. You seem to be saying that it works for YOU so
it's ok to use for everybody.

Basically you're just spouting rubbish


That's an amazingly poor interpretation. You're not a professional
in any sense of the word, are you?

Jul 23 '05 #40

P: n/a
Lee
Andrew DeFaria said:

Lee wrote:
Andrew DeFaria said:
Lee wrote:

Andrew DeFaria said:

> Why do you have no email client configured? That's extremely odd.

No it isn't.

Well it is for me.


That's an excellent attitude, as long as you're the only person who's
going to be using the site.


It's odd for me and many others.


Ok, now you're getting close to understanding the concept.

It seems odd to you and to many others. Take those people
away from the population and look at what's left -- many
other people for whom this situation is NOT odd. It's not
a majority of the population by any means, but it's a bigger
percentage than you should be willing to ignore.

Jul 23 '05 #41

P: n/a
Richard Cornford wrote:
It configured in an odd way such as to lesson the amount of it's
utility - OK?
If Randy's description of his e-mail system is accurate (and there is
no reason to believe otherwise) then configuring a mail client to work
with his browses would be futile and deliver no additional utility.


What? It would start the "compose an email to <email address>" utility
would it not? And that's all it's really intended to do.
Given the extensive list of what you are dismissing as "odd" and
"misconfigured" systems in which mailto: will certainly not work you
are defining reliable as; works for an unquantifiable subset of
internet users.
Just like that unquantifiable subset of internet users who don't have an
email client! ;-)

It is reliable for it's intended purpose - which is to initiate a free
form email through the configured email client "helper" application, if
present.
And blaming the users for whom it doesn't work for causing their own
problems. An attitude that is not dissimilar form blaming the user for
not using a default configuration of a recent version of IE on a
Windows desktop computer when they cannot access an IE only web site.
Not at all.
The next stage in that argument is usually to start fabricating and
throwing around statistics that imply that some "normal" majority
represents a sufficiently large percentage of the potential users that
the residue can be disregarded out of hand.
If you don't have an email client configured to send email then to
expect to be able to send email is expecting too much. Yes some
(actually more and more) web sites provide a sub par way of getting
around this problem by doing the email itself. I think that's a bad way
to handle it.
The client (the person who wants, and is probably paying for, a web
site) probably would prefer a definition of reliable that was more
like; works for 100% of the people 100% or the time.


You've never had a web based email system fail to deliver?!?
The fact that you prefer to keep your head stuck in the sand and
realize that is not for me to try to persuade you differently.


My head is definitely not in the sand.


Some other not-so-well-lit location?


Nope. I just have a difference in opinion - something that *you* seem to
have a problem with.
--
And when I get real, real bored, I like to drive downtown and get a
great parking spot, then sit in my car and count how many people ask me
if I'm leaving.

Jul 23 '05 #42

P: n/a
On 7/10/04 3:51 pm, Lee wrote:
Philip Ronan said:

If nothing happens when a I clicks on a mailto link, then I'm not likely to
go away thinking that my message has been sent, am I? (Obviously this would
be a major problem for a mailto form because I would be unaware of the
problem.)
So, you would be aware of the problem. Does that mean that there
isn't a problem?


1. User clicks mailto link.
2. No email client appears
3. User fills in form instead.
4. end of problem
No mail being sent, because the user cancels the mail request so as to avoid
revealing the user's email address.


So people can change their minds. So what?


So the message doesn't get sent.


What if I decide not to click your "submit" button?
The email disappears into nothingness because the action mailto: is further
malformed from a proper email address by the use of ?subject - which is an
invalid email address.


That's just plain wrong. Take a look at RFC 2368 when you're not too busy...
Clients that resolve mailto URLs into mail messages should be
able to correctly create RFC 822-compliant mail messages using
the "subject" and "body" headers.
I don't get your point. Do you believe that the fact that an RFC
says that a problem doesn't exist means that it isn't common?


The RFC doesn't have anything to say about the existence of problems. It
says how things are SUPPOSED to operate. If I was using a crippled piece of
software that couldn't understand a mailto link, you know what I'd do?

That's right, I'd fill in the form instead!!
Form? What form?


Ok, you found one that doesn't apply.


Hurrah, at least we agree on something!
Basically you're just spouting rubbish


That's an amazingly poor interpretation. You're not a professional
in any sense of the word, are you?


Got any loose change, mister?

--
Philip Ronan
ph***********@virgin.net
(Please remove the "z"s if replying by email)
Jul 23 '05 #43

P: n/a
Richard Cornford wrote:
Just because one lousy piece of software is broken doesn't mean we
should all avoid the features it can't handle.
It is one piece of software used by the entire (at least
non-manual/production) staff of companies.


It is a piece of crappy software that is usually forced down the throats
of unsuspecting and otherwise neophyte users who either know no better
or quickly learn that it's functionality is sub par and if they are
smart, use another application!
By your reasoning we shouldn't be using CSS because it causes
Netscape 4 to screw up.


My point was every specific; for each subject line provided for a user
of OE/Outlook a user of Lotus Notes is hindered from communicating.


So Notes is broken (what a surprise!). Shall we code for the lowest
common denominator? Does your web site handle ASCII browsers running on
a hand held in Ethiopia?!?
People hide CSS from Netscape 4, if you could detect the e-mail client
similar possibilities would exist for mailto:, but you cannot.
Some web sites hide CSS from Netscape 4. Some do not. It's not practical
to hide standards from non standard compliant software. That's why there
are standards. If we always coded for ever odd situation to cover broken
functionality of the various applications then we might as well just do
away with standards altogether.
There is nothing inherently "wrong" with it at all.


Beyond the fact that its use alone will prevent communication with
some users.


Just about anything you use may fail with some esoteric
browser/application combo or configuration. What's a coder to do? Rely
on standards! But when you rely on standards some people will still
complain! Argh!
And it provides visitors with a much more user-friendly and flexible
way of contacting you, as I mentioned in an earlier post.


For the ones with e-mail clients fully configured and conforming with
the RFC.


Yes, as defined. Where's the problem? If people wish to use non
conforming applications and choose to not configure things then they
should expect it not to work.
I have never said I did have a problem with that. But what is
important to understand is that it is the mail form that provides the
reliable communication.


Again, what mail *form*? I am not speaking of forms who's purpose is to
gather specific and limited information. I'm speaking of a free form
email message.
--
If it's zero degrees outside today and it's supposed to be twice as cold
tomorrow, how cold is it going to be?

Jul 23 '05 #44

P: n/a
Andrew DeFaria wrote:
Richard Cornford wrote:
<blockquote cite="mi**********************@news.demon.co.uk"
type="cite"> <blockquote type="cite">Just because one lousy
piece of software is broken doesn't mean we should all avoid
the features it can't handle.<br> </blockquote>
<!---->It is one piece of software used by the entire (at least
non-manual/production) staff of companies.<br>
</blockquote>
It is a piece of crappy software that is usually forced down the
throats of unsuspecting and otherwise neophyte users who either
know no better or quickly learn that it's functionality is sub
par and if they are smart, use another application!<br>
Assessing the relative merits of Lotus Notes is of no value here. It is
a reality that entire companies use it exclusively (and their system
administrators will probably not allow users to install their own
software (licensing being only one reason for that). In the end it comes
down to a question of whether a web site wants to communicate with the
employees of those companies or not. Anyone in business would choose not
to lose potentially profitable customers, assuming that they were asked
the question instead of just letting themselves be lumbered with a
system that cost them business by some web developer who refused to see
the issues for themselves.

<snip> So Notes is broken (what a surprise!). Shall we code for the
lowest common denominator?
Nobody is proposing coding for the lowest common denominator. It is only
being proposed that a reliable alternative be put in place first (and
that reliable alternative will work with the lowest common denominator
because it relies on HTML and server-side scripting only).
Does your web site handle ASCII
browsers running on a hand held in Ethiopia?!?<br>
There is no reason for it not to.
<blockquote cite="mi**********************@news.demon.co.uk"
type="cite">People hide CSS from Netscape 4, if you could
detect the e-mail client similar possibilities would exist
for mailto:, but you cannot.<br></blockquote>
Some web sites hide CSS from Netscape 4. Some do not. It's not
practical to hide standards from non standard compliant software.
When something is trivial to implement declaring it "not practical"
sounds like idleness.
That's why there are standards. If we always coded for ever
odd situation to cover broken functionality of the various
applications then we might as well just do away with standards
altogether.<br>
The fact that there are accepted standards, and ever wider adoption of
those standards, is not an excuse for being blind to reality. After all
IE 6 isn't the most standards compliant browser, but no commercial
project is gong to be satisfied by a product that does not function on
IE.

<snip> Just about anything you use may fail with some esoteric
browser/application combo or configuration.
Absolutely, it is an important consideration for the design.
What's a coder
to do? Rely on standards! But when you rely on standards
some people will still complain! Argh!<br>
Relying on standards is not a practical proposition. Where scripting is
concerned there is no W3C DOM standard that says, for example, that the
ECMAScript global object will have a property called - document -, but
you won't get far with scripting without that document reference.
<blockquote cite="mi**********************@news.demon.co.uk"
type="cite"> <blockquote type="cite">And it provides visitors
with a much more user-friendly and flexible way of contacting
you, as I mentioned in an earlier post.<br>
</blockquote>
<!---->For the ones with e-mail clients fully configured and
conforming with the RFC.<br>
</blockquote>
Yes, as defined. Where's the problem? If people wish to use non
conforming applications and choose to not configure things
then they should expect it not to work.<br>


The user's expectations are not significant. It is the web site owner's
expectation that matters. If they expect to be able to easily
communicate with their visitors then it is the job of the web developer
to facilitate that, reliably. The web developer cannot know, anticipate
or influence to users situation with respect to e-mail software, but
she/he can still facilitate reliable communication regardless.

<blockquote cite="mi**********************@news.demon.co.uk"
type="cite">I have never said I did have a problem with that.
But what is important to understand is that it is the mail form
that provides the reliable communication. </blockquote>
Again, what mail <b>form</b>? I am not speaking of forms who's
purpose is to gather specific and limited information. I'm
speaking of a free form email message.<br>

In HTML terms reliably posting text (in any form) to a server will
involve a form.

Richard.
Jul 23 '05 #45

P: n/a
Andrew DeFaria wrote:
Richard Cornford wrote:
<snip>
<!---->If Randy's description of his e-mail system is accurate (... <snip> What? It would start the "compose an email to &lt;email
address&gt;" utility would it not? And that's all it's really
intended to do.<br>
Are you really proposing that when people put a mailto link on a web
site that their intention is no more, and no less, than to open an
unknown piece of e-mail composing software. I think you will find that
in reality mailto links are deployed in response to some sort of concept
of communication (misguided or otherwise). if it really was nothing but
a mater of starting software it wouldn't be too important that it isn't
reliable.
<blockquote cite="mi**********************@news.demon.co.uk"
type="cite">Given the extensive list of what you are dismissing
as "odd" and "misconfigured" systems in which mailto: will
certainly not work you are defining reliable as; works for an
unquantifiable subset of internet users.<br>
</blockquote>
Just like that unquantifiable subset of internet users who
don't have an email client! <span class="moz-smiley-s3">
<span> ;-)&nbsp; </span></span><br> <br>
We know that it is more than none, but when you have an option to cope
with 100% reliably the exact numbers don't matter. You only need to know
the numbers when you are trying to justify not using the reliable
approach.
It is reliable for it's intended purpose - which is to initiate
a free form email through the configured email client "helper"
application, if present. <br>
So you don't believe that communication is the intended purpose
(intended by the site owner, and possibly web developer if they are not
realistic enough to see where it cannot work)?

<snip> If you don't have an email client configured to send email
then to expect to be able to send email is expecting too
much. Yes some (actually more and more) web sites provide
a sub par way of getting around this problem by doing the
email itself. I think that's a bad way to handle it.<br>
You believe that it is bad to provide the user with something reliable?

<snip> <!---->Some other not-so-well-lit location?<br>
</blockquote>
Nope. I just have a difference in opinion - something that
*you* seem to have a problem with.<br>


You can have opinions as foolish as takes your fancy, but if you post
them to a public forum you should expect your fallacies to be pointed
out.

Richard.
Jul 23 '05 #46

P: n/a
Lee
Philip Ronan said:

On 7/10/04 3:51 pm, Lee wrote:
Philip Ronan said:

If nothing happens when a I clicks on a mailto link, then I'm not likely to
go away thinking that my message has been sent, am I? (Obviously this would
be a major problem for a mailto form because I would be unaware of the
problem.)


So, you would be aware of the problem. Does that mean that there
isn't a problem?


1. User clicks mailto link.
2. No email client appears


3. User says "this site is broken", and moves on.

Jul 23 '05 #47

P: n/a
On 7/10/04 10:18 pm, Lee wrote:
1. User clicks mailto link.
2. No email client appears


3. User says "this site is broken", and moves on.


Uh, yeah. Like, nobody would assume there's something wrong with the browser
set-up or anything, would they?

You want to see a broken site?

<http://www.coxmedia.com/contact.html>

Was I supposed to download a plug-in to use this page, I wonder? All I get
is a big blank box. It looks even more lame in Lynx:

<http://www.delorie.com/web/lynxview....coxmedia.com%2
Fcontact.html>

1. User clicks on "Contact Us" link
2. User presented with empty screen
3. User says "this site is broken", and moves on.

I thought the US had a law against blatant accessibility issues like this?

Not your handiwork, I hope (?)

--
Philip Ronan
ph***********@virgin.net
(Please remove the "z"s if replying by email)
Jul 23 '05 #48

P: n/a
JRS: In article <ck*******************@news.demon.co.uk>, dated Thu, 7
Oct 2004 13:57:19, seen in news:comp.lang.javascript, Richard Cornford
<Ri*****@litotes.demon.co.uk> posted :
Mr Edgell come to this (unexpected, even in 1919) conclusion through
prolonged observation of the poll star. Fixing a narrow rigid tube that
pointed at the poll star to a framework in his garden he sat, night
after night, staring down this tube, observing that the poll star
remained completely stationary in the heavens and making extensive
records of his observations.


Polaris, the pole star, is a good half a degree away from the pole
itself; its circular motion would be observable with the simplest of
equipment, such as described.

--
John Stockton, Surrey, UK. ?@merlyn.demon.co.uk Turnpike v4.00 MIME.
Web <URL:http://www.merlyn.demon.co.uk/> - FAQqish topics, acronyms & links;
some Astro stuff via astro.htm, gravity0.htm; quotes.htm; pascal.htm; &c, &c.
No Encoding. Quotes before replies. Snip well. Write clearly. Don't Mail News.
Jul 23 '05 #49

P: n/a
Richard Cornford wrote:
Assessing the relative merits of Lotus Notes is of no value here. It
is a reality that entire companies use it exclusively (and their
system administrators will probably not allow users to install their
own software (licensing being only one reason for that).
That's exactly the kinds of users I don't want as customers! And what
sort of licensing do you think is required for Mozilla/Thunderbird?
In the end it comes down to a question of whether a web site wants to
communicate with the employees of those companies or not.
Well you saw my answer!
What's a coder to do? Rely on standards! But when you rely on
standards some people will still complain! Argh!<br>


Relying on standards is not a practical proposition.


That's an interesting statement. So then what is the practical
proposition in your opinion?
In HTML terms reliably posting text (in any form) to a server will
involve a form.


I'm not talking about reliably posting text to a server, I'm talking
merely about sending an email. I think that that is where we differ.

--
Buy a Pentium 586/90 so you can reboot faster.

Jul 23 '05 #50

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