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Forms by E-Mail

Many commercial websites use them: FORMS. Forms are used for questionairs, ordering, etc. Often you need to write a script for this in handling script using (for example) ASP, PHP, etc.

Creating a Form is not that hard, but wouldn't it be handy if we could just e-mail the result ? This would save us from creating scripts for handling the information on the server where your website is placed.

For a beginner this can be hard, but also: most providers do not support this feature on their server.


Let's start by creating a form

For the purpose of example, let's say we want to collect information about a PC order. We'll keep this example resticted to say the CPU-type the users wants to order. One can extend this ofcourse using fields like memeory, harddisk, case-type, etc.

<FORM METHOD="post" ENCTYPE="text/plain" ACTION="mailto:email@somewhere.com?subject=subject">

In this line of HTML-code we tell the browser that we start using a FORM of type (ENCTYPE = Encoding Type) "text/plain" so that we humans can read the results.

The required ACTION should be sending the result by e-mail to email@somewhere.com with subject "subject". For another example of the e-mail tag you can take a look at the E-Mail link page.


Now we must offer the user an option, we will be using a dropdownbox for this example, but this can be a field or radiobox too:

<OPTION> Intel Pentium </OPTION>
<OPTION> Intel Pentium II </OPTION>
<OPTION> Intel Pentium Celeron </OPTION>
<OPTION> Intel Pentium III </OPTION>

Again in HTML, we tell the browser hat this is a selection (SELECT) of predefined values. Each option starts with the <OPTION> tag and is to be finished with the end-option-tag: </OPTION>. The entered value should be placed after this word: "CPU".
The selection should be completed with an end-select-tag: </SELECT>.

More of these values can be added, in this example however we stick to just one field.

Submit = Send

After adding all these field we need to add a "Submit" button. In HTML-code this shows as:

<input type="submit" name="" value="Submit order">

The form will now be completed by indicating the end of the form using </FORM> tag.

The sample code in action:

Select CPU here:

Suppose we selected "Intel Pentium Celeron" here, then the content of the received e-mail message will look like this:

CPU=Intel Pentium Celeron




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