[thelist] online forms and layout

Bird bird at koolfish.com
Tue Jun 15 20:35:56 CDT 2004

Thanks for this information.
This client is in the bush in Namibia where they have an internet
connection of 9 KB! I want to avoid html email and accessing the
internet as little as possible because they have a nightmare connecting.
They are very open to compromise and I still think the plain email is
the best way for them.

Hope this also highlights to everyone that there are still people out
there on slow connections!


-----Original Message-----
From: David Dorward [mailto:evolt at david.us-lot.org] 
Sent: 15 June 2004 17:44
To: thelist at lists.evolt.org; bird at koolfish.com
Subject: Re: [thelist] online forms and layout

On 15 Jun 2004, at 12:25, Bird wrote:
> I have only ever set up forms on sites where the form processing is
> done
> by a cgi script located at the host server.

This is the most sensible way to achieve this (well, php, jsp, and 
other server side solutions are equally good).

> The form may look all nice and laid out in columns on the site but the

> client only receives the information as an email in one long list.
> Is this the only way that the information can be received or what I 
> would like to know is, is it possible to retain the layout of columns 
> like the way the data is displayed on the website?

Scripts can output the data in any format you like, although to have 
the data displayed in the same fashion as it is on the website you are 
likely to have to resort to HTML formatted email - which means all the 
problems that that causes for clients and the difficulty in 
constructing multi-part MIME emails.

The specifics depend on exactly what you are using to process the form, 
but you are likely going to have to get your hands dirty and edit the 
Perl (or whatever language it is written in) code.

The other option is to store the data in a database and have the client 
view it using their web browser.

David Dorward

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