Joe English (
Tue, 20 Jun 95 14:26:09 EDT (Tom Magliery) wrote:

> 2. In internal releases of Mosaic for Windows 2.0b5, we've added an
> attribute to A called SUBJECT, which would be used with mailto: URLs for
> just what you think it would be. It seems to me, though, that TITLE might
> be suitable for use for this. Opinions on this?

Strongly negative... The SUBJECT attribute would only be
applicable for tail anchors when the head anchor had a particular
URL access scheme. Let's not turn <A> into another <INPUT>, with
a dozen special-purpose attributes that work differently
in every special case.

> If there are strong negative feelings about the use of TITLE for this, how
> do people feel about a SUBJECT attribute?

TITLE is already used to describe the head anchor to the reader,
so overloading it for this purpose is also undesireable.

What is needed is a general-purpose way to specify extra access
parameters in an anchor. Something that could handle:

* Passing parameters to a Java applet;

* Specifying a default "Subject:" and other message headers
for mailto: URLs; [*]

* Specifying a default message body for mailto: URLs [*]

* Supplying a set of NAME=VALUE fields for http: URLs
with METHOD=POST and ENCTYPE=application/www-form-urlencoded
or ENCTYPE=multipart/form-data (sort of like <INPUT TYPE=HIDDEN>); [**]

* For that matter, specifying the METHOD and ENCTYPE for
http: URLs;

* Specifying search criteria to WAIS queries;

* Passing arbitrary parameters to any new protocol
or service that might come along later.

[*] There are obvious security implications for these
two, but user agents currently let the user edit
outgoing mailto: requests before sending them; that
behavior would have to be mandatory.

[**] This could be used to specify a pre-filled-in FORM
and might be useful for e.g., bookmarks to canned queries.

--Joe English