Re: solidifying a really neat forms hack

Bert Bos <>
Message-id: <>
From: Bert Bos <>
Subject: Re: solidifying a really neat forms hack
To: (* WWW discussion list )
Date: Wed, 24 Nov 1993 12:35:28 +0100 (MET)
In-reply-to: <> from "Marc Andreessen" at Nov 24, 93 02:47:23 am
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Marc Andreessen writes:

 |Due to a cute little trap door we put into the Mosaic for X 2.0 forms
 |support, forms that consist of only a single text entry field with
 |NAME="isindex" result in query strings that look like:
 |        action?query
 |...and NOT:
 |        action?isindex=query

Yes, a very useful feature for various reasons...

 |The reason we did this is because it was the cleanest way to handle
 |ISINDEX via inlined forms -- when the HTML parser sees an ISINDEX tag,

but I don't think that an ISINDEX element should be equated with a
FORM. They serve different purposes: the layout and placement of
ISINDEX is under the control of the browser (a French browser displays
a French prompt, etc.) and it is *global*, i.e., it is available no
matter how far you scrolled through the document. A FORM, on the other
hand, is tied to a specific location in the text, with suitable
prompts provided by the document's author.

 |So then, Tony Sanders (originator of the incredibly useful ISMAP
 |attribute to IMG -- how is it he comes up with these things before
 |everyone else??? :-) realized that this means that *normal* forms in
 |arbitrary documents that contain, you guessed it, only a single text
 |entry field with NAME="form", provide transparent access to normal
you mean "isindex" ?

 |ISINDEX servers (WAIS servers, Gopher search engines, etc.).
 |Some of you have already seen the a sample of the implications of this
 |paradigm shift (God, I love that term); e.g.,

Rather a "paradigm collapse", I think.

 |I propose that this technique be institutionalized by a one-time-only
 |special case in the forms spec that will insure that all forms-enabled
 |browsers can provide this capability.  It's really quite powerful, and

I agree, but it can be independent of the implementation of ISINDEX.
E.g., specify that the "=" is omitted when the INPUT NAME attribute is
empty or omitted:

      <INPUT name="foo">	----> some-url?foo=bar
      <INPUT name="">		----> some-url?bar
      <INPUT>			----> some-url?bar

                    / _   Bert Bos <>  |
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