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Learning about HTML forms.

See also TWikiAutomaticPageCreation.





See Resource Recommendations. Feel free to add additional resources to these lists, but please follow the guidelines on ResourceRecommendations including Guidelines_for_Rating_Resources.


  • (rhk) HTML Interactive Web Pages - Syllabus; ; — a course, I'm about to work my way through at least partially.
    • (rhk) The ACTION Buttons group; ; — one of the pages from above, with a sidebar that lists other pages that summarize different aspects of forms or scripts (like checkbox, radio buttons, form, etc) — this is the part I am most interested in to start. The forms on these pages are functional in that they will take you to the destination page specified in the form and show you what variables are set (and, of course, you can look at the parameters passed in the URL).
    • (rhk) Demostrate HTML Form Variable Is Bound to a CGI Script; ; — Interesting page, shows Perl using printf's to send HTML to a browser — reinforces my developing notion that a web server is "just" (or primarily) a thing that sends a stream of text data with HTML tags to a browser — what's shown on this page might be almost a primitive web server in Perl, although I'm not sure how or where the HTML stream needs to be directed to actually get to a browser "out on the network" — maybe "bind" printf to a specific port or something?

Having skimmed through the above pages, my "hunch" that I can do what I wanted, allow the user to fill out several entry boxes for year, month, and date and then automatically create a new page (see TWikiAutomaticPageCreation) is more certain, but I'm also fairly certain that I will have to collect the information on an intermediate page (or at least CGI process, like TWiki's view, edit, etc.), and write a program (Perl perhaps) to accept that data, concatenate it into the desired page name / URL, and then perhaps have the user confirm the request by pressing another button. (Or, more likely, if I have a program concatenate the data, it should be able to issue the page request, or, if I'm doing this in TWiki, the program might be named "create_page" and do all that I desire (with respect to automatically creating a page).

Aside: Some of the sample pages above show javascript when you view source — I think the javascript is just to make the web site and examples work, it is not required to make "basic" forms work.

  • (rhk) Good Forms; Jay Greenspan; 23 Jul 1999; — more good stuff and reinforcement — the action parameter basically specifies the script to be run by the form (which obviously could be a new script that I write)
  • (rhk) [[][]]; ; —

Recommended for Specific Needs

  • (rhk) [[][]]; ; —
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Recommended by Others

  • (rhk) [[][]]; ; —

No Recommendation

Just recording some other sites I found for possible future reading:

  • (rhk) ncsa: Mosaic for X version 2.0 Fill-Out Form Support; ; — "Here are details about what we have implemented for fill-out forms in Mosaic for X 2.0."
  • (rhk) FORM - Interactive Form; ; — "Free CGI scripts exist for handling forms; some are even remotely hosted for authors whose providers refuse to allow CGI scripts to be run locally."
  • (rhk) FAQ: Mailto Form Action: Why your HTML form does not do anything.; ; — "But an HTML form is nothing without it's other half (possibly better half, to you programmers out there), a program (often called a script) used to carry out the processing of an HTML form once the user has submitted it."
  • (rhk) 17 Forms; ; — Looks fairly comprehensive — I could probably extract a list of all possible controls for a Rosetta Stone — the possible controls on a form include "type = text|password|checkbox|radio|submit|reset|file|hidden|image|button" — also note that a textarea control supports the following events, which suggests that a fairly complex editor might be built to work within a text area — maybe that's how that one plugin (??) on TWiki works: "onfocus, onblur, onselect, onchange, onclick, ondblclick, onmousedown, onmouseup, onmouseover, onmousemove, onmouseout, onkeypress, onkeydown, onkeyup (intrinsic events)"
  • (rhk) CGI Scripts for Fun and Profit; Tim Ziegler; 25 Jun 1999; —
  • (rhk) A little [OT], but: Enough Unix for Your Résumé; Pam Statz; 16 Jan 1997; —
  • (rhk) Reference Unix Guide: Unix Reference Guide ; ; — this and several other of the links on this page are to a site called webmonkey which looks like a pretty good resource for many things related to webpages, including javascript and style sheets
  • (rhk) Thau's JavaScript Tutorial: Lesson 5; Thau!; ; —
  • (rhk) Reference Stylesheets Guide: What Is CSS? ; ; —
  • (rhk) Your First Database: Overview; Jay Greenspan; ; — an interesting quote: "Professional database folks are a lot like magicians: They don't want their secrets revealed. They, too, use all the standard ploys - smoke, mirrors, obfuscation, tedious conversation - to keep you from finding out the hidden truth behind Web-based database manipulation."
  • (rhk) Programs_and_Scripts; ; — some languages usable for CGI programs
  • (rhk) Remotely Hosted: Form Processing; ; — some sites that will process your CGI (remotely)
  • (rhk) Writing secure CGI scripts; ; —
  • (rhk) [[][]]; ; —
  • (rhk) [[][]]; ; —

Not Recommended

  • (rhk) [[][]]; ; —


  • () RandyKramer - 05 May 2003
  • If you edit this page: add your name here; move this to the next line; and if you've used a comment marker (your initials in parenthesis), include it before your WikiName.

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Topic revision: r3 - 2005-03-20 - RandyKramer
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