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4.13 FORMS Element for fill-out Forms

The NCSA development team has invested significant work in developing Fill-out form support. FORMS is a sophisticated package that allows for user-controlled interactions with an HTTP server on a much more sophisticated level than is possible with ISINDEX.

I have not written a long description of forms, as NCSA has already done an admirable job. This document contains (1) a simple introduction to what FORMS do and (2) a link to the more detailed NCSA document (containing serveral examples)

What do FORMS do?

The FORM element allows you to create a fill-out form: the user types information into the fields of the form and this information can be passed to a cgi-bin script on an HTTP server. A typical form layout might be:
First entry field: <INPUT NAME="entry1"> <P>
Second entry field: <INPUT NAME="entry2"> <P>
Third entry field: <INPUT NAME="entry3"> <P>
To submit the query, press: 
<INPUT TYPE="submit" VALUE="Submit Query">. <P>
This is rendered:
First text entry field:
Second entry field:
Third entry field:
To submit the query, press: .
You simply fill in the blanks, and press 'submit' (note that this form doesn't do anything!)

FORMS is supported by many, but not all browsers. If you see nothing above here that looks like a form, then your browser does not.

Meanings of FORM Attributes

The ACTION specifies the url to which the form results will be sent: this should be a cgi-bin script or program. If absent, the ACTION is taken to be the url of the current document.

The METHOD specifies the HTTP method to be used to submit the form information to the server. METHOD can have two arguments:

If you are writing your own FORMS you also need to write a cgi-bin script or program to interpret the FORM entries. Therefore you will also want to see the cgi-bin and related documents.

For more information see the NCSA Fill-out Forms documentation.

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