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mailto: a syntax question

 10:29 am on Mar 24, 2001 (gmt 0)

I've just become aware that adding subject and/or body information to a "mailto:" URL may be problematic. I have one site that uses this a lot -- URLs like:
<a href="mailto:me@mydomain.com?subject="Seminar Information">contact us</a>

They do this because they are guaranteed an accurate email address, which is not true with a CGI form. But now I understand that some mail clients may misfire on this code.

Does anyone have the scoop on the risks and tradeoffs here?



 12:09 pm on Mar 24, 2001 (gmt 0)

From what I have seen, IE/NN 4-5-6 and Opera 5 work across the board on all platforms. Opera 3 doesn't.


 12:46 pm on Mar 24, 2001 (gmt 0)

As I recall, this was a Netscape extension, so some browsers may interpret the subject as part of the email address, causing all sorts of entertaining behavior. It's pretty widely supported these days, though.


 6:36 am on Mar 25, 2001 (gmt 0)


Nothing is going to accept:

<a href="mailto:me@mydomain.com?subject="Seminar Information">contact us</a>

There is one too many double quote marks in there. You will also need to encode the space as well as the quote marks.


 7:07 am on Mar 25, 2001 (gmt 0)

You're right -- I typed too fast. The quote before the word Seminar shouldn't be there.

However, the space hasn't been giving us any problems that I know of. What should I be doing?


 7:18 am on Mar 25, 2001 (gmt 0)

Using a %20 for the space is required. For the full spec of the mailto url, see [ietf.org...]

This is the RFC (request for comment) that details the spec for it.

Since it is a RFC, it is not a Netscape thing, but an Internet standard. Tools that understand URLs are supposed to understand this syntax.

Edited by: Xoc


 7:25 am on Mar 25, 2001 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the resource, and thanks for the input. I really appreciate it.

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