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Generically Processing Feedback Forms

How to Write HTML Forms and Process Feedback

The feedback-forms program generically processes feedback forms. It does two things: it sends the feedback via e-mail to whomever is collecting the responses, and/or it appends the person's response to the end of a file. (Both are optional, but at least one should be done, otherwise the user's response would be lost.) How feedback-forms handles the person's response will also depend on how feedback-forms has been configured for your server.

Feedback-forms gives the form provider the option of using configuration (conf) files. A configuration file is usually called <filename>.conf, and throughout this documentation will simply be referred to as a conf file. If the provider decides not to use a conf file, then the program assumes that the provider wishes to gather all the data entered into the form by the user and send it to a specified e-mail address. This provides the easiest form of generically processing form data. A disadvantage to this approach is that the user filling out the form can find out where the e-mail message is being sent by viewing the source of the HTML form; this may or may not be a problem depending on the provider. The use of conf files gives the form provider added flexibility (and a confidential e-mail address). The provider now has the option of sending responses to a specified e-mail address or logging the responses to a file. This logging mechanism can be used in addition to or in place of sending an e-mail message. Conf files give the provider the advantage of specifiying mandatory fields; the program informs the user that a mandatory field has not been filled in and suggests that the user go back to the form and try again. In addition, the use of conf files allows the provider complete control of how the e-mail and/or log file will appear once it has been processed. The downside to using conf files is that it requires extra effort to learn to use them. We provide, however, the necessary basic tutorial.

Steps for creating a feedback-form

  1. Create the HTML form.

  2. Create the HTML response file.
      This is the web page which will be displayed to the user upon successful completion of your form and should have an HTML file extension (.html).

  3. Configure Feedback-forms:

NOTE: Feedback-forms will only work with forms located on the same host as the program itself.


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