Forms / submit. Making a guestbook.

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Hello everyone,

Just wanting some advice. I'd like to start removing the
Microsoft-generated guestbook (a feature of FrontPage) on my websites
but I'm not sure if it can be done just using HTML. There seems to be a
lot of server-side processing going on. The guesbooks are setup in such
a fashion that when user submits an entry, not only is it posted in the
page for public viewing, but I also receive an e-mail letting me kow
that the guest book has a new entry in it.

The users entry is sent to an htm file called guestlog.htm (the content
is actually generated HTML, not in text format). The guestlog .htm file
is then included in the main Guest Book. So it's probably a SSI include
of some sort. This is how the code looks:

<form method="POST" action="--WEBBOT-SELF--"
onsubmit="location.href='_derived/nortbots.htm';return false;"
        <!--webbot bot="SaveResults" u-file="guestlog.htm" s-format="HTML/BR"
s-label-fields="TRUE" s-builtin-fields="Date Time" startspan
b-reverse-chronology="TRUE" s-date-format="%d %b %Y"
s-time-format="%H:%M:%S" --><input TYPE="hidden" NAME="VTI-GROUP"
VALUE="0"><!--webbot bot="SaveResults" endspan i-checksum="43374" -->

This seems to be Microsoft Propietary code. It's probably also hiding
the real code that's doing all the work. The e-mailing feature is setup
in such a way that I receive an e-mail alerting me about the entry, but
it all happens in the background. The original poster has no idea I'm
getting an e-mail.

Just for a test, I tried doing:

This *did* send an e-mail, but it was overtly done. My Outlook Express
opened up with the new mail form and asked if I wanted to send it. I'd
prefer it to be done in the background. Currently, when I receive a
"guestbook entry altert" e-mail, it comes from the webhost. So this is
more a server side application than from the HTML?

It seems to me that there's a lot of PHP/Server Side scripting involved
in this. For instance, the guestlog file is not just a text file that I
can include with an SSI include - it has auto generated HTML. That's
probably a server-side script. The e-mail is sent by the host - that's
probably server side generated as well.

Can this be done just using HTML? For instance, using no PHP or
server-side scripting, can I make the data in the form fields come out
as formatted HTML? It doesn't seem so. Although I'd like to replace the
guestbook and code it myself, it seems that I'll have to have a lot of
server-side scripting knowledge for this.

Is this a correct assumption? It maybe best to just leave it alone for
now until I can start learning some PHP. I think I need to get a better
handle on HTML/CSS first, though.

If you want to see an example, here's one:

Thanks in advance for any analysis.

Viken K.

Re: Forms / submit. Making a guestbook.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

You're correct, HTML alone cannot create a guestbook. You need
some server side process to accept, post, email, and so on.

Find out what your server supports: e.g. Perl, PHP, CGI, SSI, or
something else. Then go and find a suitable guestbook to install.
There are plenty written in Perl/PHP.

There's one here that should be well written, though I don't use
it. /

Rob McAninch

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