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Re: lynx-dev text area problem

From: David Woolley
Subject: Re: lynx-dev text area problem
Date: Wed, 28 Oct 1998 08:30:39 +0000 (GMT)

> <TEXTAREA NAME="feedback-text" ROWS=15 COLS=60></TEXTAREA>
> on all other browsers, the text wraps correctly.  However, after using
> Lynx 2.7 (?) and trying myself, I have duplicated the user's problem -
> the text does not wrap.

This is the subject of current threads.

However note that the problem is the strict limit on the number of rows,
not wrapping.  I don't believe that there is any requirement on browsers
to wrap the display of a single line, however there is a requirement to
allow more lines than the vertical window.

The problem is that a significant amount of code needs to be written to
get this to work internally (currently it is simulated by a sequence of
<INPUT TYPE=TEXT entries, which are combined when the form is submitted.

The easiest solution is to invoke an external editor, and I think
someone just published a patch to do this.  However, this is not a
general solution, partly because it is slow, but more importantly because
there are a significant number of sites who provide access to untrusted
"anonymous" users, and most external editors allow one to get a command
line prompt and take control of the session.  Because of this, a complete
solution needs to permit people to edit the full textarea totally within
the Lynx program itself, and it is the amount of work to achieve this
that is causing the problem.

(Once one has command line access, it is much easier to exploit other 
weaknesses in the system and it requires a great deal of knowledge to
secure the system.)

> My question:  Is there another tag that can be used to make this text
> area in our feedback form wrap correctly on any version of Lynx?  Or, if
> not, any suggestions on making this text area Lynx compatible?

Find a programmer with about a man month of free time to work on a 
proper solution.

The other solution is to use a mailto: URL.  In my view, these are actually
a better way of providing feedback, as, amongst other things, they allow
the user to obtain an email address and plug it into their favourite
email program.  It is also much easier to work offline when using a batched
mail system, a particular advantage where local calls or internet access
time is metered.  Lynx does support an internal editor for sending mail.

Specifically for Lynx (although other browsers really ought to support this),
the very best way is probably to inlclude:

<LINK REV=MADE HREF="mailto:address@hidden";> in the HEAD section of each
page.  They can then use the c key to mail you with the option of including
the page in question in the message, and with the actual URL as the 
default subject, rather than the URL of the feedback page.

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