Browser Basics:

Title: Jan's Illustrated Computer Literacy 101
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A special type of page that you will see often is one that contains a form. In the Navigation Techniques pages you saw the types of inputs that a form can have. The World Travel Inc. site contains an example of how a form can be used to help you communicate with the people behind the pages.

How forms work

On a form you make choices and type in information. Then you click on a special button. The form's data (the information you typed) is sent to the computer that is the server for the web page, called the host. A CGI (Common Gateway Interface) program on the host decides what happens next, depending on what the form's values were.

If the form is one for ordering books, for example, the program would add up your purchases and calculate the shipping and taxes. Then it would send back a web page that displays its calculations. If the form is one where you ask a question, what you enter is usually sent by email to the person in charge of answering.

Where you are:
JegsWorks > Lessons > Web

Before you start...

Project 1: Browser Basics    ConnectingTo subtopics
    IE InterfaceTo subtopics
    Navigating Arrow - Subtopic open
    icon-footprintAddress Bar
    icon-footprintAddress Paths
    PrintingTo subtopics
    SavingTo subtopics
    SearchingTo subtopics
    ExercisesTo subtopics

Project 2: HTML BasicsTo subtopics


Icon Step-by-Step 

Step-by-Step: Using a Form

 Icon Step-by-Step

What you will learn:

to complete and submit a form

Start with: IE open to World Travel Inc.

  1. World travel - request formIn the navigation frame, click on the link Other trips.

    In the right frame a page displays that contains a form for viewers who want a trip that is different from the special ones described on the site.

  2. Fill in the form with information that you feel is appropriate. (It doesn't have to be true! This form isn't going anywhere.)
  3. World Travel - confirming form submissionClick on the Submit button. A polite message appears to confirm that your form data was sent out. At a real site your information would be likely be sent to the site owner by email.

That wasn't so hard, was it??

Warning Slow forms: Impatient people sometimes click the Submit button again if the server is taking a long time to process the form submission. The Submit button sends the form's data again! If the form was for buying something, the order just doubled!

Warning Repost data message: If you Refresh a window and see a message about needing to repost data, it means that a form will be submitted again. You will have to remember what the form was and decide if that is the smart thing to do. If it was a login/password form or a search form, then you can safely continue. If it was an order, you probably don't want to do that!

Tip Failed form:  Forms sometimes fail altogether. You will usually get an error message of some sort. It may mean that the server is being scanned for viruses or updated or is just too busy at the moment. You can wait a minute and try again. If the form fails again, you should email the webmaster for the site. Sometimes not all the settings are put back the way they were after the web server is worked on. The webmaster will not know there is a problem until someone tells her!