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davorg (18)

Yahoo! ID: daveorguk (Add User, Send Message)

Hacker, author, trainer

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Journal of davorg (18)

Wednesday October 09, 2002
05:25 AM

User Support

[ #8262 ]

Sometimes I want to just give up on nms. It's all very well producing these programs for people to use, but then you have to support them. Here's an example. Today, I got an email (to me personally, not to the support mailing list - which is a whole other rant) from someone who had got the following error message when configuring FormMail:

Error: GET request
The form at [url removed to save embarassment] fails to specify the POST method, so it would not be correct for this script to take any action in response to your request.

If you are attempting to configure this form to run with FormMail, you need to set the request method to POST in the opening form tag, like this:

<form action="/cgi-bin/" method="post">

Apparently that message was unclear and they couldn't work out how to fix the problem.

I'm struggling to work out how to make that error message any clearer.

In other news, I wasted some time this morning explaining to someone why:

%hash = localtime(time);

is unlikely to do anything useful.

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  • Common mistake (Score:2, Interesting)

    We (the programmers) all know why a GET request that is non-idempotent is bad but a lot of books on html seem to propogate the notion that you can use GET and POST interchangably except when

    • Sending passwords
    • Sending lots of data
    • Uploading files

    How many html coders (of the type to need nms) do you know that have read the http specs ? Perhaps the error message could explain a bit about why it is bad or link to more detail on the nms website.

    Error: GET request not permitted

    You should never use

    • I'd say tone it way down, with a pointer to an explanation of "why" online. Just explain "what."

      Your HTML form says something like this:
      <form action="/cgi-bin/" method="get">
      This is an error; please see http://...
      Change it to something like this:
      <form action="/cgi-bin/" method="post">
      J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
      • I think it's more likely that the erroneous form tag wouldn't have an action attribute at all -- at least, the error message needs to address that possibility.