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Forms on the Web

Forms have been around for a long time (your could create them in Word 97), but only this millennium have servers become available which allow you to direct your forms to their remote CGI bins and email you the results. You need to have a cgi-bin handy to feed your forms through if you want to use them to get feedback via email. Network administrators are leery of CGI scripts working on their computers because users will then have write access to their servers. So enter a number of free providers of form templates, and more importantly, the wherewithal for users to fill in those forms and submit the results to you via the remote CGI facilities.

There's a simple but helpful online tutorial about how to make your own forms at:


From Jim Duber

Posted 12 Sep 1999, <jim@DUBER.COM>, TESLCA-L; Permission to quote granted May 20, 2000.

Here are 3 basic steps to putting a questionnaire on the web:

1) A necessary first step is to storyboard the content and to decide upon the order and presentation of items.

2) Convert the storyboard content and designs to HTML using form tags for the "questionnaire" items (i.e., checkboxes, multiple-choice radio buttons, fill-in blanks, text entry areas, pull down menus and listboxes):

3) One crucial feature of your HTML form will be the "ACTION" tag, which is where you link the form on your webpage to a form processor on your server. The form processor puts the information into an easily legible format and allows you to specify where the information should be sent (e.g., an email address, a linked database, etc....). There are many basic freeware form processors available, but the one to use depends upon which sort of hardware/software your website is running on (UNIX, Windows, or Mac). Many webspace providers will already have a form processor set up for their customers' use. Because of this, your best bet would be to look for tech support information on your ISPs website under "form processor".

Matt's Script Archive: Check out "Setting up FormMail Script" (so that people can fill out your forms online and email you results which you can then send to an application, such as Exel) at: . Look up a level at for topics such at Guestbook, Animation, Counter ...

Embed feedback forms in your HTML documents through JAVA script submitted by Ronald.

The following was posted 9/13/99 on NETEACH-L by Karla Frizler Octavio ("Frizzy"), Instructional Designer, @ONE Project * De Anza College, Permission to quote granted May 20, 2000.

If what you're looking for is a quick & dirty way to create a Web-based form or survey, use the "Form Builder:"

There is also a quick & dirty "Quiz Builder:"

With both Builders, selecting the "HELP" link will send you to a page of step-by-step instructions which are very clear and useful.

The key to using both resources is to have your content ready BEFORE you begin entering the questions. Once you've generated a form, survey or quiz, you can edit the HTML document (i.e. the user interface), but not the script behind it. You store the HTML document locally, but the script is out of your hands. :-(

So, these Builders are not ideal for the long run, but if you need to throw something together quickly, especially if you're only using it once, these are great resources.

End of posting by Karla Frizler Octavio ("Frizzy")

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Last updated: May 20, 2000 in Word 97