The rules for HTML forms are specified by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) in section 17 of the HTML specification ( http://www.w3.org/TR/html401/interact/forms.html#h-17.1).
A form element delimits any section of an HTML web page containing ordinary HTML markup (headings, paragraphs, tables, lists ...) between <form> and </form> tags and controls that a user can use to provide data.
There are two methods used by HTML forms to communicate with server-side programs: "get" and "post".
A simple version of a form to invoke a cgi-bin program named "myaction.py" belonging to a user named "myuser" on machine "mymachine.mycompany.mydomain" using cgiwrap to ensure security would be
In addition to regular HTML, the available controls to put into a form are:
These controls are created in a web page using the HTML elements:
Here is an example of a web page to provide two character names to a script named cgistory4.py:
<html> <head> <title>Put yourself and a friend in the story</title> </head> <body> <form action=http://arcib.dowling.edu/cgi-bin/cgiwrap/bernsteh/cgistory4.py method="GET"> Name of first character: <input type=text name=arg1 value="Fred" /><br /> Name of second character: <input type=text name=arg2 value="Mary" /><br /> <input type="submit" value="format story"> </form> </body> </html>