Topics in This Chapter
HTML forms provide a simple and reliable user interface to collect data from the user and transmit the data to a servlet or other server-side program for processing. In this chapter we present the standard form controls defined by the HTML 4.0 specification. However, before covering each control, we first explain how the form data is transmitted to the server when a GET or POST request is made.
We also present a mini Web server that is useful for understanding and debugging the data sent by your HTML forms. The server simply reads all the HTTP data sent to it by the browser, then returns a Web page with those lines embedded within a PRE element. We use this server throughout the examples in this chapter to show the form control data that is sent to the server when the HTML form is submitted.
To use forms, you'll need to remember where to place regular HTML files to make them accessible to the Web server. This location varies from server to server, as discussed in Chapter 2 and the Appendix. Below, we review the location for HTML files in the default Web application for Tomcat, JRun, and Resin.