How to use the SIPB Comment Script

The comment gateway allows a home page creator to insert a comment-reply form on a home page, without having to write complex CGI scripts. A user can then fill out a comment to be sent off to you. SIPB lets anyone use the comment gateway as long as you register your address for receiving mail.

What to do

1. Write your home page

You should first have an already established home page. Comment forms are much more useful on pages that have something to leave a comment about. It's not considered overly useful to place a comment form on a page that just says 'under construction'.

2. Place the HTML forms code on your page

Place this code in your page, where your email address has been substituted for address:
       <form method="post" action="">
       <input type=hidden name="to" value="address">
       Your Email Address: <input name="email" size=30><br>
       Your URL: <input name="url" size=40><br>
       Your message:<br>
       <textarea name="body" rows=4 cols=60></textarea>
       <input type=submit value="Send Message">
       <input type=reset value="Clear Message">

3. Register your receiving email address(es)

In order to receive mail through our comment gateway, we need your email address and the URL where the comment script is *used* (e.g., if it's not used in your main page, but on some other page, we want the other page's URL). We need the listing of your address exactly as it is listed in the "to" field. If you have multiple addresses in one single "to" field, we need to know exactly how the addresses are listed (in order). Mail this information to

4. Modifcations and Examples

You can modify all the visual aspects of the form. For instance, by using a the selection method rather than the default input type for the "to" field, you can let the user choose from a list of email addresses to send the form.

Here are a couple of good examples of using the comment script: SIPB's comment page and another activity's comment form.

MIT users can also use's comment gateway.

Common Questions and Answers about the Comment Script

Q: Can I add other random fields besides the "to" and "url" fields?
A: No. We have not put this functionality into the script. Sorry.
Q: Why was this script invented?
A: Not all browsers supported "mailto" back in the old days. This script let users incorporate an alternative to mailto's in a page.
Q: Why do you require receiver email address registration?
A: Because of several abuses of our gateway, many institutions spent expensive staff time dealing with email harrassment. We're sorry that we can't provide unrestricted use, but the abusers have forced us to either shut down the script completely or use the registration process.
Q: Is the anonymous mail really anonymous?
A: No. If you want to send truly anonymous email, don't use this service. Try an anonymous remailer. Things on the Internet can be easily traced.
Q: Do I have to pay to use the script?
A: No.

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