Boxes & Arrows has a great article on the Principles of Task Flow for Web Applications which explains the concept of views and forms.
A ‘view’ shows the user data (such a list of contacts). A ‘form’ enables the user to edit said data. The only way into a form is from a view, and the only way out of a form is to hit Submit or Cancel (both of which lead back to the view). Given the hyperlink nature of the Web, the last point is very important: it prevents users from making changes in text boxes only to navigate somewhere else before pressing submit.