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Re: Which HTML form builder

by Rhandom (Curate)
on Jan 23, 2008 at 15:45 UTC ( #663811=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Which HTML form builder


Any non-trivial - non-admin app that is user facing requires human design. I'm fine with using a form builder to create a template that is a good first stab - but after that you should really dump the static html to a file and edit it from there.

After working in the web-apps arena for 10 years - and after having tried the dynamic page creation thing a few times, I have found that published models don't change all that often, and when they do editting the static HTML (or better yet handing it off to the in-house HTML designer) is just as easy as using a form-builder DSL. It also usually results in a more polished, user-friendly HTML page.

Of course, if you are in one of those areas where a single database table actually happens to cover your entire model then the form builders are great. I don't remember the last time I had a user-facing (non-administrative) model that was simple enough to use a form builder with.

I apologize that this wasn't a Perl solution to your problem. HTML/Javascript really should be part of your toolbox as a Software Engineer.

my @a=qw(random brilliant braindead); print $a[rand(@a)];

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Re^2: Which HTML form builder
by amarquis (Curate) on Jan 23, 2008 at 16:25 UTC

    And CSS!

    Lazy man's form: With FormBuilder, I give each element a unique class and have a script that generates a basic style sheet based on FormBuilder's initial output. Then I go in emacs/TextPad and move things around as desired.

    Is the style sheet sillier looking than a hand-coded-from-scratch one? Sure is. But I treasure every minute I spend not coding forms. (Hate 'em, hate 'em, hate 'em.)

      I give each element a unique class

      You might be better off dropping this and using an id instead. This has a number of advantages.

      First, an id is supposed to represent a unique thing, whereas class is for groups.

      Second, in order to use label elements most effectively, you need to use a for attribute rather then nesting the control inside the label (this is due to the for approach having better support from browsers) - so you should have a unique id on each control anyway.

        I'm an idiot, and I don't talk with other designers/tech people enough to have my terminology straight. I meant ID, but was only using 'em for the first reason, and I didn't know about the second.

        As a total side note, but you got me thinking about it: I used to have a great chart that (in the html days) had every tag and the compatibility with various browsers. Nowadays I'm using which is nice, but doesn't cover some of the lesser used browsers that create the PITA glitches. Where do you go for your compatibility info nowadays?

      (Hate 'em, hate 'em, hate 'em.)

      I would have to agree - I hate building forms too. It is somewhat tedious. But how long do you spend coding your form as opposed to the rest of the real work? I'd wager it is an insignificant amount of time - and future modifications are easier on the static HTML - and there are fewer processing cycles for static HTML - and you can give it to an HTML designer - and you can track insignificant changes via cvs/svn.

      As my wife likes to say - pick your battles.

      my @a=qw(random brilliant braindead); print $a[rand(@a)];
Re^2: Which HTML form builder
by sundialsvc4 (Abbot) on Jan 09, 2009 at 20:32 UTC

    I wonder about using something like FormFu as validation ... and as the “first stab at” cranking out a template. In other words, using it for what it's good for ... capturing the output thereof ... and changing it. Then, use it just for validation in the production code.

    Does that sort of thing work with FormFu? Am I sniffin' something really stinky here?

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