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(Ovid) Re(2): Automatic Generation of Form Handling Code

by Ovid (Cardinal)
on Jun 06, 2001 at 22:04 UTC ( #86325=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re: Automatic Generation of Form Handling Code
in thread Automatic Generation of Form Handling Code

CGI::State looks interesting. However, the time that it takes to go through all of the forms and update the field names might just negate the benefits. I can always get the form data in a hash like so:

use CGI qw/:standard/; my %formdata = map { $_ => [ param( $_ ) ] } param;

That's easy. However, I really dislike doing that as it makes it much easier to miss untainting/validating a particular variable (IMHO). Also, I explicitly like to see the checkbox groups represented as arrays and individual elements represented as scalars. It's more obvious to me how to handle them. Hmm... am I just being foolish? I guess I really can't see the difference between populating a bunch of scalars and populating a hash with all of the data aside from the fact that single value form elements are now represented as a one element array reference, removing the clear visual distinction between arrays and scalars:

# The following is clearer for me: my $first_name = $in_name; foreach ( @in_colors ) { # do something } # This is less clear: my $first_name = $formdata{ 'in_name' }[0]; foreach ( @$formdata{ 'in_colors' } ) { # do something }

Is that a matter of style over substance, or is this something that could actually be an issue (particularly with maintenance?).

I'm beginning to think this should have been in meditations instead.


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(dkubb) Re: (3) OO Form Validating
by dkubb (Deacon) on Jun 07, 2001 at 12:00 UTC

    Lately, most of the code I write for CGI's generally follows the same basic design pattern:

    • Receive the values with
    • Validate and detaint the parameters with HTML::FormValidator.
    • <shamless plug>Build a multi-dimensional hash with CGI::State</shameless plug>
    • If there is an error, or missing field, use HTML::FillInForm and HTML::Template to re-fill in the form with the submitted data and print an error.
    • Do some work, usually with DBI, etc
    • Use HTML::Template to display a page to the user either prompting the user for more info, or display the results of the work.

    (I hear that Apache::Pagekit encapsulates alot of this into a single framework, but I am not convinced that the platform is stable enough for my needs yet.)

    The great thing about HTML::FormValidator is that you can set up "validation profiles". By this I mean you can built a set of rules for a newsletter subscription, or an order submission, for example. The design of the module allows it to share these pre-made profiles with many other scripts. Once you write a profile for what I call a "web object", you can reuse it over and over for the same type of data.

    If your 40-odd scripts are asking for similar types of data, using this module might be a good way to factor out all the validation and detainting code.

    Update: Sorry, I see that you have 40 elements per form, not scripts. Either way, this module *will* save you enough time, so you can concentrate on Quake more =)

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