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I definitely agree that designers should be allowed to work in HTML whenever possible. Not only does it make their lives easier, but they already have tools to generate all those tedious form tags and make them look purty.

I'm thinking: why don't we make a solution based on HTML::FillInForm? If you're using CGI::Application::Plugin::ValidateRM, then you're allready using HTML::FillInForm to maintain form state between submissions, so why not use it for the initial state as well?

HTML::FillInForm won't help you generate lists of things for select menus, radio buttons and lists of checkboxes. For that, you still need a template loop. But HTM::FillInForm does select the correct item in a list, and that's a good chunk of the work.

Here's a little script that illustrates how it could work. It includes two mock CDBI classes, and a little CDBI-to-HTML::FillInForm bridge.

#!/usr/bin/perl use HTML::FillInForm; use strict; { # Fake a CDBI 'MyUser' class (hardcoded to 'Roger Rabbit') package MyUser; sub create { return bless {} } sub id { 1; } sub first { return 'Roger'; } sub last { return 'Rabbit'; } sub mailinglist { return 1; } sub profession { return MyProfession->create; } # Fake a CDBI 'MyProfession' class (hardcoded to 'Actor') package MyProfession; sub create { return bless {} } sub id { return 3; } sub name { return 'Actor'; } } { # Class for translating between Class::DBI and # HTML::FillInForm # - Note: doesn't handle has_many fields package FIF_CDBI_Bridge; sub new { my $class = shift; my %args = @_; my $objects = $args{'objects'} || {}; my $self = { objects => $objects, }; return bless $self; } sub param { my $self = shift; my $name = shift; # e.g. user.first my ($obj_name, $meth_name) = split /\./, $name; my $object = $self->{'objects'}{$obj_name}; return unless $object; return unless $object->can($meth_name); # e.g. $user->first my $value = $object->$meth_name; # if we get an object, return $object->id if (ref $value) { if ($value->can('id')) { $value = $value->id; } } return $value; } } my $form = <<EOF; <form> <br />First Name: <input type="text" name="user.first"> <br />Last Name: <input type="text" name="user.last"> <br />If you have a <i>really</i> long last name, use the textarea: <br /><textarea name="user.last"></textarea> <br />On mailing list: <input value="1" type="checkbox" name= +"user.mailinglist"> <br />Profession (radio): <br /><input type="radio" name="user.profession" value="1">Do +ctor <br /><input type="radio" name="user.profession" value="2">La +wyer <br /><input type="radio" name="user.profession" value="3">Ac +tor Profession (select): <select name="user.profession"> <option value="1">Doctor <option value="2">Lawyer <option value="3">Actor </select> </form> EOF my $user = MyUser->create; my $bridge = FIF_CDBI_Bridge->new( objects => { user => $user, } ); my $fif = new HTML::FillInForm; my $output = $fif->fill(scalarref => \$form, fobject => $bridge); print $output;

The form is all HTML, and creates multiple views of the same data. For instance, the last name is displayed with both a regular text input tag and also a textarea tag. The profession is represented by both a list of radio buttons and a select menu.

In an application, the bridge would be run after the template has been filled out but before the text is returned to the browser.

I'll play around with this some more and try to turn it into a proper module.


edit: fixed a brain-o where I mixed up textareas and checkboxes
edit: fixed a typo

In reply to Re: Form generation by magog
in thread Form generation by matthewb

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