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DESIGN USABILITY

Using HTML_QuickForm To Manage Web Forms, Part 1


Tired of authoring dull and dreary Web forms everyday? Fed up of programming JavaScript validations day-in and day-out? Then, the HTML_QuickForm package is just the solution for which you are looking. In the first part of this two-part tutorial, I'll get you started with the basics of building Web forms using this resourceful PEAR package.

Author Info:
By: Harish Kamath
Rating: 5 stars5 stars5 stars5 stars5 stars / 73
December 22, 2004
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
  1. · Using HTML_QuickForm To Manage Web Forms, Part 1
  2. · Installing The HTML_QuickForm Package
  3. · My First HTML_QuickForm
  4. · FORM Elements
  5. · Adding Standard HMTL FORM Elements
  6. · Defining FORM Controls, Submitting Data
  7. · Grouping
  8. · "Checkbox" and "Radio" Elements
  9. · Drop Down Control and Hidden Element
  10. · Implementing Form Validations
  11. · Password Field Validation
  12. · Processing Data With HTML_QuickForm
  13. · Conclusion

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Using HTML_QuickForm To Manage Web Forms, Part 1 - Installing The HTML_QuickForm Package
(Page 2 of 13 )

A quick word about PEAR itself before I move to the HTML_QuickForm package: according to the official website, PEAR (an acronym for PHP Extension and Application Repository) is "a framework and distribution system for reusable PHP components." Simply put, it is a Open Source library of classes for common programming requirements such as accessing a database or sending email, using well-defined best practices and pre-defined coding standards. You can learn more about PEAR at http://pear.php.net.

Back to my big discovery, the HTML_QuickForm PEAR package. While I have listed the basic functionality of this package earlier, a quick review of its features, listed at http://pear.php.net/package/HTML_QuickForm, indicates that the aforementioned summary was just the tip of the iceberg. The only way to find out more is to take this HTML_QuickForm package for a little test ride.

Well - not so fast!

First, I need to ensure that I have installed and configured the PEAR package correctly on my local server. Fortunately, the official PEAR manual comes with a step-by-step guide on installation - just point your browser to http://pear.php.net/manual/en/installation.php for complete details.

Once I have installed and configured PEAR correctly, I can proceed to download the latest version (version 3.2.4pl1) of the HTML_QuickForm package from this URL - http://pear.php.net/package/HTML_QuickForm/download. Next, I used the PEAR command line installer to install the latest version of the package or update the existing version. Further details about this tool are available in the PEAR manual.

Now that the HTML_QuickForm package has been installed on my local server, it is time to get my hands dirty!


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