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Form API Intro

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An introduction to Drupal's FormAPI, as of version 5.

An introduction to Drupal's FormAPI, as of version 5.

Published in: Technology, Business

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  • 1. Forms API Inside Out Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Nested Arrays 1
  • 2. The Olden Days In the beginning, there was HTML Then, there were helper functions Each form had to reinvent workflow Each form had to reinvent security The Node Form made Baby Jesus cry 2
  • 3. Drupal’s Answer: Forms API Build forms as structured data Make the workflow automatic Make ‘doing the right thing’ easy When everything is done, render to HTML 3
  • 4. So, What’s It Look Like? function my_form() { $form = array(); $form['foo'] = array( '#type' => 'textarea', '#title' => t('Your foo'), ); $form['submit'] = array( '#type' => 'submit', '#value' => t('Submit yo foo'), ); return $form; } 4
  • 5. So, What’s It Look Like? 5
  • 6. How to Use Your Form drupal_get_form('my_form') my_form() my_form_validate(...) my_form_submit(...) 6
  • 7. Behind the Scenes http://foo.com/my-form my_form_page() drupal_get_form('my_form') my_form() (Here, magic happens*) drupal_render($form) 7
  • 8. Behind the Scenes (Part 2) Here’s that form you gave me drupal_get_form('my_form') $_POST has data! my_form() my_form_validate(...) my_form_submit(...) 8
  • 9. Recap, With Kittens Call drupal_get_form(‘my_form’) The my_form() function builds an array Drupal sanity checks $_POST The my_form_validate() function validates The my_form_submit() function processes The drupal_render() function outputs the form. T. Keller 9
  • 10. Here’s the Magic Build the initial form definition drupal_process_form() drupal_build_form() hook_form_alter() _form_builder() 10
  • 11. Here’s the Magic _form_builder() does a lot! Handles defaults Weaves $_POST into the form Builds $form_values Inserts security tokens 11
  • 12. “Special” Bits hook_elements() hook_form_alter() drupal_execute() 12
  • 13. Current Limitations Dynamic AHAH/AJAX Wizard-style forms Too many special cases AHAH/AJAX security! 13
  • 14. The Future of Forms API Form chunks State management AHAH/AJAX security 14
  • 15. Whee! 15