Form Generation Techniques

One of our clients at work are wanting a sytem that will allow them to basically create, edit, or delete various forms from their website. To make a long story short the site they are wanting us to build is a directory. The directory also internally supports quote request. However, each different category in the directory has different questions that must be answered in order to provide an accurate quote.

It seems to me that a form generator would be the only thing that could fit the bill. The administrator of the site could then generate a different form for each area of their site. This is a toold that could come in very handy on any site that uses forms however. One of the most tedious things I have to do when it comes to web design is creating all those stinking form pages. It would be far easier if I could just write a little bit of code that specifies all of the fields to display, which ones are required, type of field required, and any other data to build a field. I could also then integrate the whole system into a templating system such as smarty and all of a sudden I have a swank little program at my disposal.

So, to summarize, a list of my requirements would be.

  • The system would have to be transparent in that it only handled recieving and simple validation of data. Any kind of processing should still be done by a different dedicated script.
  • The system would have to handle errors by itself. Meaning that if there was an error in how a field was entered, the error would be reported on the same page.
  • The system would have to display XHTML 1.1 compliant data when displaying the fields. Styles should be left to an external stylesheet. No need to worry about presentation as long as we get the content printed out.

Now there is alot of data that is needed to display a proper form. But we’ll handle that later. For now I have some work too do.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *