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Re: [PHP] 'Form Builder'

On Feb 16, 2016, at 2:11 PM, Lester Caine wrote:

On 16/02/16 19:36, Adam Jon Richardson wrote:
So is there something I've missed that may be worth considering even at
this stage of things?

I'm in the minority, but I tend to craft DSL's to maintain flexibility for
use cases such as HTML forms.

That approach is fine but I'm looking to allow clients to modify or add fields to existing forms and the underlying data management has to track
any changes to the field set in addition to being able to reload the
form later to add or update details prior to it being 'locked'.

What I would do is create a basic form template that can have target strings that str_replace can replace with preference variables. The preference variables and values can be stored in a registered user preference database or flat file. I do exclusively flat files, but not just text files: php script files that will not display anything if a user requests the file by name, but can be accessed via inclusion in
other scripts.

For the user to add or revise form elements suggests the inclusion of elements or even a separate form for the user to use to revise the target form. This also implies a significant amount of javascript on the client side. Changes the user makes can be written back to a user preference file. In turn this suggests user registration for the sake of routing form submissions to the proper data base or flat file record for the user. I write tons of javascript exactly for this type of use. Without javascript, there would seem to be an enormous amount of back and forth between client and server and the necessity for maintaining state would put a significant demand on the the server. This would requires quite
a bit of sanitization of form input on the server side.

My habit in this regard, is to create self processing forms. In this manner there can be variable states of the visible html based on what is submitted and how the visible form is configured. Self processing php/html pages can also respond to get queries assigned to anchor tag href values, where the target of the link is the form page itself, and javascript based client/server interactions such as
"ajax"  async interactions.

In short, it looks like a significant amount of design, coding and engineering
to me.

This may not be encouraging, but I thought I would offer some considerations

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