The form API

  • John K. VanDyk


Drupal features an application programming interface (API) for generating, validating, and processing HTML forms. The form API abstracts forms into a nested array of properties and values. The array is then rendered by the form rendering engine at the appropriate time while a page is being generated. There are several implications of this approach:
  • Rather than output HTML, we create an array and let the engine generate the HTML.

  • Since we are dealing with a representation of the form as structured data, we can add, delete, reorder, and change forms. This is especially handy when you want to modify a form created by a different module in a clean and unobtrusive way.

  • Any form element can be mapped to any theme function.

  • Additional form validation or processing can be added to any form.

  • Operations with forms are protected against form injection attacks, where a user modifies a form and then tries to submit it.

  • The learning curve for using forms is a little steeper!


Theme Function Form Element Text Field Validation Function Form Submission 
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Copyright information

© John K. VanDyk 2008

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  • John K. VanDyk

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