Code snippets for symfony 1.x


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symfony 1.x form framework: how to add extra fields into forms?

Assumption: there is a UserMessage class and the related form UserMessageForm. Both were generated by Doctrine based on a schema.yml declaration. Problem: one wishes to you add input fields into this form.

Approach: one can add any pairs of widgets/validators which have no direct relationship to the presented model. Doing so, one need to care about two main aspects:

  1. configuring the form with the extra field
  2. processing of the submitted value (if any) at the proper moment without disturbing the big rest of form functionality.

For step 1, configuring the form: add the widget and the validator to the form.

In .../UserMessageForm.class.php:
  public function configure()
    $this->widgetSchema['comment_for_log'] = new sfWidgetFormInputText();
    $this->validatorSchema['comment_for_log'] = new sfValidatorString();

For step 2 processing user input after submission: process the value and act accordingly. Typically this happens only after validation did succeed (i.e. not validation errors did occur).

For this purpose, a dedicated method for each field gets called (in case that the method exists). The following example checks whether a non-empty text was entered by the user. If so, it does store a log entry. The function in this example returns a boolean 'false' value to tell symfony not to process this value further.

In .../UserMessageForm.class.php:
  public function updateCommentForLogColumn($value)  // constructed method name with camelized field name
    if (! empty($value)) {     // e.g. only if the user entered a comment (btw this is the cleaned value)
      // do whatever you need to do based on the contents of this field.
      // e.g. we create and save a log entry as follows:
      $logEntry = new AppLogEntry();    // assume we have this sort of logging feature
      $logEntry->setComment($value);    // the comment entered by the user
    return false;  // tell symfony that we have cared about this value, so no further processing will occur

Basically that's it.

An alternative to the dedicated updateYourSpecialFieldColumn() method could be to override the doUpdate($values) method in the form, allowing to do more general things because there is access to all submitted values (that's basically the only difference between the two approaches, though). I personally prefer the dedicated method whenever possible, as it doesn't disturb any other logic that may (at the same time, or sometimes later) implemented in the same form.

Another good thing is that since all this code is all packed in a Doctrine transaction, so either both the form object (UserMessage) will be saved as well as the log (LogEntry) be generated, or none of the two objects be altered/created at all.


by Raphael Schumacher on 2010-09-15, tagged doctrine  fields  form  symfony14  validator  widget