php Vs Html

Posted by Stephen thangaraj at 19:02

How To Create a Web Form?
If you take input data from visitors on your Web site, you can create a Web form with input fields to allow visitors to fill in data and submit the data to your server for processing. A Web form can be created with the <FORM> tag with some input tags. The &FORM tag should be written in the following format:
Where "processing.php" specifies the PHP page that processes the submitted data in the form.
<form action=processing.php method=get/post>......</form>




What Are Form Input HTML Tags?
HTML tags that can be used in a form to collect input data are:
<SUBMIT ...> - Displayed as a button allow users to submit the form.
<INPUT TYPE=TEXT ...> - Displayed as an input field to take an input string.
<INPUT TYPE=RADIO ...> - Displayed as a radio button to take an input flag.
<INPUT TYPE=CHECKBOX ...> - Displayed as a checkbox button to take an input flag.
<SELECT ...> - Displayed as a dropdown list to take input selection.
<TEXTAREA ...> - Displayed as an input area to take a large amount of input text.

How To Generate a Form?
Generating a form seems to be easy. You can use PHP output statements to generate the required <FORM> tag and other input tags. But you should consider to organized your input fields in a table to make your form looks good on the screen. The PHP script below shows you a good example of HTML forms:
<?php
print("<html><form action=processing_forms.php method=post>");
 print("<table><tr><td colspan=2>Please enter and submit your " ." comments about CAPPTITUDEBANK.BLOGSPOT.com:</td></tr>");
 print("<tr><td>Your Name:</td>"."<td><input type=text name=name></td></tr>\n");
 print("<tr><td>Comments:</td>"
."<td><input type=text name=comment></td></tr>\n");
print("<tr><td colspan=2><input type=submit><td></tr></table>\n");
print("</form></html>\n");
?>
If you save this script as a PHP page, submit_comments.php, on your Web site, and view this page, you will see a simple Web form.

Where Is the Submitted Form Data Stored?
When a user submit a form on your Web server, user entered data will be transferred to the PHP engine, which will make the submitted data available to your PHP script for processing in pre-defined arrays:
$_GET - An associate array that store form data submitted with the GET method.
$_POST - An associate array that store form data submitted with the POST method.
$_REQUEST - An associate array that store form data submitted with either GET or POST method. $_REQUEST also contains the cookie values received back from the browser.

How To Retrieve the Submitted Form Data?
The best way to retrieve the form data submitted by your visitor is to use the $_REQUEST array. The keys in this array will be the field names defined in form. The values in this array will be the values entered by your visitor in the input fields. The PHP script below, processing_forms.php, shows you how to retrieve form data submitted with the PHP page presented in the previous tutorial exercise:
<?php
  $name = $_REQUEST['name'];
  $comment = $_REQUEST['comment'];
  print("<html><pre>");
  print("You have submitted the following information:\n");
  print("  Name = $name\n");
  print("  Comments = $comment\n");
  print("Thank you!\n");
  print("</pre></html>\n");
?>
If you copy both scripts, submit_comments.php and processing_forms.php, to your Web server, and submit some data like: "Bill Bush" and "Nice site.", you will get something like:
You have submitted the following information:
  Name = Bill Bush
  Comments = Nice site.

What Happens If an Expected Input Field Was Not Submitted?
Obviously, if an expected input field was not submitted, there will no entry in the $_REQUEST array for that field. You may get an execution error, if you are not checking the existence of the expected entries in $_REQUEST. For example, if you copy processing_forms.php to your local Web server, and run your browser with http://localhost/processing_forms.php?name=Joe, you will an error page like this:
You have submitted the following information:
  Name = Joe
  Comments = Thank you!
 PHP Notice: Undefined index:
  comment in ...\processing_forms.php on line 3

How To Avoid the Undefined Index Error?
If you don't want your PHP page to give out errors as shown in the previous exercise, you should consider checking all expected input fields in $_REQUEST with the isset() function as shown in the example script below:
<?php
  if (isset($_REQUEST['name'])) {
    $name = $_REQUEST['name'];
  } else {
    $name = "";
  }
  if (isset($_REQUEST['comment'])) {
    $comment = $_REQUEST['comment'];
  } else {
    $comment = "";
  }
  print("<html><pre>");
  print("You have submitted the following information:\n");
  print("  Name = $name\n");
  print("  Comments = $comment\n");
  print("Thank you!\n");
  print("</pre></html>\n");
?>

How To List All Values of Submitted Fields?
If you want list all values of submitted fields, you can write a simple loop to retrieve all entries in the $_REQUEST array. Below is an improved version of processing_forms.php to list all submited input values:
<?php
  print("<html><pre>");
  $count = count($_REQUEST);
  print("Number of values: $count\n");
  foreach ($_REQUEST as $key=>$value) {
    print("  $key = $value\n");
  }
  print("</pre></html>\n");
?>
If you test this with submit_comments.php on your Web server, you will get something like:
Number of values: 2
  name = Pickzy Center
  comment = Good job.

What Are the Input Values of SELECT Tags?
SELECT tags are used in forms to provide dropdown lists. Entris in a dropdown list are defined by OPTION tags, which can provide input values in two ways:
Implicit value - Provided as <OPTION>input_value</OPTION>, where input_value will be used as both the dropdown entry and the input value if this entry is selected.
Explicit value - Provided as <OPTION VALUE=input_value>display_value</OPTION>, where display_value will be used as the download entry, and input_value will be used as the input value if this entry is selected.
The sample PHP script page below is a modified version of submit_comments.php that has one SELECT tag named as "job" using implicit input values and another SELECT tag named s "site" using explicit input values:
<?php
  print("<html><form action=processing_forms.php method=post>");
  print("<table><tr><td colspan=2>Please enter and submit your"
    ." comments about PICKZYCenter.com:</td></tr>");
  print("<tr><td>Your Name:</td>"
    ."<td><input type=text name=name></td></tr>\n");
  print("<tr><td>Your Job Title:</td>"
    ."<td><select name=job>"
    ."<option>Developer</option>"
    ."<option>QA Engineer</option>"
    ."<option>DBA</option>"
    ."<option>Other</option>"
    ."</select></td></tr>\n");
  print("<tr><td>Rate This Site:</td>"
    ."<td><select name=rate>"
    ."<option value=3>Good</option>"
    ."<option value=2>Average</option>"
    ."<option value=1>Poor</option>"
    ."</select></td></tr>\n");
  print("<tr><td>Comments:</td>"
    ."<td><input type=text name=comment></td></tr>\n");
  print("<tr><td colspan=2><input type=submit><td></tr></table>\n");
  print("</form></html>\n");
?>
If you submit the form with this page, you will get something like this:
Number of values: 4
  name = Joe
  job = Developer
  rate = 3
  comment = I like it.

How To Specify Input Values for Radio Buttons?
Radio buttons can be used in a form for two situations:
As a single switch - One <INPUT TYPE=RADIO ...> tag, with no input value specified. When submitted with button pushed down, you will receive a value of "on". When submitted with button not pushed, this field will not be submitted.
As a group of exclusive selections - Multiple <INPUT TYPE=RADIO ...> tags with the same field name with different input values specified in the "value" attribute. When submitted, only one input value that associated with pushed button will be submitted.
The sample PHP script page below is a modified version of submit_comments.php that has one group of exclusive radio buttons named as "job" and single switch named as "rate":
<?php
  print("<html><form action=processing_forms.php method=post>");
  print("<table><tr><td colspan=2>Please enter and submit your"
    ." comments about PICKZYCenter.com:</td></tr>");
  print("<tr><td>Your Name:</td>"
    ."<td><input type=text name=name></td></tr>\n");
  print("<tr><td>Your Job Title:</td>"
    ."<td><input type=radio name=job value=dev>Developer  "
    ."<input type=radio name=job value=sqa>QA Engineer  "
    ."<input type=radio name=job value=dba>DBA  "
    ."<input type=radio name=job value=other>Other  "
    ."</td></tr>\n");
  print("<tr><td>Like Site:</td>"
    ."<td><input type=radio name=rate></td></tr>\n");
  print("<tr><td>Comments:</td>"
    ."<td><input type=text name=comment></td></tr>\n");
  print("<tr><td colspan=2><input type=submit><td></tr></table>\n");
  print("</form></html>\n");
?>
If you submit the form with this page, you will get something like this:
Number of values: 4
  name = Sue
  job = sqa
  rate = on


How To Specify Input Values for Checkboxes?
Checkboxes can be used in a form for two situations:
As a single switch - One <INPUT TYPE=CHECKBOX ...> tag, with no input value specified. When submitted with button pushed down, you will receive a value of "on". When submitted with button not pushed, this field will not be submitted.
As a group of multiple selections - Multiple <INPUT TYPE=CHECKBOX ...> tags with the same field name with different input values specified in the "value" attribute. When submitted, input values that associated with checked boxes will be submitted.
The sample PHP script page below is a modified version of submit_comments.php that has one group of multiple checkboxes and single switch:
<?php
  print("<html><form action=processing_forms.php method=post>");
  print("<table><tr><td colspan=2>Please enter and submit your"
    ." comments about PICKZYCenter.com:</td></tr>");
  print("<tr><td>Your Name:</td>"
    ."<td><input type=text name=name></td></tr>\n");
  print("<tr><td>Site Visited:</td><td>"
    ."<input type=checkbox name=site value=dev>Dev PICKZY Center  "
    ."<input type=checkbox name=site value=sqa>SQA PICKZY Center  "
    ."<input type=checkbox name=site value=dba>DBA PICKZY Center  "
    ."</td></tr>\n");
  print("<tr><td>Like Site:</td>"
    ."<td><input type=checkbox name=rate></td></tr>\n");
  print("<tr><td>Comments:</td>"
    ."<td><input type=text name=comment></td></tr>\n");
  print("<tr><td colspan=2><input type=submit><td></tr></table>\n");
  print("</form></html>\n");
?>
If you submit the form with this page, you will get something like this:
Number of values: 4
  name = Peter
  site = dba
  rate = on
  comment = All good sites
But there is a problem with script in processing_forms.php. It picks up only one of the input values selected from the checkbox group. See the next tip for solutions.

How To Retrieve Input Values for Checkboxes Properly?
If multiple input values are submitted with the same field name, like the case of a group of checkboxes, you should add ([]) to the end of the field name. This tells the PHP engine that multiple values are expected for this field. The engine will then store the values in an indexed array, and put the array as the "value" in $_REQUEST. In order to retrieve multiple values of checkboxes properly, you need to treat $_REQUEST[field_name] as an array. The following PHP script is an enhanced version of processing_forms.php that handles multiple values properly:
<?php
  print("<html><pre>");
  $count = count($_REQUEST);
  print("Number of values: $count\n");
  foreach ($_REQUEST as $key=>$value) {
    if (is_array($value)) {
      print("  $key is an array\n");
      for ($i = 0; $i < count($value); $i++) {
         print("    ".$key."[".$i."] = ".$value[$i]."\n");
      }
    } else {
      print("  $key = $value\n");
    }
  }
  print("</pre></html>\n");
?>
Now you need to modify the submit_comments.php as:
<?php
  print("<html><form action=processing_forms.php method=post>");
  print("<table><tr><td colspan=2>Please enter and submit your"
    ." comments about PICKZYCenter.com:</td></tr>");
  print("<tr><td>Your Name:</td>"
    ."<td><input type=text name=name></td></tr>\n");
  print("<tr><td>Site Visited:</td><td>"
    ."<input type=checkbox name=site[] value=dev>Dev PICKZY Center, "
    ."<input type=checkbox name=site[] value=sqa>SQA PICKZY Center, "
    ."<input type=checkbox name=site[] value=dba>DBA PICKZY Center "
    ."</td></tr>\n");
  print("<tr><td>Like Site:</td>"
    ."<td><input type=checkbox name=rate></td></tr>\n");
  print("<tr><td>Comments:</td>"
    ."<td><input type=text name=comment></td></tr>\n");
  print("<tr><td colspan=2><input type=submit><td></tr></table>\n");
  print("</form></html>\n");
?>
If you test the form by selecting two checkboxes, you will get something like this:
Number of values: 4
  name = Mary
  site is an array
    site[0] = dev
    site[1] = sqa
  rate = on
  comment = Good sites for developers.

How To Supply Default Values for Text Fields?
If you want to provide a default value to a text field in your form, you need to pay attention to following notes:
The default value should be provided in the 'VALUE=default_value' attribute in the &ltINPUT TYPE=TEXT ...> tag.The length of the default value should be less than the max length specified in the "MAXLENGTH=nnn" attribute. If you provide default value longer than the max length, the default value will be truncated when submitted.You should put the default value inside double-quotes as 'VALUE="$default_value"' to protect spaces.You must apply htmlspecialchars() translation function to the default value to protect HTML sensitive characters, like double quotes.
The PHP script below is a modified version of submit_comments.php with a default value in the "comment" field:
<?php
  $comment = 'I want to say: "It\'s a good site! :->"';
  $comment = htmlspecialchars($comment);
  print("<html><form action=processing_forms.php method=post>");
  print("<table><tr><td colspan=2>Please enter and submit your"
    ." comments about PICKZYCenter.com:</td></tr>");
  print("<tr><td>Your Name:</td>"
    ."<td><input type=text name=name></td></tr>\n");
  print("<tr><td>Comments:</td>"
    ."<td><input type=text name=comment value=\"$comment\" size=40>"
    ."</td></tr>\n");
  print("<tr><td colspan=2><input type=submit><td></tr></table>\n");
  print("</form></html>\n");
?>
If you view this PHP page, you will a form with default value nicely displayed in the comment field. If you submit the form, you will get something like this:
Number of values: 2
  name = Alan
  comment = I want to say: \"It\'s a good site! :->\"
Notice that special characters are protected with slashes when form is submitted. See the next tip on how to remove slashes.

How To Remove Slashes on Submitted Input Values?
By default, when input values are submitted to the PHP engine, it will add slashes to protect single quotes and double quotes. You should remove those slashes to get the original values by applying the stripslashes() function. Note that PHP engine will add slashes if the magic_quotes_gpc switch is turned off. The PHP script below is an enhanced version of processing_forms.php with slashes removed when magic_quotes_gpc is turned on:
<?php
  print("<html><pre>");
  $count = count($_REQUEST);
  print("Number of values: $count\n");
  foreach ($_REQUEST as $key=>$value) {
    if (is_array($value)) {
      print("  $key is an array\n");
      for ($i = 0; $i < count($value); $i++) {
         $sub_value = $value[$i];
         if (get_magic_quotes_gpc()) {
           $sub_value = stripslashes($sub_value);
         }
         print("    ".$key."[".$i."] = ".$sub_value."\n");
      }
    } else {
      if (get_magic_quotes_gpc()) {
        $value = stripslashes($value);
      }
      print("  $key = $value\n");
    }
  }
  print("</pre></html>\n");
?>
Now if you submit the same data again as in the previous exercise, you will get the original values as:
Number of values: 2
  name = Alan
  comment = I want to say: "It's a good site! :->"

How To Support Multiple Submit Buttons?
Sometimes, you may need to give visitors multiple submit buttons on a single form to allow them to submit the form for different purposes. For example, when you show your customer a purchase order in a Web form, you may give your customer 3 submit buttons as "Save", "Copy", and "Delete". You can do this by adding "name" and "value" attributes to the <INPUT TYPE=submit ...> tags to differentiate the buttons. The following PHP script is a modified version of submit_comments.php with 3 submit buttons:
<?php
  $comment = 'I want to say: "It\'s a good site! :->"';
  $comment = htmlspecialchars($comment);
  print("<html><form action=processing_forms.php method=post>");
  print("<table><tr><td colspan=2>Please enter and submit your"
    ." comments about PICKZYCenter.com:</td></tr>");
  print("<tr><td>Your Name:</td>"
    ."<td><input type=text name=name></td></tr>\n");
  print("<tr><td>Comments:</td>"
    ."<td><input type=text name=comment value=\"$comment\" size=40>"
    ."</td></tr>\n");
  print("<tr><td colspan=2>"
    .'<input type=submit name=submit value="Submit now">'
    .'<input type=submit name=submit value="Save only">'
    .'<input type=submit name=submit value="Cancel">'
    ."<td></tr></table>\n");
  print("</form></html>\n");
?>
If you view this PHP page, you will see 3 buttons. If submit the form by clicking the "Save only" button, you will get something like this:
Number of values: 3
  name = Peter
  comment = I want to say: "It's a good site! :->"
  submit = Save only
Obviously, different code logics should be written based on the received value of the "submit" field.

How To Support Hidden Form Fields?
Hidden fields are special fields in a form that are not shown on the Web page. But when the form is submitted, values specified in the hidden fields are also submitted to the Web server. A hidden field can be specified with the <INPUT TYPE=HIDDEN ...> tag. The PHP script below shows you a good example:
<?php
  print("<html><form action=processing_forms.php method=post>");
  print("<input type=hidden name=module value=FAQ>\n");
  print("<table><tr><td colspan=2>Please enter and submit your"
    ." comments about PICKZYCenter.com:</td></tr>");
  print("<tr><td>Your Name:</td>"
    ."<td><input type=text name=name></td></tr>\n");
  print("<tr><td>Comments:</td>"
    ."<td><input type=text name=comment size=40>"
    ."</td></tr>\n");
  print("<tr><td colspan=2>"
    .'<input type=submit name=submit value="Submit">'
    ."<td></tr></table>\n");
  print("</form></html>\n");
?>
If you submit this form, you will get something like this:
Number of values: 4
  module = FAQ
  name = Peter
  comment = Thanks for the good tips.
  submit = Submit

How To Generate and Process a Form with the Same Script?
In previous exercises, a Web form is generated by one script, and processed by another script. But you could write a single script to do both. You just need to remember to:
Use same script name as the form generation script in the "action" attribute in the <FORM> tag.
Write two sections in the script: one for form generation, the other for form processing.
Check one expected input to determine which section to use.
The PHP script below shows you a good example:
<?php
  if (!isset($_REQUEST['submit'])) {
    generatingForm();  
  } else {
    processingForm();  
  }
function generatingForm() {
  print("<html><form action=submit_comments.php method=post>");
  print("<input type=hidden name=module value=FAQ>\n");
  print("<table><tr><td colspan=2>Please enter and submit your"
    ." comments about PICKZYCenter.com:</td></tr>");
  print("<tr><td>Your Name:</td>"
    ."<td><input type=text name=name></td></tr>\n");
  print("<tr><td>Comments:</td>"
    ."<td><input type=text name=comment size=40>"
    ."</td></tr>\n");
  print("<tr><td colspan=2>"
    .'<input type=submit name=submit value="Submit">'
    ."<td></tr></table>\n");
  print("</form></html>\n");
}
function processingForm() {
  print("<html><pre>");
  $count = count($_REQUEST);
  print("Number of values: $count\n");
  foreach ($_REQUEST as $key=>$value) {
    if (is_array($value)) {
      print("  $key is an array\n");
      for ($i = 0; $i < count($value); $i++) {
         $sub_value = $value[$i];
         if (get_magic_quotes_gpc()) {
           $sub_value = stripslashes($sub_value);
         }
         print("    ".$key."[".$i."] = ".$sub_value."\n");
      }
    } else {
      if (get_magic_quotes_gpc()) {
        $value = stripslashes($value);
      }
      print("  $key = $value\n");
    }
  }
  print("</pre></html>\n");
}
?>
If you save this script as submit_comments.php on your Web server, and submit this form, you will get something like this:
Number of values: 4
  module = FAQ
  name = Ray
  comment = Good site for beginners.
  submit = Submit

How To Submit Values without a Form?
If you know the values you want to submit, you can code the values in a hyper link at the end of the URL. The additional values provided at the end of a URL is called query string. There are two suggestions on how to use query strings to submit values to the receiving script page:
Code values in the same way as the form method GET as: url?name=value&name=value... This allows the receiving script to retrieve input values in the $_REQUEST array or $_GET array.
Code values in your own wan as: url?your_values_in_your_format. The receiving script needs to pick up the input values in $_SERVER['QUERY_STRING'].
Here is a simple script page that shows you two hyper links with query strings in different formats:
<?php
  print("<html>");
  print("<p>Please click the links below"
    ." to submit comments about PICKZYCenter.com:</p>");
  print("<p>"
    .'<a href="processing_forms.php?name=Guest&comment=Excellent">'
    ."It's an excellent site!</a></p>");
  print("<p>"
    .'<a href="processing_forms.php?Visitor,Average">'
    ."It's an average site.</a></p>");
  print("</html>");
?>
If you copy this script as submit_comments.php to your Web server, and click the first link, you will get:
Number of values: 2
  name = Guest
  comment = Excellent
If you click the second link, the current processing_forms.php will not pick up input values from $_REQUEST properly as showb below:
Number of values: 1
  Visitor,Average =2

How To Retrieve the Original Query String?
If you have coded some values in the URL without using the standard form GET format, you need to retrieve those values in the original query string in $_SERVER['QUERY_STRING']. The script below is an enhanced version of processing_forms.php which print the original query string:
<?php
  print("<html><pre>");
  print("  query_string = {$_SERVER['QUERY_STRING']}\n");
  $count = count($_REQUEST);
  print("Number of values: $count\n");
  foreach ($_REQUEST as $key=>$value) {
    if (is_array($value)) {
      print("  $key is an array\n");
      for ($i = 0; $i < count($value); $i++) {
         $sub_value = $value[$i];
         if (get_magic_quotes_gpc()) {
           $sub_value = stripslashes($sub_value);
         }
         print("    ".$key."[".$i."] = ".$sub_value."\n");
      }
    } else {
      if (get_magic_quotes_gpc()) {
        $value = stripslashes($value);
      }
      print("  $key = $value\n");
    }
  }
  print("</pre></html>\n");
?>


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