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TWiki Forms

Form-based input in topics, with name/value pairs stored as Meta Data variables; choose one of multiple forms per web & topic

Overview

By adding form-based input to freeform content, you can structure topics with unlimited, easily searchable categories. When forms are enabled for a web and selected in a topic, a single form appears in edit mode, and the contents are rendered as a table when viewed on the display page. You can define unlimited forms per web. For each topic, you can select a template if more than one is defined, or remove forms entirely. Form input values are stored as TWikiMetaData; all data is saved.

Form Templates replace TWikiCategoryTables from the 01-Dec-2000 version of TWiki. - see #FormsVsCategoryTables

Defining a Form Template

A Form Template is simply a page containing your form, defined as a table where each row is one form field.

Form Template Elements

Defining a Form in One Topic

  1. Create a new topic with your form name: YourForm, ExpenseReport, InfoCategory, RecordReview, whatever you need.
  2. Create a TWiki table, with each column head representing one element of an entry field: Name, Type, Size, Values, and Tooltip message (see sample below).
  3. For each field, fill in a new line; for the type of field, select from the list.
  4. Save the topic (you can later choose to enable/disable individual forms).

Example: WebForm
| *Name* | *Type* | *Size* | *Values* | *Tooltip message* |
| Know.TopicClassification | select | 1 | Know.NoDisclosure, 
  Know.PublicSupported, Know.PublicFAQ | blah blah... |
| Know.OperatingSystem | checkbox | 3 | Know.OsHPUX, Know.OsLinux,
  Know.OsSolaris, Know.OsWin | blah blah... |
| Know.OsVersion | text | 16 | | blah blah... |

Name Type Size Values Tooltip message
TopicClassification select 1 NoDisclosure, PublicSupported, PublicFAQ blah blah...
OperatingSystem checkbox 3 OsHPUX, OsLinux, OsSolaris, OsWin blah blah...
OsVersion text 16   blah blah...

Defining a Form with Multiple Topics

Forms can also be defined by using form templates that retrieve field values from one or more separate topics:

Example: WebFormTemplate

Enabling Forms by Web

Forms are enabled on a per web basis. The WEBFORMS variable in WebPreferences is optional and defines a list of possible form templates. Example:

Including Forms in New Topics

Setting Up Multiple Form Options

Form Data Storage

The form topic name, fields and values are stored as TWikiMetaData - the order of the field/value pairs is the same as in the template.

Using Form Data

TWikiForms accept user-input data, stored as TWikiMetaData. Meta data also contains program-generated info about changes, attachments, etc. To find, format and display form and other meta data, see TWikiMetaData, SEARCH and METASEARCH variables in TWikiVariables, and TWiki Formatted Search for various options.

Main Changes from Category Tables

The Form Template system is a more powerful, flexible replacement for the original TWikiCategoryTable. Data from existing category tables can be imported directly.

Form Templates Category Tables down
Change & Add Form buttons UseCategory radio button
defined in topics defined in templates
many forms per web one table per web
saved as Meta Data saved as HTML

Importing Category Table Data

On upgrading from the previous TWiki, a Form Template topic has to be built for each web that used a Category Table, recreating the fields and values from the old twikicatitems.tmpl. The replacement Form Template must be set as the first item in the WebPreferences variable WEBFORMS. If missing, pages will display, but attempting to edit results in an error message.

The new Form Template system should work with old Category Table data with no special conversion. Data is assigned to Meta variables the first time an imported topic is edited and saved in the new system.

TIP NOTE: If things aren't working correctly, there may be useful entries in data/warning.txt.

-- TWiki:Main.JohnTalintyre - 16 Aug 2001
-- TWiki:Main.MikeMannix - 05 Jan 2002
-- TWiki:Main.PeterThoeny - 25 Apr 2004