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Validating forms with the Spry Validation tools

From: Dreamweaver CS3 Beyond the Basics

Video: Validating forms with the Spry Validation tools

In our last exercise, we added client side validation to our page using Dreamweaver's behaviors. What if you could give your user interactive feedback as they filled out the form, when they were on a form element they need to be validated, for example, if they switched to the next one, maybe they could get some feedback at that moment. Now, we used to have to use server side validation in order to achieve that type of behavior, but Dreamweaver has added four validation Spry widgets to our form objects. So I am in the contact. htm exercise file and I want you to go up to the Insert toolbar and click on your Forms tab if you are not really looking at those. The four icons at the very right hand side, the ones that are sort of green in color, for that we have a Spry validation text field, we have a Spry validation text area, checkbox and a pulldown menu, a select validation.

Validating forms with the Spry Validation tools

In our last exercise, we added client side validation to our page using Dreamweaver's behaviors. What if you could give your user interactive feedback as they filled out the form, when they were on a form element they need to be validated, for example, if they switched to the next one, maybe they could get some feedback at that moment. Now, we used to have to use server side validation in order to achieve that type of behavior, but Dreamweaver has added four validation Spry widgets to our form objects. So I am in the contact. htm exercise file and I want you to go up to the Insert toolbar and click on your Forms tab if you are not really looking at those. The four icons at the very right hand side, the ones that are sort of green in color, for that we have a Spry validation text field, we have a Spry validation text area, checkbox and a pulldown menu, a select validation.

So anytime you are using one of those particular types of form elements and you want to apply some interactive validation to the element itself, these are great tools to do that with. Now, what we are going to do is we are going to replace our existing email form object on the page with one of the Spry validation text field elements. Now to do that, I am going to go ahead and delete the entire email including the user feedback, we are going to replace all that with some Spry feedback. So I am going to switch to Code View. In Code View, on line 62 we can find our email object. Now I am going to go ahead and empty out the entire paragraph that the email element is inside of. So the label, the span tag, the input tag, I want to make sure I go ahead and get that all cleared out and that's why I am doing this in Code View. So we will go ahead and hit Delete and that will clear that out. From that point we can just go back in the Design View and work from there. So we have this blank line, where our Email element used to be, and here is where we are going to insert our Spry widget.

So let's go up to our Insert toolbar and click once on these Spry validation text field to add one of those Spry validation widgets to the page. Now the first thing you are going to notice is that Dreamweaver prompts us for these accessibility attributes that we were working with before. So it's no different than adding any other traditional form element on to the page, it's just a JavaScript that gets attached to it. So for the ID, I am going to pass along Email and for Label, I am going to type in Email and type in a colon. So we are going to use exactly the same text and the same ID that we had before. For Style, we are going to use the 'for' attribute, and we will do it before the form item and we will click OK.

So here we have another text field on the page and it looks exactly the way our last one did. But we see an outline around it and a blue tab that says sprytextfield1. Go ahead and click on that tab. That's going to give you control of your Spry widget. Notice the Properties inspector now populates with all the properties of the Spry widget. The first thing we are going to change is Type. Right now it says None and that would mean nothing is required. So I am going to grab the pulldown menu and I am going to choose Email Address from the data type. We want to make sure that this is checking for an email address. Now as soon as we do that, we notice that the visual state of the Spry widget has changed. Well, these are preview states on the right-hand side and you can see that if you click on Initial, you can see what the Spry widget looks likes initially. Then you click on the Required and that's the message that's going to get passed for one value is required and the same with in Valid format and Valid gives that a nice sort of green background.

Well, let's change some information here. Click on the Required and I actually want to highlight, A value is required and I am going to type in, An email address is required. So you can pass along that user feedback the way that we were doing prior to this through this means, and the text itself was in a span tag just like our previous text was. So screen readers will still pick up on this, so we still have that accessibility that was necessary prior to this. I will click back on the Spry text field so that I get my properties populate back in the Properties inspector and I could keep previewing these states.

A few of the other properties that I can change on the Properties inspector are right underneath my Preview states. Notice that, by default, Submit is always checked for validation. But I can also check when users might change this text field or when they establish focus on another element such as tabbing away from it and that would be Blur. Well, I am going to click the checkbox for Blur and that's going to give users feedback after they have filled this in and they move on to their text field. If they did it correctly, they will get a clean background. If they did not enter in an email address, it would give them that feedback. So this is interactive user feedback, interactive validation that's going to occur while the form is being filled out. So I am going to go up to File and choose Save.

Now when I do that, Dreamweaver is going to prompt me. It's going to say I need access to two external files in order to get this widget to work, the SpryValidationTextField CSS file and the SpryValidationTextField JavaScript file. What do you want me to do with them? Well, if I click OK, it's going to copy those into a folder called SpryAssets right on my root folder. You can see that in our Files panel, if I open that up, they are both my files; there is the CSS file and the JavaScript file. The CSS file is driving the visual states of Invalid Format and Required. So if I don't like the green background, if I wanted to style my text a little bit differently, if I wanted to add that background graphic that I had to our last user feedback, I could do that by opening those styles up and modifying them.

I could also copy those styles and place them in my own style sheet and not have to rely on having that external document. So now we are ready to test this. So we will save our file and we will test it in our browser and as I scroll down, it looks exactly the same as it did before. But if I click in Email and if I just tab off of it, notice that I am getting some user feedback, saying, nope an email address is required. So I can type back in that and I will just go ahead and type my name in and Tab, and it says no, that's an invalid format. Oh, okay, fine. So maybe if I type in generic@generic.com. How does that work? I get the green background that tells me that's fine.

So our Spry widget doesn't take a lot of time and effort to put it on a page, but what it does for us is it allows us to have that dynamic user feedback as they fill out your form and it's a nice thing to do for your required elements. So when creating your forms, be sure to plan with web standards in mind. Creating standards-compliant forms not only allows your form content to be accessible to a larger audience, but it makes styling it a little bit easier and it certainly makes it easier to maintain. Be sure to take advantage of Dreamweaver's accessibility and form validation tools; both can speed up development time and ensure properly constructed forms.

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This video is part of

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Dreamweaver CS3 Beyond the Basics

102 video lessons · 38727 viewers

James Williamson
Author

 
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  1. 2m 3s
    1. Welcome
      1m 17s
    2. Using the exercise files
      46s
  2. 1h 23m
    1. Reviewing the Coding toolbar
      8m 42s
    2. Customizing the Coding toolbar
      9m 52s
    3. Taking advantage of Code Hinting
      7m 20s
    4. Using snippets and shortcuts
      11m 10s
    5. Using the Quick Tag Editor
      5m 18s
    6. Using Find and Replace
      9m 50s
    7. Regular expressions
      5m 39s
    8. Using Bridge with Dreamweaver CS3
      8m 28s
    9. Round-trip editing with Photoshop CS3
      3m 40s
    10. Leveraging image variables in Photoshop CS3
      7m 32s
    11. Integrating external variables into your workflow
      6m 16s
  3. 37m 26s
    1. Understanding the CSS Styles panel
      7m 59s
    2. Understanding the Cascade
      5m 50s
    3. Understanding Inheritance
      5m 8s
    4. Understanding Specificity
      7m 5s
    5. Managing CSS styles
      5m 4s
    6. Using Design-Time style sheets
      6m 20s
  4. 2h 19m
    1. Using the new CSS template pages
      5m 59s
    2. Understanding DIV tag structure and layout
      12m 0s
    3. Understanding the CSS box model
      10m 0s
    4. Using absolute and relative positioning
      8m 35s
    5. Understanding floating elements
      7m 9s
    6. Clearing floats
      7m 19s
    7. Using floats to control page layout
      3m 45s
    8. Building structure and assigning IDs
      10m 19s
    9. Applying basic styling to structured content
      11m 14s
    10. Positioning container elements
      11m 4s
    11. Enhancing layouts with background graphics
      11m 48s
    12. Creating faux columns with background graphics
      8m 55s
    13. Creating rounded corners with background graphics
      9m 17s
    14. Building navigation with CSS
      16m 57s
    15. Using Dreamweaver's Browser Check feature
      5m 31s
  5. 53m 22s
    1. Creating properly structured forms
      6m 30s
    2. Creating accessible forms
      6m 41s
    3. Using CSS to lay out form structure
      7m 40s
    4. Creating vertical columns for form elements
      7m 48s
    5. Adding user feedback
      5m 52s
    6. Applying advanced styling to forms
      8m 11s
    7. Client-side form validation
      4m 17s
    8. Validating forms with the Spry Validation tools
      6m 23s
  6. 1h 20m
    1. Understanding the Spry framework
      3m 43s
    2. Defining a data source for use in Spry
      3m 56s
    3. Creating a Spry table
      8m 8s
    4. Using the Spry widgets
      8m 11s
    5. Connecting various data sets
      4m 50s
    6. Understanding Spry widget structures
      7m 1s
    7. Applying custom styles to Spry widgets
      6m 24s
    8. Applying additional custom styles to Spry widgets
      8m 46s
    9. Controlling Spry widget behaviors with JavaScript
      6m 0s
    10. Controlling Spry widget animations with JavaScript
      9m 31s
    11. Creating effects with Spry behaviors
      4m 42s
    12. Hand-coding Spry
      9m 11s
  7. 1h 11m
    1. Creating a base template
      8m 6s
    2. Creating editable attributes
      6m 26s
    3. Creating a new page from a template
      7m 42s
    4. Applying a template to an existing page
      4m 36s
    5. Creating nested templates
      5m 24s
    6. Using repeating regions
      6m 34s
    7. Creating editable and non-editable optional regions
      6m 0s
    8. Using template parameters
      7m 26s
    9. Using template expressions
      9m 59s
    10. Using conditional template expressions
      8m 54s
  8. 54m 40s
    1. Examining XML structure
      2m 44s
    2. Creating an XML document
      9m 9s
    3. Using the CDATA structure
      5m 7s
    4. Creating an XSLT file
      4m 33s
    5. Binding data from an XML to an XSLT document
      5m 6s
    6. Inserting repeating regions into an XSL document
      5m 16s
    7. Creating a client-side XSL transformation
      2m 52s
    8. Styling a remote RSS feed
      7m 29s
    9. Creating a server-side XSL transformation
      5m 31s
    10. Writing XSL expressions
      6m 53s
  9. 1h 2m
    1. Overview of building dynamic websites
      1m 35s
    2. Installing PHP, MySQL, and Apache on Mac
      3m 22s
    3. Installing PHP, MySQL, and Apache on Windows
      3m 54s
    4. Creating a MySQL database
      3m 16s
    5. Defining a testing server and database bindings
      6m 14s
    6. Creating a database recordset
      4m 35s
    7. Adding dynamic content to the page
      5m 14s
    8. Creating repeating regions of dynamic content
      7m 6s
    9. Filtering database records
      7m 39s
    10. Using the Live Preview
      10m 22s
    11. Passing URL parameters
      4m 23s
    12. Dynamically generating links
      5m 18s
  10. 57m 9s
    1. Understanding behaviors
      5m 16s
    2. Installing additional behaviors
      3m 39s
    3. Planning to create a custom behavior
      3m 42s
    4. Examining existing behaviors
      5m 32s
    5. Building a behavior function
      7m 23s
    6. Creating an Action file
      6m 48s
    7. Enabling behavior functions
      9m 1s
    8. Initializing the user interface for a behavior
      3m 9s
    9. Loading behaviors in Dreamweaver
      6m 47s
    10. Testing and debugging behaviors
      5m 52s
  11. 27m 12s
    1. Running reports
      7m 41s
    2. Checking and validating links
      3m 40s
    3. Using cloaking
      5m 42s
    4. Using Check In/Check Out
      4m 3s
    5. Using Design Notes
      6m 6s
  12. 20s
    1. Goodbye
      20s

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