The FORM Project is not dead (9 comments)

Added by Patrick Broens almost 11 years ago

It was never my intention to stop the project completely, too much work was already done and it looks very promissing. Thanks to some people in the TYPO3 community the FORM project is alive and kickin' again.

And how!

As you might have read in another article on my website, I've quit my job and started my own company with TYPO3 consulting and development services. The first task on my list is to finish the FORM project, which means I'm working on it fulltime for the next 2 or 3 months.

The first two milestones were completed during the previous work. This means it is already possible to generate forms out of Typoscript. "Typoscript, you say?" Yes, Typoscript. In my opinion content objects of the TYPO3 Core need to be able to be constructed out of Typoscript. It is the foundation of the TYPO3 Core. I've thrown away the old FORM content object Typoscript and started writing a complete new syntax, which is more like the rest of the Typoscript syntax for other content objects.

From today I will continue with the rest of the milestones:

  • Milestone III - Form wizard GUI
  • Milestone IV - Generating Typoscript from wizard
  • Milestone V - Handling of incoming data
  • Milestone VI - Fine tuning, additions, tester's feedback

In the last few weeks I already did some prework on the Form wizard GUI. Currently I'm also rewriting the extension pbsurvey, which new version will have the extension key "survey". Survey also needs a drag and drop GUI in the backend, and I can reuse large parts from this.

I will try to post as many news items as possible on this project page on Forge.

FORM available again (3 comments)

Added by Patrick Broens almost 12 years ago

After some major refactoring, especially renaming folders and files, the form elements are all working again. The next step is to fix the open bugs and then continue to the next phase: the confirmation screen and sending the emails.

Major refactoring (6 comments)

Added by Patrick Broens over 12 years ago

Currently I'm refactoring the FORM project. Some people are testing Milestone 2. If you want to have the source before this refactoring, please have a look at the 'tags' directory in the repository, where Milestone 2 has been tagged.

Milestone 2 for Form Project is coming to an end. (5 comments)

Added by Patrick Broens almost 13 years ago

After a delay of two weeks I can tell you that milestone 2 has almost been finished. This means testing of the first two milestones can start pretty soon. Some minor things have to be added and fixed still, but I'll try to manage that within 2-3 days.

The first two milestones cover the real basics of the forms:
  • Generating forms with Typoscript
  • Adding server side validation
  • Using filters on the submitted data

That sounds really easy, but I have to say, it was quite a task. After starting milestone 2, I suddenly realised it would be better if extensions could use the form classes as well, so I went back to the drawing board and started to rewrite everything I did for milestone 1. I still have to test it thoroughly if it is possible if other extensions can use it as well, but they probably will. Otherwise it will only need some small fixes. The main focus was on the Typoscript how to configure every form element available.

Milestone 2 had the focus on validation and filters. It is possible to add multiple validation rules to one form element, and you can compare the input of two elements with each other, like password fields. If this comparison fails, the form will not validate.
It's also possible to filter the incoming data, for instance localized formats of digits (1000,00 or 1 000.00 or 1,000.00), title case or alphanumeric. Some more filters will be added, like the most important one, XSS, which will be active for all incoming data, opposite to the other filters, which can be added to a form element.

Before the testing period, there's still a huge task to do: writing the first documentation. How do I make a form with Typoscript? How do I add validation rules? Is it possible to use a select tag with the multiple attribute? A lot, and I really mean a lot, is configurable. But that will all get clearer when I've finished the documentation.

Before jumping up and down, I have to tell you, the project still contains a lot of tasks. Currently it is only possible to generate a form using Typoscript, validate and filter the incoming data. After that, nothing happens right now (Well, you get a message when the submitted data is valid, wow). The form won't be nice to see in the frontend, because no styling has been added. Only the (X)HTML markup is done right now. Don't think you can use this in a production environment. The reason why there was so much focus on the Typoscript is that the form wizard (milestone 4 and 5) will write the same Typoscript as it is used right now.

Keep tuned for the first documentation!

Sponsoring of Form Project Completed (6 comments)

Added by Patrick Broens almost 13 years ago

I am very pleased to announce that the financing of the new FORM sponsored project has been completed.

The main supporters of this project were a network of German universities. Although they could not raise the full amount themselves, other companies joined in and the full financing was finally achieved about a month ago. This was made possible thanks to the help and determination of many people. First of all Uschi Renziehausen and Thomas Schröder who never gave up gathering financing from the afore-mentioned network of universities. Ben van 't Ende, from Netcreators in the Netherlands, helped a lot in the background. After listening to Oliver Hader's talk at T3CON08, Ben Wardle, of Netefficiency in the UK, got in contact with me to know whether he could help financing the new FORM project. Finally Kian Gould, from AOE media in Germany, agreed to put up the rest of the money. In the meantime a donation had arrived from Egbert van der Hout, from CMS Works, also in the Netherlands.

So the final sponsoring breaks down as:

  • Universität Erfurt, Fachhochschule Erfurt, Technische Universität Ilmenau, Fachhochschule Nordhausen, Bauhaus-Universität Weimar: 6450 EUR
  • Netefficiency: 2850 EUR
  • AOEmedia: 2000 EUR
  • CMS Works: 100 EUR

This first success also highlighted some problems and shortcomings which will be addressed in the future. In particular it seems important to have some kind of marketplace where potential sponsors can express their interest for a given project without actually donating money. This way sponsors could get in touch with each other and discuss how they could share the financing between themselves. Some administrative parts of the process need to be reviewed too. It appeared that public German institutions could not dondate to associations. Instead they have to finance the developers directly. Contact is also taken with the T3REORG team to give sponsoring a greater visibility in the future version of

There's more to say and more projects to sponsor, so please refer to the sponsoring mailing list (typo3.sponsoring) which should see increased activity in the future and don't forget the other projects. Potential sponsors are encouraged to use the sponsoring mailing list to exchange their interest about projects until we have a better solution.

Back to the FORM project I am very grateful to all involved in financing directly or indirectly. The new FORM object is planned for TYPO3 4.4, but will be available as a system extension before that, just follow its progress on Forge.


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