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Registration Validation

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Registration Validation

Let’s add some validation. What if I don’t enter a valid email address or I choose a username that’s already taken? Right now, the form would submit just fine, which is lame.

HTML5 Validation

Try to submit a blank form right now! Woh! We do have some validation. In fact, if I enter an invalid email address, we see another error. This is HTML5 validation. When I inspect a field, we see what’s triggering it:

<input type="email" id="user_register_email" name="user_register[email]" required="required" />

First, each field has a required attribute, which tells an HTML5-compliant browser to throw an error if the field is left blank. Second, the input type=email field tells the browser to expect a valid email address instead of any string.

We got an input type=email field because we’re using the email field type in our form. But where are these required attributes coming from?

Field Options

To answer that, look at the third argument when adding a field: the options array:

// src/Yoda/UserBundle/Form/RegisterFormType.php
// ...

$builder->add('email', 'email', array(
    // an array of options to pass to this field

Every field type can be configured in different ways. For example, the repeated field has a type option. There are also a bunch of options that every field has, required being one of them. Set the required option on email to false and refresh:

// src/Yoda/UserBundle/Form/RegisterFormType.php
// ...

    // ...
    ->add('email', 'email', array(
        'required' => false
    // ...

When we inspect, we see that the required attribute is gone. All fields have this option, and it’s important to realize that it defaults to true.

There are a lot more options available for each field type. The easiest way to learn about them is via the documentation. Remember that Form Field Type Reference page we saw earlier? Yep, it shows you all the field types and all of their options.

Digging into the Core

You can also dig into the source code to find out what options are available. For the repeated type, there is a class called, well, RepeatedType. The setDefaultOptions method shows you the options that are special to this type.

Most of the global options are inherited from a class called FormType. In here you can see required and a few others. In its parent class, BaseType, we see a few more, like label and attr. We can use these to customize the label or add a class to the field from right inside the form class:

// src/Yoda/UserBundle/Form/RegisterFormType.php
// ...

    ->add('email', 'email', array(
        'required' => false,
        'label' => 'Email Address',
        'attr'    => array('class' => 'C-3PO')
    // ...

When we refresh, we see these options working for us.

Disabling HTML5 Validation

HTML5 validation is nice, but not enough: we still need server-side validation. Also, you can’t really customize how HTML5 validation looks or its messages easily. And finally, Symfony automatically defaults all fields to have the required attribute, which is kind of annoying.

I recommend avoiding HTML5 validation entirely. To disable it, just add a novalidate attribute to your form tag:

{# src/Yoda/UserBundle/Resources/views/Register/register.html.twig #}

{# ... #}
<form action="{{ path('user_register') }}" method="POST" novalidate="novalidate">

Refresh the form and try to submit empty. We get a huge error from the database which proves that HTML5 validation is off! Now let’s add some server-side validation!

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What PHP libraries does this tutorial use?

// composer.json
    "require": {
        "php": ">=5.3.3",
        "symfony/symfony": "~2.4", // v2.4.2
        "doctrine/orm": "~2.2,>=2.2.3", // v2.4.2
        "doctrine/doctrine-bundle": "~1.2", // v1.2.0
        "twig/extensions": "~1.0", // v1.0.1
        "symfony/assetic-bundle": "~2.3", // v2.3.0
        "symfony/swiftmailer-bundle": "~2.3", // v2.3.5
        "symfony/monolog-bundle": "~2.4", // v2.5.0
        "sensio/distribution-bundle": "~2.3", // v2.3.4
        "sensio/framework-extra-bundle": "~3.0", // v3.0.0
        "sensio/generator-bundle": "~2.3", // v2.3.4
        "incenteev/composer-parameter-handler": "~2.0", // v2.1.0
        "doctrine/doctrine-fixtures-bundle": "~2.2.0", // v2.2.0
        "ircmaxell/password-compat": "~1.0.3", // 1.0.3
        "phpunit/phpunit": "~4.1" // 4.1.0