View Poll Results: Should Tectite FormMail have built-in field validation features?

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  • Yes, I would like FormMail to have a number of built-in field validation features.

    135 72.97%
  • No, I'm happy to use "conditions" and "required" for my field validations.

    42 22.70%
  • I'm happy to pay for an extensive set of field validations in FormMail as an add-on product.

    28 15.14%
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Thread: Poll: Should FormMail have more Built In Validations?

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    3,980

    Question Poll: Should FormMail have more Built In Validations?

    Hi,

    FormMail's "conditions" and "required" features are quite powerful.

    However, there's a quite a lot of work and learning required in order to use "conditions".

    You can copy some examples from these forums, but just validating an email address format is quite a challenge.

    We've been thinking about including some standard built-in conditions into FormMail and would like your opinion on this.

    For example, some built-in validations might be:
    • email address format (btw, spammers already know what a valid email address looks like)
    • phone number format (in this case you will put on your form the format you want people to use - you don't want them to have to guess)
    • Text only (alphabetic, numeric, and basic punctuation). This is for textareas etc.
    • Date format (various international formats as well).
    The downside is that built-in conditions are viewable by anyone, including spammers. So, if you use built-in conditions, then the spammers will more than likely learn about them and target their spam to be accepted by the conditions....thereby getting an annoying spam through to you.

    There's already evidence that some spammers have managed to get around some of the built-in anti-spam detection in FormMail. (Remember, they can only annoy you, not use your server to send spam to other people - your server is safe with Tectite FormMail.)

    However, we don't actually think that field validations are an anti-spam technique. They are primarily to protect your data from innocent errors by your form users.

    So, by building-in some validations, we'll be making it easier for you to create robust forms for normal users.

    Anti-spam techniques are something entirely different to field validation.

    If you want to use field validations for anti-spam, then you also need to use the INI file feature to hide the validations from view.

    Please vote on the poll.
    Russell Robinson - Author of Tectite FormMail and FormMailDecoder
    http://www.tectite.com/

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Poll: Should FormMail have more Built In Validations?

    I think it could use the more validation featurea dded.

    and BTW i gave it Excellent in all sites. cause it simply desirves it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Poll: Should FormMail have more Built In Validations?

    Please implement the basic validations mentioned above, AND please let US choose whether to use YOUR regex or OUR regex, this could be done with default variables containing your regex string plus a define where we can insert our own desired regex. This should not be too different than your current dev model of true/false and config variables.

    ALSO please have the ability to apply custom field validation(s) if we want, by defining additional specific variable names in the script.

    One more suggestion, disallowing html code and html links should be ON by default, only turn-offable by the person installing the script, with the ability to redirect and tell people no HTML!!

    I have one form already using your code and I've already received a spam. Not your fault, it passed the required validation tests.

    While this is in development and until it's available, please post specific example conditions code that can easily be re-used. For example, four form fields that must all be true/valid for form submission to occur, these would be the required email and realname, plus 2 more fields. The exact correct way to set this up instead of having us struggle with it.

    No code whatsoever should be inside the HTML form, all the server-side validation should stay on the server!!

    Thank you, Tom

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Poll: Should FormMail have more Built In Validations?

    I have been literally weeks trying to come to grips with FormMail as it is. It is all very well for nerds to want more bells and whistles. I have now finally used it successfully on two forms. and think it is fine. I am 68 years old and only got into computing in the last 10 years so I really appreciate it being made available to those of us with less agile minds.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    3,980

    Default Re: Poll: Should FormMail have more Built In Validations?

    Hi,

    It's always a difficult line to draw between features and simplicity.

    I don't think we have it right yet, and perhaps it's an impossible goal to achieve.

    But, we're constantly thinking about it and striving to achieve it.
    Russell Robinson - Author of Tectite FormMail and FormMailDecoder
    http://www.tectite.com/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Poll: Should FormMail have more Built In Validations?

    i think formmail is really one of the best php scripts i ever used, i would happily pay for some kind of instant pre-submit validation add-on, based on javascript or ajax.

    i understand that server-side validation is better for many reasons, but the instant feedback of javascript/ajax validation really makes a huge usability difference for people filling forms.

    Beacuse no matter how clear your instructions to visitors are, someone still always missed them and could lose interest in filling the form by going back and submiting the form again.

    Even when we have a link which takes back to the form while saving fields-data so they dont have to enter it again, many people simply ignore that link, press "Back" button, and then lose interest when they find out they have to fill the whole form again.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    3

    Thumbs up Re: Poll: Should FormMail have more Built In Validations?

    Having a couple standard field-type edits built in would be a big help!
    Email address being a biggie. Phone numbers another very useful one.

    Since we implemented the URL limiting features in your recent releases, form spam coming in has dropped to insignificant amounts (where we were getting flooded before!); so i'm not worred about the spammers reading the rules to be able to provide valid email addresses in the forms they fill out.

    Thanks for a very useful tool!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Israel
    Posts
    17

    Cool Re: Poll: Should FormMail have more Built In Validations?

    Although I agree that standard validation formats can be a good thing, I would like to remind all and especially the programmers, that not all countries use the same format for stuff, especially phone numbers.

    I can't tell you the number of forms I'v not been able to complete because the phone number format in Israel is not the same as the states, and I am not talking about small time sites, but some rather famous ones.

    As such is the case, this then means that to correctly validate a phone number, it would have to be connected to the country code, and not just simply "validate" if the format of a phone number is correct or not.

    Needs consideration I'd say .

    Mike

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Poll: Should FormMail have more Built In Validations?

    Since we implemented the URL limiting features in your recent releases, form spam coming in has dropped to insignificant amounts (where we were getting flooded before!); so i'm not worred about the spammers reading the rules to be able to provide valid email addresses in the forms they fill out.
    Great! Let me in on the secret, as I cannot get

    Code:
    define("ATTACK_DETECTION_MANY_URL_FIELDS",1);
    To work at all. The form continues to allow you to send any number of URLs you wish...

    LS

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: Poll: Should FormMail have more Built In Validations?

    Quote Originally Posted by pulp View Post
    i think formmail is really one of the best php scripts i ever used, i would happily pay for some kind of instant pre-submit validation add-on, based on javascript or ajax.

    i understand that server-side validation is better for many reasons, but the instant feedback of javascript/ajax validation really makes a huge usability difference for people filling forms.
    .
    Totally agreed.

    Is the validation feature implemented in the newest formmail?

    I love tectite's formmail so much that I recommend it to every web designer. Working on a project that client wants server-side validation, as a result I am forced to look for other option too. Could formmail works with javascript/ajax validation? Someone in this thread mention about the Dreamweaver validation feature, what it is about? Please elaborate.

    Thank you very much!

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