Usable editable forms (XForms replacement)


I remember overhearing at an "EPiServer Partner Day" last year that a replacement for the XForms system might be in the works (I might remember wrong).

As it currently stands, the whole thing is pretty ugly. I've ran across at least these problems when implementing an editable form in an EPiServer 7 MVC site:

  • It's forced tables for layout which conflicts with just about every web design guideline these days
  • Even if we forgive the tables, they're difficult to style to look nice due to lack of CSS classes
  • The editor gives the user too much freedom in editing the table which makes it even more difficult to style it so that the user cannot break it
  • The HTML generated has actually gone downhill since CMS 6, for one there is no element whatsoever around the text labels for inputs, which makes it impossible to style them as-is
  • If the e-mail functionality is enabled the submit button reveals the recipient e-mail address in the source code for spambots to harvest
  • The forced table has a fixed ID which makes multiple forms on the same page invalid HTML
  • I've actually managed to get the editor to persist the "selected" background color in the editor into the database

I could probably go on. In my current website I had to resort to re-implementing some of the rendering logic to get slightly more sensible HTML and logic.

Is a new form system actually in the works? If not, are there any modules you could recommend for a more sensible editable form?

Sep 11, 2013 10:10

Should I assume that there is currently no actually usable way to create editable forms in EPiServer CMS?

In that case I'll probably start working on a module of my own when I have the time.

Sep 20, 2013 15:04

There are quite a few ways to customize the rendering of the form (the HTML). When it comes to the editor interface I'm not sure what's planned and curious about this myself.


Sep 20, 2013 15:30

Most of the ways of to customize the rendering usually require replicating a lot of built-in EPi functionality with slight modifications (like getting <span> elements around the label text) which creates extra baggage for every website, plus most of them break when the user starts messing with the editor, adding new columns and whatnot.

I've seen people work around the limitations with hacks ranging from running regexes on the HTML or even restructuring the form HTML with JavaScript on the client side. None of the workarounds are very pretty.

Sep 20, 2013 15:34
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