FormMagick FAQ - Frequently asked questions about FormMagick


How do I check that my XML is valid?

In theory, you validate it against the DTD provided with the FormMagick distribution, using a suitable XML validation tool. Unfortuneately we haven't found one yet, but when we do we'll write a script and distribute it with FormMagick.

How do I customise the look and feel of my forms?

Use cascading style sheets. Take a look at the HTML source output by FormMagick, and you'll see that most things have a "label" attribute to make CSS easier.

How do I make my own validation routines?

Simply create a routine in your CGI script which accepts the data to validate as an argument. Have it return "OK" on success or a detailed error message on failure.

    sub my_validation {
        my $data = shift;
        if ($data =~ /$some_pattern/) {
            return "OK";
        } else {
            return "That looks wrong to me.";

How do I add translations into another language?

Use the lexicon element in your XML.

How do I do extra processing when a user clicks "Next"?

Use a post-event on the page element. Create a subroutine that does what you want:

    sub process_credit_card {
        my $cgi = shift;
        my $cardnum = $cgi->param("cardnum");
        my $response = do_processing($cardnum);
        print "<p>$response</p>";

How do I choose which page to go to based on user input?

Use a page post-event and set the value of the "wherenext" CGI parameter:

    sub my_post_page_event {
        my $cgi = shift;
        if ($cgi->param("foo") eq "bar") {
            $cgi->param(-name => "wherenext", -value => "GoToThisPageName")
        } elsif ($cgi->param("had_enough") eq "Yes") {
            $cgi->param(-name => "wherenext", -value => "Finish")


General troubleshooting tips

Try turning on debugging:


This will print out general debugging messages to the web page.

Why isn't my data preserved from one page to the next?

You probably need to make your session-tokens directory writable and executable by the web server. Either:

    chown www session-tokens 
       (assuming your webserver runs as the www user)
    chmod 700 session-tokens


    chmod 777 session-tokens

Note that the latter allows anyone on the system to write to this directory, and is a greater security risk than the former method.