[pmwiki-users] Utility links, Fox forms, and PmForms

Randy randy at brownragfilms.com
Wed Apr 16 17:10:08 CDT 2008

Forms are an important aspect of making my wiki user friendly. I've  
discovered some limits that it would be great to overcome.

Imagine a sidebar that has a utility link that lets the user post  
notes to his or her profile while browsing through the wiki. The note- 
entry form shows information based on conditional tests, and has its  
own >>wikistyle<< markup. The form allows the user to enter several  
paragraphs, and can provide input error messages. When the user has  
submitted or cancelled the note-entry form, he or she ends up on the  
original current page.

A typical user interface would provide a modal pop up form to enter  
the notes. But modal pop up forms don't exist in PmWiki.

I've tried the next best approach using Fox forms, by sending the user  
to the form page and then returning him or her to the current page.  
But Fox doesn't work well when the form is not included on a calling  
page (which isn't feasible in the sidebar). Even if I  included the  
form on the sidebar or in the footer of the current page, its  
conditional logic and wikistyles could interfere with the including  
page or vice versa - so being forced to include the form severely  
limits the form. Besides, inclusion is not a very user-friendly  
solution if the including page and form are both long. For example,  
they compete for the user's attention, and it's difficult to make sure  
the user doesn't end up scrolled somewhere else on the long page after  
an input error is detected.

How would you provide a note-taking utility link? Will PmForms or Fox  
forms ever be able to handle forms that aren't included on the calling  


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