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Programming ColdFusion MX, 2nd Edition by Rob Brooks-Bilson

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Chapter 10. Dynamic Form Controls

Anyone who has ever worked with HTML forms knows their importance. Forms are the basis for much of the interaction between users and web applications. Yet, for all of their benefits, HTML forms leave a lot to be desired from a development standpoint. For starters, HTML forms are all alike—from a data-gathering perspective and from a user-interface perspective. A text box is a text box is a text box. Nothing you can do can change that. With regular HTML forms, you are limited to a standard set of input types, each identical in style and function to those used by every other HTML developer. Sure, you can make your forms unique, but the form controls themselves are completely devoid of customization. The second limitation (if you want to call it that) of HTML form controls is the lack of data-validation capabilities. HTML form controls do nothing more than gather data and post it to another template for processing. Sure, you can write JavaScript routines to validate each form field individually, but do you really want to? This is where ColdFusion comes in.

ColdFusion includes a set of tags for extending the capabilities of regular HTML forms. These tags provide additional functionality to forms such as data validation, new data views, and new input types. Not only can you customize the appearance of many of the form controls, but there are several additional ColdFusion form controls, including Java applet-based tree, grid, and slider controls. The ...

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