Creating the form view

Using our schema in a form

To render our form, we need to create a view that uses a z3c.form base class. The view is registered like any other in ZCML. It is then configured with the schema to use for form fields, the label (page title) and description (lead-in text) to show, and actions to render as buttons.

Still in, we add the following:

class OrderForm(AutoExtensibleForm, form.Form):
    schema = OrderFormSchema
    form_name = 'order_form'

    label = _(u"Order your pizza")
    description = _(u"We will contact you to confirm your order and delivery.")

    def update(self):
        # disable Plone's editable border
        self.request.set('disable_border', True)

        # call the base class version - this is very important!
        super(OrderForm, self).update()

    def handleApply(self, action):
        data, errors = self.extractData()
        if errors:
            self.status = self.formErrorsMessage

        # Handle order here. For now, just print it to the console. A more
        # realistic action would be to send the order to another system, send
        # an email, or similar

        print u"Order received:"
        print u"  Customer: ", data['name']
        print u"  Telephone:", data['telephone']
        print u"  Address:  ", data['address1']
        print u"            ", data['address2']
        print u"            ", data['postcode']
        print u"  Order:    ", ', '.join(data['orderItems'])
        print u""

        # Redirect back to the front page with a status message

                _(u"Thank you for your order. We will contact you shortly"),

        contextURL = self.context.absolute_url()

    def handleCancel(self, action):
        """User cancelled. Redirect back to the front page.
        contextURL = self.context.absolute_url()

The form is registered in configure.zcml


    <!-- Set overrides folder for Just-a-Bunch-Of-Templates product -->
    <include package="z3c.jbot" file="meta.zcml" />

    <!-- Publish static files -->

    <adapter factory=".order.OrderFormAdapter"/>



Let’s go through this in some detail:

  • We derive our form view from one of the standard base classes in plone.autoform. It comes without any of the standard actions that can be found on more specialised base classes such as SchemaAddForm or SchemaEditForm. It basically mirrors the z3c.form.form.Form base class.
  • Next, we specify the schema via the schema attribute.
  • We set ignoreContext to True. This tells z3c.form not to attempt to read the current value of any of the form fields from the context. The default behaviour is to attempt to adapt the context (the Plone site root in this case) to the schema interface and read the schema attribute value from this adapter when first populating the form. This makes sense for edit forms and things like control panels, but not for a standalone form like this.
  • We then set a label and description for the form. In the standard form template, these are rendered as a page header and lead-in text, respectively.
  • We override the update() method to set the disable_border request variable. This hides the editable border when rendering the form. We then call the base class version of update(). This is crucial for the form to work! update() is a good place to perform any pre-work before the form machinery kicks in (before calling the base class version) or post-processing afterwards (after calling the base class version). See the section on the form rendering lifecycle later in this manual for the gory details.
  • Finally, we define two actions, using the @button.buttonAndHandler() decorator. Each action is rendered as a button (in order). The argument is a (translated) string that will be used as a button label. The decorated handler function will be called when the button is clicked.
  • We then use the standard way to register the view via zcml: name gives it a friendly name (used as a path segment in the URL); for sets the type of context where the form is available (here, we make it available on the Plone site root, though any interface or class may be passed; to make the form available on any context, use * as for); permission specifies a permission which the user must have to be able to view the form (here, we use the standard zope2.View permission).

For the purposes of this test, the actual work we do with the main handler is relatively contrived. However, the patterns are generally applicable.

The second button (cancel) is the simpler of the two. It performs no validation and simply redirects to the context’s default view, i.e. the portal front page in this case.

The first button actually extracts the data from the form, using self.extractData(). This returns a tuple of the form data, which has been converted to the field’s underlying type by each widget (thus, the value corresponding to the Set field contains a set) and any errors. If there are errors, we abort, setting self.status to confer an error message at the top of the page. Otherwise, we use the form data (here just printing the output to the console - you need to run Zope in foreground mode to see these messages), add a cookie-tracked status message (so that it can appear on the next page) and redirect the user to the context’s default view. In this case, that means the portal front page.