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Chapter: Internet & World Wide Web HOW TO PROGRAM - Python

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Form Processing and Business Logic - Python

XHTML forms allow users to enter data to be sent to a Web server for processing. Once the server receives the form, a server program processes the data.

Form Processing and Business Logic

 

XHTML forms allow users to enter data to be sent to a Web server for processing. Once the server receives the form, a server program processes the data. Such a program could help people purchase products, send and receive Web-based e-mail, complete a survey, etc. These types of Web applications allow users to interact with the server. Figure 28.17 uses an XHTML form to allow users to input personal information for a mailing list. This type of registration might be used to store user information in a database.

 

    <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC

    "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN"

    "DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">

    <!-- Fig. 28.17: fig28_17.html -->

    <html xmlns = "http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xml:lang="en"

    lang="en">

    <head>

    <title>Sample FORM to take user input in HTML</title>

      </head>

      <body style = "font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 11pt">

 

      <div style = "font-size: 15pt; font-weight: bold">

      This is a sample registration form.

      </div>

      Please fill in all fields and click Register.

 

      <form method = "post" action = "/cgi-bin/fig28_18.py">

      <img src = "images/user.gif" alt = "user" /><br />

      <div style = "color: blue">

      Please fill out the fields below.<br />

</div>

      <img src = "images/fname.gif" alt = "firstname" />

      <input type = "text" name = "firstname" /><br />

      <img src = "images/lname.gif" alt = "lastname" />

      <input type = "text" name = "lastname" /><br />

      <img src = "images/email.gif" alt = "email" />

      <input type = "text" name = "email" /><br />

      <img src = "images/phone.gif" alt = "phone" />

      <input type = "text" name = "phone" /><br />

              <div style = "font-size: 8pt">

      Must be in the form (555)555-5555<br/><br/>

      </div>

      <img src = "images/downloads.gif" alt = "downloads" /><br />

      <div style = "color: blue">

      Which book would you like information about?<br />

</div>

          <select name = "book">           

          <option>XML How to Program</option>

          <option>Python How   to Program</option>

          <option>E-business      and E-commerce How to Program</option>

          <option>Internet and WWW How to Program 2e</option>

          <option>C++ How to   Program 3e</option>

          <option>Java How to Program 4e</option>

      <option>Visual Basic How to Program</option>

      </select>

      <br /><br />

      <img src = "images/os.gif" alt = "os" /><br />

      <div style = "color: blue">

                   Which operating system are you

      currently using?<br />

      </div>

      <input type = "radio" name = "os" value = "Windows NT"

      checked = "checked" />

      Windows NT

      <input type = "radio" name = "os" value = "Windows 2000" />

      Windows 2000

      <input type = "radio" name = "os" value = "Windows 95_98" />

      Windows 95/98/ME<br />

      <input type = "radio" name = "os" value = "Linux" />

      Linux

      <input type = "radio" name = "os" value = "Other" />

      Other<br />

      <input type = "submit" value = "Register" />

      </form>

      </body>

      </html>

 


Fig. 28.17  XHTML form to collect information from user

 

The form element (line 19) specifies how the information enclosed by tags <form> and </form> should be handled. The first attribute, method = "post", directs the browser to send the form’s information to the server. The second attribute, action = "/ cgi-bin/fig28_18.py", directs the server to execute the fig28_18.py Python script, located in the cgi-bin directory. The names given to the input items (e.g., firstname) in the Web page are important when the Python script is executed on the server. These names allow the script to refer to the individual pieces of data the user sub-mits. When the user clicks the button labeled Register, both the input items and the names given to the items are sent to the fig28_18.py Python script.

 

Figure 28.18 takes user information from fig28_17.html and sends a Web page to the client indicating that the information was received. Line 6 imports the cgi module, which provides functionality for writing CGI scripts in Python, including access to XHTML form values.

 

    #!c:\Python\python.exe

    # Fig. 28.18: fig28_18.py

    # Program to read information sent to the server from the

    # form in the form.html document.

    import cgi

    import re

 

    # the regular expression for matching most US phone numbers

      telephoneExpression = \

      re.compile( r'^\(\d{3}\)\d{3}-\d{4}$' )

      def printContent():

      print "Content-type: text/html"

      print

      print """

      <html xmlns = "http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xml:lang="en"

      lang="en">

      <head><title>Registration results</title></head>

      <body>"""

      def printReply():

      print """

              Hi <span style = "color: blue; font-weight: bold">

              %(firstName)s</span>.

              Thank you for completing the survey.<br />

              You have been added to the <span style = "color: blue;

              font-weight: bold">%(book)s </span> mailing list.<br /><br />

             

              <span style = "font-weight: bold">

              The following information has been saved in our database:

              </span><br />

              <table style = "border: 0; border-width: 0;

      border-spacing: 10">

          <tr><td style = "background-color: yellow">Name </td>

          <td style = "background-color: yellow">Email</td>

          <td        style = "background-color: yellow">Phone</td>

          <td        style = "background-color: yellow">OS</td></tr>

          <tr><td>%(firstName)s %(lastName)s</td><td>%(email)s</td>

      <td>%(phone)s</td><td>%(os)s</td></tr>

      </table>

              <br /><br /><br />

 

      <div style = "text-align: center; font-size: 8pt">

      This is only a sample form.

      You have not been added to a mailing list.

      </div></center>

      """ % personInfo

      def printPhoneError():

 

 

      print """<span style = "color: red; font-size 15pt">

      INVALID PHONE NUMBER</span><br />

      A valid phone number must be in the form

      <span style = "font-weight: bold">(555)555-5555</span>

      <span style = "color: blue"> Click the Back button,

      enter a valid phone number and resubmit.</span><br /><br />

      Thank You."""

 

      def printFormError():

 

 

      print """<span style = "color: red; font-size 15pt">

      FORM ERROR</span><br />

      You have not filled in all fields.

      <span style = "color: blue"> Click the Back button,

      fill out the form and resubmit.</span><br /><br />

      Thank You."""

 

      printContent()

      form = cgi.FieldStorage()

 

try:

personInfo = { 'firstName' : form[ "firstname" ].value,

'lastName' : form[ "lastname" ].value,

    'email' : form[ "email" ].value,

    'phone' : form[ "phone" ].value,

    'book' : form[ "book" ].value,

    'os' : form[ "os" ].value }

    except KeyError:

    printFormError()

   

    if telephoneExpression.match( personInfo[ 'phone' ] ):

    printReply()

          else:

printPhoneError()




Fig. 28.18  XHTML form to get cookie values from user

 

Line 72 begins the main portion of the script and calls function printContent to print the proper HTTP header and XHTML DOCTYPE string. Line 74 creates an instance of class FieldStorage and assigns the instance to variable form. This class contains information about any posted forms. The try block (lines 76–82) creates a dictionary that contains the appropriate values from each defined element in form. Each value is accessed via the value data member of a particular form element. For example, line 78 assigns the value of the lastName field of form to the dictionary key 'lastName'.

If the value of any element in form is None, the try block raises a KeyError exception, and we call function printFormError. This function (lines 63–70) prints a message in the browser that tells the user the form has not been completed properly and instructs the user to click the Back button to fill out the form and resubmit it.

 

Line 86 tests the user-submitted phone number against the specified format. We com-pile the regular expression telephoneExpression in lines 10–11. If the expression’s match method does not return None, we call the printReply function (discussed momentarily). If the match method does return None (i.e., the phone number is not in the proper format), we call function printPhoneError. This function (lines 53–61) dis-plays a message in the browser that informs the user that the phone number is in improper format and instructs the user to click the Back button to change the phone number and resubmit the form.

 

If the user has filled out the form correctly, we call function printReply (lines 22– 51). This function thanks the user and displays an XHTML table with the information gathered from the form. Notice that we format the output with values from the person-Info dictionary. For example, the beginning of line 25

 

%(firstName)s

 

inserts the value of the string variable firstName into the string after the percent sign (%). Line 51 informs Python that the string variable firstName is a key in the dictionary personInfo. Thus, the text at the beginning of line 25 is replaced with the value stored in personInfo[ 'firstName' ].


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