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      FormMagick FAQ - Frequently asked questions about FormMagick

In a root terminal you can do the command below if you want to display the up-to-date content

perldoc CGI::FormMagick::FAQ


  • 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.