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HTML::Form(3)         User Contributed Perl Documentation        HTML::Form(3)

       HTML::Form - Class that represents an HTML form element

        use HTML::Form;
        $form = HTML::Form->parse($html, $base_uri);
        $form->value(query => "Perl");

        use LWP::UserAgent;
        $ua = LWP::UserAgent->new;
        $response = $ua->request($form->click);

       Objects of the "HTML::Form" class represents a single HTML "<form> ... </form>" instance.  A form consists of a
       sequence of inputs that usually have names, and which can take on various values.  The state of a form can be
       tweaked and it can then be asked to provide "HTTP::Request" objects that can be passed to the request() method
       of "LWP::UserAgent".

       The following methods are available:

       @forms = HTML::Form->parse( $response )
       @forms = HTML::Form->parse( $html_document, $base )
       @forms = HTML::Form->parse( $html_document, %opt )
           The parse() class method will parse an HTML document and build up "HTML::Form" objects for each <form> ele-
           ment found.  If called in scalar context only returns the first <form>.  Returns an empty list if there are
           no forms to be found.

           The $base is the URI used to retrieve the $html_document.  It is needed to resolve relative action URIs.
           If the document was retrieved with LWP then this this parameter is obtained from the $response->base()
           method, as shown by the following example:

               my $ua = LWP::UserAgent->new;
               my $response = $ua->get("");
               my @forms = HTML::Form->parse($response->decoded_content,

           The parse() method can parse from an "HTTP::Response" object directly, so the example above can be more
           conveniently written as:

               my $ua = LWP::UserAgent->new;
               my $response = $ua->get("");
               my @forms = HTML::Form->parse($response);

           Note that any object that implements a decoded_content() and base() method with similar behaviour as
           "HTTP::Response" will do.

           Finally options might be passed in to control how the parse method behaves.  The following options are cur-
           rently recognized:

           "base => $uri"
               Another way to provide the base URI.

           "verbose => $bool"
               Warn (print messages to STDERR) about any bad HTML form constructs found.  You can trap these with

           "strict => $bool"
               Initialize any form objects with the given strict attribute.

       $method = $form->method
       $form->method( $new_method )
           This method is gets/sets the method name used for the "HTTP::Request" generated.  It is a string like "GET"
           or "POST".

       $action = $form->action
       $form->action( $new_action )
           This method gets/sets the URI which we want to apply the request method to.

       $enctype = $form->enctype
       $form->enctype( $new_enctype )
           This method gets/sets the encoding type for the form data.  It is a string like "applica-
           tion/x-www-form-urlencoded" or "multipart/form-data".

       $value = $form->attr( $name )
       $form->attr( $name, $new_value )
           This method give access to the original HTML attributes of the <form> tag.  The $name should always be
           passed in lower case.


              @f = HTML::Form->parse( $html, $foo );
              @f = grep $_->attr("id") eq "foo", @f;
              die "No form named 'foo' found" unless @f;
              $foo = shift @f;

       $bool = $form->strict
       $form->strict( $bool )
           Gets/sets the strict attribute of a form.  If the strict is turned on the methods that change values of the
           form will croak if you try to set illegal values or modify readonly fields.  The default is not to be

       @inputs = $form->inputs
           This method returns the list of inputs in the form.  If called in scalar context it returns the number of
           inputs contained in the form.  See "INPUTS" for what methods are available for the input objects returned.

       $input = $form->find_input( $name )
       $input = $form->find_input( $name, $type )
       $input = $form->find_input( $name, $type, $index )
           This method is used to locate specific inputs within the form.  All inputs that match the arguments given
           are returned.  In scalar context only the first is returned, or "undef" if none match.

           If $name is specified, then the input must have the indicated name.

           If $type is specified, then the input must have the specified type.  The following type names are used:
           "text", "password", "hidden", "textarea", "file", "image", "submit", "radio", "checkbox" and "option".

           The $index is the sequence number of the input matched where 1 is the first.  If combined with $name and/or
           $type then it select the nth input with the given name and/or type.

       $value = $form->value( $name )
       $form->value( $name, $new_value )
           The value() method can be used to get/set the value of some input.  If strict is enabled and no input has
           the indicated name, then this method will croak.

           If multiple inputs have the same name, only the first one will be affected.

           The call:


           is basically a short-hand for:


       @names = $form->param
       @values = $form->param( $name )
       $form->param( $name, $value, ... )
       $form->param( $name, \@values )
           Alternative interface to examining and setting the values of the form.

           If called without arguments then it returns the names of all the inputs in the form.  The names will not
           repeat even if multiple inputs have the same name.  In scalar context the number of different names is

           If called with a single argument then it returns the value or values of inputs with the given name.  If
           called in scalar context only the first value is returned.  If no input exists with the given name, then
           "undef" is returned.

           If called with 2 or more arguments then it will set values of the named inputs.  This form will croak if no
           inputs have the given name or if any of the values provided does not fit.  Values can also be provided as a
           reference to an array.  This form will allow unsetting all values with the given name as well.

           This interface resembles that of the param() function of the CGI module.

       $form->try_others( \&callback )
           This method will iterate over all permutations of unvisited enumerated values (<select>, <radio>, <check-
           box>) and invoke the callback for each.  The callback is passed the $form as argument.  The return value
           from the callback is ignored and the try_others() method itself does not return anything.

       $request = $form->make_request
           Will return an "HTTP::Request" object that reflects the current setting of the form.  You might want to use
           the click() method instead.

       $request = $form->click
       $request = $form->click( $name )
       $request = $form->click( $x, $y )
       $request = $form->click( $name, $x, $y )
           Will "click" on the first clickable input (which will be of type "submit" or "image").  The result of
           clicking is an "HTTP::Request" object that can then be passed to "LWP::UserAgent" if you want to obtain the
           server response.

           If a $name is specified, we will click on the first clickable input with the given name, and the method
           will croak if no clickable input with the given name is found.  If $name is not specified, then it is ok if
           the form contains no clickable inputs.  In this case the click() method returns the same request as the
           make_request() method would do.

           If there are multiple clickable inputs with the same name, then there is no way to get the click() method
           of the "HTML::Form" to click on any but the first.  If you need this you would have to locate the input
           with find_input() and invoke the click() method on the given input yourself.

           A click coordinate pair can also be provided, but this only makes a difference if you clicked on an image.
           The default coordinate is (1,1).  The upper-left corner of the image is (0,0), but some badly coded CGI
           scripts are known to not recognize this.  Therefore (1,1) was selected as a safer default.

       @kw = $form->form
           Returns the current setting as a sequence of key/value pairs.  Note that keys might be repeated, which
           means that some values might be lost if the return values are assigned to a hash.

           In scalar context this method returns the number of key/value pairs generated.

           Returns a textual representation of current state of the form.  Mainly useful for debugging.  If called in
           void context, then the dump is printed on STDERR.

       An "HTML::Form" objects contains a sequence of inputs.  References to the inputs can be obtained with the
       $form->inputs or $form->find_input methods.

       Note that there is not a one-to-one correspondence between input objects and <input> elements in the HTML docu-
       ment.  An input object basically represents a name/value pair, so when multiple HTML elements contribute to the
       same name/value pair in the submitted form they are combined.

       The input elements that are mapped one-to-one are "text", "textarea", "password", "hidden", "file", "image",
       "submit" and "checkbox".  For the "radio" and "option" inputs the story is not as simple: All <input
       type="radio"> elements with the same name will contribute to the same input radio object.  The number of radio
       input objects will be the same as the number of distinct names used for the <input type="radio"> elements.  For
       a <select> element without the "multiple" attribute there will be one input object of type of "option".  For a
       <select multiple> element there will be one input object for each contained <option> element.  Each one of
       these option objects will have the same name.

       The following methods are available for the input objects:

           Returns the type of this input.  The type is one of the following strings: "text", "password", "hidden",
           "textarea", "file", "image", "submit", "radio", "checkbox" or "option".

       $name = $input->name
       $input->name( $new_name )
           This method can be used to get/set the current name of the input.

       $value = $input->value
       $input->value( $new_value )
           This method can be used to get/set the current value of an input.

           If strict is enabled and the input only can take an enumerated list of values, then it is an error to try
           to set it to something else and the method will croak if you try.

           You will also be able to set the value of read-only inputs, but a warning will be generated if running
           under "perl -w".

           Returns a list of all values that an input can take.  For inputs that do not have discrete values, this
           returns an empty list.

           Returns a list of all values not tried yet.

           For some inputs the values can have names that are different from the values themselves.  The number of
           names returned by this method will match the number of values reported by $input->possible_values.

           When setting values using the value() method it is also possible to use the value names in place of the
           value itself.

       $bool = $input->readonly
       $input->readonly( $bool )
           This method is used to get/set the value of the readonly attribute.  You are allowed to modify the value of
           readonly inputs, but setting the value will generate some noise when warnings are enabled.  Hidden fields
           always start out readonly.

       $bool = $input->disabled
       $input->disabled( $bool )
           This method is used to get/set the value of the disabled attribute.  Disabled inputs do not contribute any
           key/value pairs for the form value.

           Returns a (possible empty) list of key/value pairs that should be incorporated in the form value from this

           Some input types represent toggles that can be turned on/off.  This includes "checkbox" and "option"
           inputs.  Calling this method turns this input on without having to know the value name.  If the input is
           already on, then nothing happens.

           This has the same effect as:


           The input can be turned off with:


       $input->click($form, $x, $y)
           Some input types (currently "submit" buttons and "images") can be clicked to submit the form.  The click()
           method returns the corresponding "HTTP::Request" object.

       If the input is of type "file", then it has these additional methods:

           This is just an alias for the value() method.  It sets the filename to read data from.

       $filename = $input->filename
       $input->filename( $new_filename )
           This get/sets the filename reported to the server during file upload.  This attribute defaults to the value
           reported by the file() method.

       $content = $input->content
       $input->content( $new_content )
           This get/sets the file content provided to the server during file upload.  This method can be used if you
           do not want the content to be read from an actual file.

       @headers = $input->headers
       input->headers($key => $value, .... )
           This get/set additional header fields describing the file uploaded.  This can for instance be used to set
           the "Content-Type" reported for the file.

       LWP, LWP::UserAgent, HTML::Parser

       Copyright 1998-2008 Gisle Aas.

       This library is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.

perl v5.8.8                       2008-12-05                     HTML::Form(3)