Form::Sensible - A sensible way to handle form based user interface


    use Form::Sensible;
    my $form = Form::Sensible->create_form( { ... } );

    my $renderer = Form::Sensible->get_renderer('HTML', { tt_config => { INCLUDE_PATH => [ '/path/to/templates' ] }}); 

    my $output = $renderer->render($form)->complete;
    ## Form Validation:
    my $validation_result = $form->validate();
    if ($validation_result->is_valid()) {
        ## do form was valid stuff
    } else {
        my $output_with_messages = $renderer->render($form)->complete;


Form::Sensible is a different kind of form library. Form::Sensible is not just another HTML form creator, or a form validator, though it can do both. Form::Sensible, instead, focuses on what forms are: a method to relay information to and from a user interface.

Form::Sensible forms are primarily tied to the data they represent. Form::Sensible is not tied to HTML in any way. You could render Form::Sensible forms using any presentation system you like, whether that's HTML, console prompts, WxPerl or voice prompts. (* currently only an HTML renderer is provided with Form::Sensible, but work is already under way to produce others.)


  • Easy form validation

  • Ability to easily save created forms for future use

  • Define form once, render any number of ways

  • Flexible built-in form validator

  • Easily extended to produce new renderers, field types and validation

  • HTML renderer produces sane html that can be easily styled via CSS

  • HTML renderer allows for custom templates to control all aspects of form rendering.

  • HTML output not tied to any javascript library.

Form::Sensible form lifecycle

The Form::Sensible form lifecycle works as follows:

Phase 1 - Show a form

1. Create form object
2. Create or get a renderer
3. Use renderer to render form

Phase 2 - Validate input

1. Create form object
2. Retrieve user input and place it into form
3. Validate form
4. If form data is invalid, re-render the form with messages

One of the most important features of Form::Sensible is that Forms, once created, are easily stored for re-generation later. A form's definition and state are easily converted to a hashref data structure ready for serializing. Likewise, the data structure can be used to create a complete Form::Sensible form object ready for use. This makes re-use of forms extremely easy and provides for dynamic creation and processing of forms.


Form creation from simple data structure

    use Form::Sensible;
    my $form = Form::Sensible->create_form( {
                                                name => 'test',
                                                fields => [
                                                                field_class => 'Text',
                                                                name => 'username',
                                                                validation => { regex => '^[0-9a-z]*'  }
                                                                 field_class => 'Text',
                                                                 name => 'password',
                                                                 render_hints => { 
                                                                        'HTML' => {
                                                                                    field_type => 'password' 
                                                                 field_class => 'Trigger',
                                                                 name => 'submit'
                                            } );

This example creates a form from a simple hash structure. This example creates a simple (and all too familiar) login form.

Creating a form programmatically

    use Form::Sensible;
    my $form = Form::Sensible::Form->new(name=>'test');

    my $username_field = Form::Sensible::Field::Text->new(  
                                                            validation => { regex => qr/^[0-9a-z]*$/  }


    my $password_field = Form::Sensible::Field::Text->new(  
                                                            render_hints => { 
                                                                                'HTML' => {
                                                                                            field_type => 'password' 

    my $submit_button = Form::Sensible::Field::Trigger->new( name => 'submit' );


This example creates the exact same form as the first example. This time, however, it is done by creating each field object individually, and then adding each in turn to the form.

Both of these methods will produce the exact same results when rendered.

Form validation

    ## set_values takes a hash of name->value pairs 
    my $validation_result = $form->validate();
    if ($validation_result->is_valid) { 
        #... do stuff if form submission is ok.
    } else {
        my $renderer = Form::Sensible->get_renderer('HTML');
        my $output = $renderer->render($form)->complete;    

Here we fill in the values provided to us via $c->req->params and then run validation on the form. Validation follows the rules provided in the validation definitions for each field. Whole-form validation is can also be done if provided. When validation is run using this process, the messages are automatically available during rendering.


All methods in the Form::Sensible package are class methods. Note that by useing the Form::Sensible module, the Form::Sensible::Form and Form::Sensible::Field::* classes are also used.


This method creates a form from the given hash structure. The hash structure accepts all the same attributes that Form::Sensible::Form's new method accepts. Field definitions are provided as an array under the field key. Returns the created Form::Sensible::Form object.

get_renderer($render_class, $options)

Creates a renderer of the given class using the $options provided. The format of the class name follows the convention of a bare name being appended to Form::Sensible::Renderer::. In other words if you call <Form::Sensible-get_renderer('HTML', { 'foo' => 'bar' })>> Form::Sensible will ensure the Form::Sensible::Renderer::HTML class is loaded and will create an object by passing the hashref provided to the new method. If you wish to provide a class outside of the Form::Sensible::Renderer:: namespace, prepend the string with a +. For example, to load the class MyRenderer::ProprietaryUI you would pass '+MyRenderer::ProprietaryUI'.

get_validator($validator_class, $options)

Creates a validator of the given class using the $options provided. Follows the same convention for class name passing as the get_renderer method.


Jay Kuri - <>

Luke Saunders - <>

Devin Austin - <>

Alan Rafagudinov - <>

Andrew Moore - <>


Ionzero LLC.


Form::Sensible Wiki:

Form::Sensible Discussion:

Form::Sensible Github:



Copyright 2009 by Jay Kuri <>

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

1 POD Error

The following errors were encountered while parsing the POD:

Around line 156:

=over should be: '=over' or '=over positive_number'