Thursday, January 7, 2010

Back to basics: the HTML form

As I’m using ASP.NET MVC 2 for a recent project, I finally got back to the essence of web programming, no more strange page lifecycle, viewstate and weird html rendered as output but instead plain ‘simple’ html.

One of the most important tags is of course the <form>.

They are three things you need to remember:

  1. You can use the method attribute of <form> to specify the HTTP method to use for  submission (GET or POST).
  2. You can use the action attribute of the <form> to submit information to any URL.
  3. You can have multiple <form> tags on a single page.

So what were those HTTP methods again?

Both POST and GET are designed to do what they sound like – GET a response, or POST some information and receive a response.  HTTP POST is the best method to use when you are submitting information to a web server and changing state in your application. On the other hand, an HTTP GET operation operation is the best way to submit information to a server when you are not changing state inside the application.

If you want to read more about the form control and how you can/should use it with ASP.NET MVC, I can recommend this excellent post by Scott Allen.

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