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Validating User Input with JavaScript

JavaScript validation should be considered an assistance more to your users than to your websites because, as I have already stressed many times, you cannot trust any data submitted to your server, even if it has supposedly been validated with JavaScript. This is because hackers can quite easily simulate your web forms and submit any data of their choosing.

Another reason you cannot rely on JavaScript to perform all your input validation is that some users disable JavaScript, or use browsers that don’t support it.

So, the best types of validation to do in JavaScript are checking that fields have content if they are not to be left empty, ensuring that email addresses conform to the proper format, and ensuring that values entered are within expected bounds.

The validate.html Document (Part One)

Let’s start with a general signup form, common on most sites that offer memberships or registered users. The inputs being requested will be forename, surname, username, password, age, and email address. Example 16-1 provides a good template for such a form.

Example 16-1. A form with JavaScript validation (part one)

<html><head><title>An Example Form</title>
<style>.signup { border: 1px solid #999999;
    font: normal 14px helvetica; color:#444444; }</style>

<script>
function validate(form) {
    fail  = validateForename(form.forename.value)
    fail += validateSurname(form.surname.value)
    fail += validateUsername(form.username.value)
    fail += validatePassword(form.password.value) ...

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