Ian Bicking: the old part of his blog

Re: On form libraries

I've used FormEncode and the associated htmlfill for some time now and have been really really happy with how it works out. When you do complex applications, and you need to be hand editing your html page for specific layout/javascript interaction and it's a godsend when the framework for validation and loading defaults on the page (#1 & #2) just stay out of the way.

htmlfill does a really good job of putting default values on the forms; and formencode is a great way to validate and get those validation errors back on the page (along with setting appropriate display classes on the page). It really understands html as it should, and doesn't mind if it happens to be html that comes through some other framework or page templating language. It's almost like they are just tools and not a framework at all, because they don't ever get in your way when you want to do complex things; they make the complex possible. Personally i use Zope Page Templates to generate my pages (#8) and that helps put some of the dynamic elements on the page; but formencode does quite a bit of heavy lifting; and it is quite up to the task.

...all that said, HTML, Javascript and CSS (#4 #5 and #6) can be annoying until you really have a strong grasp of all three and are comfortable with them all. When you reach that level things start to fall into place, and you realize that HTML, Javascript and CSS are powerful frameworks for doing their respective pieces, and that they can be easier to use directly instead of with some clumsy middle man between the keyboard and the screen

Comment on On form libraries
by Jehiah