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Let's say that I have a view, whose purpose is to show a table with some information about a person entity. The view contains a form with an input element that the user can use to add a new person to the table by entering its name.

My question is: In this scenario, is there a convention about where to put hidden fields that are needed to retrieve the data in the server again?

In my code, I put them in the table definition; but maybe it's best to put all those fields together inside a div or something. Maybe it just doesn't matter where you put those as long as the code works. I'm just curious because I like to generate the best HTML possible.

I understand that this type of operation is very expensive to archive using a full post-back to the server, and an Ajax request will be better in this scenario, but still the question remains valid.

This is the model for the view:

class IndexViewModel
{
    public string Query { get;set; }

    public IList<Person> People { get;set; }
}

And the view:

<form action="home/index">
    <input id="query" name="query"/>
    <input type="submit" value"Add"/>

    <table>
        <tbody>
            <tr>
                <th>Name</th>
                <th></th>
            </tr>
            @for (int i = 0; i < Model.People.Count; ++i)
            {
                <tr>
                    <td>
                        @Html.HiddenFor(m=>m.People[i].Id)
                        @Html.ActionLink(Model.People[i].Name, "Details", "Person", new { id = Model.People[i].Id }, null)
                    </td>
                    <td>
                        @Html.ActionLink("Remove", "RemovePerson", "Home", new { id = Model.People[i].Id }, null)
                    </td>
                </tr>                            
            }
        </tbody>
    </table>
</form>

In the Action I receive the model and get the list of people again from the database and add the new person.

[HttpPost]
public ActionResult Index(IndexViewModel model)
{
    // Here I load again all people in the view and add the new that was queried.
    for (int i = 0; i < model.People.Count; ++i)
        model.People[i] = db.FindById(model.People[i].Id);

    var newPerson = db.FindByName(model.Query);    
    if (newPerson != null)
        model.People.Add(newPerson);

    return View(model);
}
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    \$\begingroup\$ It is preferable that you do not undo edits unless they vandalize the post or modify the original code. Since that was not the case here, I'm going to rollback to the previous edit that contained the grammatical corrections. \$\endgroup\$
    – syb0rg
    Apr 27 '14 at 2:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @syb0rg Sorry. It wont happen again. I got confused because a made a refresh and thought that I undo your edit some how then I edit it myself but I write the errors back again instead of fix them. \$\endgroup\$
    – rareyesdev
    Apr 27 '14 at 2:58
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ No harm done :). Us cheery regulars are just trying to keep the site as tidy as possible! \$\endgroup\$
    – syb0rg
    Apr 27 '14 at 2:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ @agarwaen: If that's the case, then I apologize for not waiting the first five minutes (the poster's edit grace period). The edit system does frustrate me at times. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jamal
    Apr 27 '14 at 3:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Jamal I really appreciate the work you guys do. I'm not English native, I enjoy a lot learning at this site and hope it will help me to improve my English too. \$\endgroup\$
    – rareyesdev
    Apr 27 '14 at 3:15
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When you are iterating over the collection of people, it probably does make sense to keep the hidden fields within the loop. I would try to keep them grouped together in that first td, with a hidden field per line, so that they are easily noticeable when scanning the source.

If I weren't iterating (meaning that I was using some field at the top of my model, not in an array), I generally stuff my hidden inputs immediately following the opening tag.

When iterating, within the td, a hidden element should have no effect on the rendering. You might consider wrapping them in a or with display:none applied. I believe there are some (older) browsers that will render white space if you have line breaks between your hidden inputs.

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