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This PHP script to validates a booking form. (There is also a JavaScript validation as well, but please ignore.). I want to know if there is a better/more efficient way of writing it?

I have created a function to check each value of the form. For example, it checks if the fullname text box is empty or not. I have then created a function at the end which checks to make sure that all of the functions are true. If they are all true then it sends it to the next page, or a confirmation page. If any of the functions are not true it does not submit and obviously the user has to enter the correct information properly.

PHP:

<?php 
// Define variables

$fullname = "";
$phoneNumber = "";
$email = "";
$country = "";
$tour = "";
$peopleTravelling = "";
$hours = "";
$message = "";

// Define error variables
$fullnameError = "";
$phonenumberError = "";
$emailError = "";
$countryError = "";
$tourError = "";
$peopleError = "";
$hoursError = "";
$messageError = "";

// When the submit button is press do this

if (isset($_POST['submit'])) {
    $fullname = trim($_POST['fullname']);
    $phoneNumber = trim($_POST['phone']);
    $email = trim($_POST['email']);
    $country = trim($_POST['country']);
    $tour = $_POST['tour'];
    $peopleTravelling = $_POST['people'];
    $hours = $_POST['hours'];
    $message = trim($_POST['message']);


    function checkFullname($fullname){
        global $fullnameError;
        if (empty($fullname)) {
            $fullnameError = "Please enter your full name";
            return false;
        } else {
            $fullnameError = "Fullname allgood";
            return true;
        }
    }

    function checkPhoneNumber($phoneNumber){
        global $phonenumberError;
        if (empty($phoneNumber)) {
            $phonenumberError = "Phone number is empty";
            return false;
        } else if(!preg_match("/^[0-9]+$/", $phoneNumber)) {
            $phonenumberError = "Please enter a valid phone number";
            return false;
        }

        $phonenumberError = "Phone Number Allgood";
            return true;
    }

    function checkEmail($email) {
        global $emailError;
        if (empty($email)) {
            $emailError = "Email is empty";
            return false;

        } else if(!preg_match("/^[_a-z0-9-]+(\.[_a-z0-9-]+)*@[a-z0-9-]+(\.[a-z0-9-]+)*(\.[a-z]{2,3})$/",$email)) {
                $emailError = "Email is invalid";
                return false;
        }

        $emailError = "Email Allgood";
        return true;

    }

    function checkCountry($country){
        global $countryError;
        if (empty($country)) {
            $countryError = "Please enter a country";
            return false;
        }
        $countryError = "Country Allgood";
        return true;
    }

    function checkTour($tour){
        global $tourError;
        if ($tour === "pleaseselect") {
            $tourError = "Please choose an option from the drop down list";
            return false;
        }
        $tourError = "Nice!";
        return true;
    }

    function checkPeople($peopleTravelling){
        global $peopleError;
        if ($peopleTravelling === "pleaseselect") {
            $peopleError = "Please choose an option from the drop down list";
            return false;
        }
        $peopleError = "Well done!";
        return true;
    }

    function checkHours($hours){
        global $hoursError;
        if ($hours === "pleaseselect") {
            $hoursError = "Please choose an option from the drop down list";
            return false;
        }
        $hoursError = "Well done!";
        return true;
    }

    function checkMessage($message){
        global $messageError;
        if (empty($message)) {
            $messageError = "Please enter a message";
            return false;
        } else {
            $messageError = "Message Allgood";
            return true;
        }
    }

//This function checks all of my functions above to make sure they are all true, if they all are it will send it to the next page, if any of them are false it won't let the user go to the next page until the information they provide in the textbox's etc is valid.

    function checkAll($fullname, $phoneNumber, $email, $country, $tour, $peopleTravelling, $hours, $message){
        if (checkFullname($fullname) & checkPhoneNumber($phoneNumber) & checkEmail($email) & checkCountry($country) & checkTour($tour) & checkPeople($peopleTravelling) & checkHours($hours) & checkMessage($message)) {
            header("Location: send.html");
            return true;
        } else {
            echo "Failed";
            return false;
        }
    }
    checkAll($fullname, $phoneNumber, $email, $country, $tour, $peopleTravelling, $hours, $message);

}

?>

HTML:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
    <title>Make a booking!</title>
    <meta charset="UTF-8">
    <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="css/reset.css">
    <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="css/style.css">

    <!-- Google fonts below -->
    <link href='http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Lato:100,300,400,700,900' rel='stylesheet' type='text/css'>
</head>
<body>

    <div id="main_container"><!-- This is the main container that containers all the content on the page -->
        <div id="top_bar"><!-- This is the main navigation bar that you seen at the top of each page -->
            <div class="weather_updates">
                <b>Latest weather updates:</b> Wanaka - Sunny - 20 degrees 
            </div>
                <div class="phone_number_container">
                        0800 456 456
                </div>

                <div class="icon_container">
                    <a href="http://www.facebook.com" target="_blank"><img src="img/facebook.png" alt="Facebook"></a>
                    <a href="http://www.twitter.com" target="_blank"><img src="img/twitter.png" alt="Twitter"></a>
                </div>


        </div>

            <div id="background"></div><!-- This containers the main picture and logo that is seen on the home page -->

                <div id="nav"><!-- This is the main navigation bar that you seen at the top of each page -->
                    <ul>
                        <li><a href="index.html">Home</a></li>
                        <li><a href="tours.html">Tours & Prices</a></li>
                        <li><a href="pilots.html">Meet our Pilots</a></li>
                        <li><a href="gallery.html">Gallery</a></li>
                        <li><a href="booking.php" class="current">Book Now!</a></li>
                        <li><a href="contact.html">Contact Us</a></li>
                    </ul>
                </div>


                            <form id="contact_form" action="booking.php" method="post" onsubmit="return checkBookingPageForm()">
                                <h2>Make a booking:</h2>

                                <label for="fullName">Full Name:*</label> <input type="text" name="fullname" id="fullName" onblur="checkFullName()" value="<?php echo $fullname;?>">

                                <span id="fullNameError" class="error"><?php echo $fullnameError; ?></span>

                                <label for="phoneNumber">Phone Number:*</label> <input type="text" id="phoneNumber" onblur="checkPhoneNumber()" name="phone" value="<?php echo $phoneNumber; ?>">
                                <span id="phoneNumberError" class="error"><?php echo $phonenumberError; ?></span>

                                <label for="email">Email Address:*</label> <input type="text" id="email" onblur="checkEmail()" name="email" value="<?php echo $email; ?>">
                                <span id="emailError" class="error"><?php echo $emailError; ?></span>

                                <label for="country">Home Country*</label> <input type="text" id="country" onblur="checkCountry()" name="country" value="<?php echo $country; ?>">

                                <span id="countryError" class="error"><?php echo $countryError; ?></span>

                                <h2>Tour Details:</h2>

                                <label for="tour">Tour:*</label> 
                                    <select class="tour_options" id="tour" onblur="getTour()" onchange="totalPrice(); checkCharter()" name="tour">

                                        <option value="pleaseselect"<?php echo "selected"; ?>>-- Please Select --</option>
                                        <optgroup label="Scenic Flights (Depart/return Queenstown airport)">
                                        <option <?php if($tour=="299") echo 'selected="selected"'; ?>value="299">Queenstown - 1 hour - $299pp</option>
                                        <option value="399">Franz Josef - 2 hours - $399pp</option>
                                        <option value="299">Wanaka - 1 hour - $299pp </option>
                                        </optgroup>

                                        <optgroup label="Scenic Flights (Depart/return Wanaka airport)">
                                        <option value="299">Wanaka - 1 hour - $299pp </option>
                                        <option value="299">Queenstown - 1 hour - $299pp</option>
                                        <option value="399">Franz Josef - 2 hours - $399pp</option>
                                        </optgroup>

                                        <optgroup label="Gliding Flight (Depart/return Queenstown airport)">
                                        <option value="1200">Queenstown - 1 hour (3 hours recommended) - $1200pp</option>                                   
                                        </optgroup>

                                        <optgroup label="Gliding Flight (Depart/return Wanaka airport)">
                                        <option value="1200">Wanaka - 1 hour (3 hours recommended) - $1200pp</option>                                   
                                        </optgroup>

                                        <optgroup label="Stunt Flying (Depart/return Queenstown airport)">
                                        <option value="399">Queenstown - 1 hour - $399pp</option>
                                        </optgroup>

                                        <optgroup label="Stunt Flying (Depart/return Wanaka airport)">
                                        <option value="399">Wanaka - 1 hour - $399pp</option>
                                        </optgroup>

                                        <optgroup label="Helicopter Flights (Depart/return Queenstown airport)">
                                        <option value="399">Queenstown - 1 hour - $399pp</option>
                                        <option value="399">Wanka - 1 hour - $399pp</option>
                                        <option value="699">Franz Josef - 1 hour - $699pp</option>                                  
                                        </optgroup>

                                        <optgroup label="Helicopter Flights (Depart/return Wanaka airport)">
                                        <option value="399">Wanka - 1 hour - $399pp</option>
                                        <option value="399">Queenstown - 1 hour - $399pp</option>
                                        <option value="699">Franz Josef - 1 hour - $699pp</option>                                  
                                        </optgroup>

                                        <optgroup label="Charter & Custom Flights:">
                                        <option value="charter">Please select this option and send us a detailed message with the details of the trip</option>
                                        </optgroup>

                                    </select>

                    <div id="second_options">

                                <span id="tourError" class="error"><?php echo $tourError; ?></span>

                                <label for="people">People Travelling?*</label> 
                                    <select class="tour_options_small" id="people" onblur="checkPeople()" onchange="totalPrice()" name="people">
                                        <option value="pleaseselect">-- Please Select --</option>
                                        <option <?php if($peopleTravelling=="1") echo 'selected="selected"'; ?>>1</option>
                                        <option <?php if($peopleTravelling=="2") echo 'selected="selected"'; ?>>2</option>
                                        <option <?php if($peopleTravelling=="3") echo 'selected="selected"'; ?>>3</option>
                                        <option <?php if($peopleTravelling=="4") echo 'selected="selected"'; ?>>4</option>
                                        <option <?php if($peopleTravelling=="5") echo 'selected="selected"'; ?>>5</option>
                                        <option <?php if($peopleTravelling=="6") echo 'selected="selected"'; ?>>6</option>
                                    </select>
                                <span id="peopleError" class="error"><?php echo $peopleError; ?></span>

                                <label for="hours" id="label_hours">How many hours?*</label> 
                                    <select class="tour_options_small" id="hours" onblur="checkHours()" onchange="totalPrice()" name="hours">
                                        <option value="pleaseselect">-- Please Select --</option>
                                        <option <?php if($hours=="1") echo 'selected="selected"'; ?>>1</option>
                                        <option <?php if($hours=="2") echo 'selected="selected"'; ?>>2</option>
                                        <option <?php if($hours=="3") echo 'selected="selected"'; ?>>3</option>
                                        <option <?php if($hours=="4") echo 'selected="selected"'; ?>>4</option>
                                        <option <?php if($hours=="5") echo 'selected="selected"'; ?>>5</option>
                                        <option <?php if($hours=="6") echo 'selected="selected"'; ?>>6</option>
                                    </select>
                                <span id="hoursError" class="error"><?php echo $hoursError; ?></span>

                                <b>Total Cost:</b>

                                <span id="total_price">Please select an option from each drop down box above to see the total price</span>
                    </div>

                                <br><br>

                                <label class="message" for="message">Message: (Please provide your preferred pickup date and time below)</label> 

                                <br><br>
                                <textarea id="msg" onblur="checkMessage()" name="message"><?php echo $message; ?></textarea>
                                <span id="messageError" class="error2"><?php echo $messageError; ?></span>
                                <input type="reset" value="Reset" onclick="resetTotal()"><input type="submit" value="Send" name="submit">

                            </form>


                            <div id="footer"><!-- This is the footer section of the page -->
                                <div class="footer_left_col">
                                    <img src="img/logosmall.png" class="logo_small"><br/>
                                        <span class="bottom_call">Call Us: 0800 456 456</span>

                                            <div id="bottom_nav">
                                                <ul>
                                                    <li class="fb"><a href="#">Like us on Facebook</a></li>
                                                    <li class="twitt"><a href="#">Follow us on Tiwtter</a></li>
                                                </ul>
                                            </div>
                                </div>

                                <div class="footer_right_col">
                                    <div id="bottom_nav_right">
                                        <ul>
                                            <li><a href="index.html">Home</a></li>
                                            <li><a href="tours.html">Tours & Prices</a></li>
                                            <li><a href="pilots.html">Meet our Pilots</a></li>
                                            <li><a href="gallery.html">Gallery</a></li>
                                            <li><a href="booking.html" class="current">Book Now!</a></li>
                                            <li><a href="contact.html">Contact Us</a></li>
                                            <li><a href="sitemap.html">Site Map</a></li>
                                        </ul>
                                    </div>
                                </div>
                            </div>


    </div>
    <script src="js/checkForm.js"></script>
</body>
</html>
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migrated from stackoverflow.com Sep 16 '14 at 19:11

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ That's very subjective as to what's a better way of doing the same, but your code looks like a little too long; doesn't it? Other than that there's nothing obviously wrong with it. Then validation also depends upon where you want to use that data? \$\endgroup\$ – Hanky 웃 Panky Sep 2 '14 at 4:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ For example all your empty checks on the fields can be condensed in one small 2 lines loop \$\endgroup\$ – Hanky 웃 Panky Sep 2 '14 at 4:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ The data will be stored into a mysql database, that is the next step haha. The code does seem abit long winded, thats why I was interested to see if there is a more efficient way of doing this. Cheers :) \$\endgroup\$ – ifusion Sep 2 '14 at 4:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ Here's how you can store that data safely in a MySQL database: stackoverflow.com/questions/60174/… \$\endgroup\$ – Hanky 웃 Panky Sep 2 '14 at 4:18
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\$\begingroup\$

The "is there a better way" topics like your tend to get subjective. Your question might be more geared for somewhere like Code Review. But anyway, here are a few thoughts I saw right off.

  • Global variables is kind of asking for trouble. Instead of have your variables get set inside of functions, simply return true or false based on the test and let the calling code handle how to present the message to the user.

Example:

if(!checkHours($hours) {
    print("Please choose an option from the drop down list");
}
  • Many of your functions exhibit the same kind of test. I see a lot of if($var === "pleaseselect"). Those can be made into a single function and then the fields that need validation in that manner use that one function. Changes in the future become easier when you aren't tracking down a dozen function that are doing the same thing.

  • Some of the tests are redundant. On fields like the phone number, first you check to see if the string is empty, then you compare it to a regular expression if it is not empty. You can omit the empty test since an empty string will be caught during the regular expression test.

There are some other small things I would do differently, but again, none of that is going to affect the correct operation of your code. I can't say how much more "efficient" the code would be with changes. You would have to create a benchmark test to profile your code to tell the difference. But your code would definitely be more readable and easier to maintain.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you for taking the time to look over my code, and your suggestions. Much appreciated. :) \$\endgroup\$ – ifusion Sep 2 '14 at 6:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ifusion No problem. To be perfectly honest, your code reminds me of some of my early days with PHP. \$\endgroup\$ – Crackertastic Sep 2 '14 at 12:20
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I wouldn't declare functions inside an if, makes your functions less reusable. Instead I would implement a validator class that uses filters

It was pointed out by Crackertastic but I second that globals are a bad idea, they also seem like an anti-pattern of modern age cheating their way through execution flows

Another way to structure your code is to have an array of values to fetch from $_POST and run the same checks where it makes sense, for example:

$values_to_check = ["val1", "val2", "val3"]

foreach ($values_to_check as $value_to_check) {
    if (valid_value($value_to_check) !== true) {
        handle_error_in_some_way()
    }
}
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