Forms API

Reducing system load for graphical widgets

Using a graphics library, be GD, ImageMagick or anything else, is convenient, but carries a price to pay: unlike most Drupal parts, which are generally database-bound, image generation is typically CPU-bound: generating many images on the fly can significantly increase the CPU load on a system, while Drupal setups are typically not optimized for this, and could result in problems if you are using Drupal on a shared hosting account. So what ?

A progress bar widget for FormsAPI

Forms API progress barAs a Drupal user, you certainly noticed that update.php displays a nice progress bar to make you wait during its batch operations. And maybe you also noticed theme_progress_bar in the API reference.

The question

Wouldn't it be nice to have that progress bar available as an extended version of markup that would graphically display a value in your forms without stuffing it in a markup element ?

Checkboxes in forms step by step

For some reason or another, I've noticed several new Drupal developers these last few days sweating on Forms API, and thought it would be nice to have a smallish example to complement the unavoidable FAPI reference and Guick start guide, for a typical non-basic form: one including set of checkboxes in a table, with a customized display, like the core user, content or modules administration forms. So follow me while we build this example.