On Wed, Jun 30, 2010 at 9:16 PM, David Mehler <dave.meh...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Hello,
> I've got a php form processing question. I've got a text field like so:
> <div>
> <label for="txtname">Name*:</label>
> <input type="text" name="name" id="name" size="30" value="<?php echo
> htmlspecialchars($_POST['name']), ENT_QUOTES, UTF-8; ?>" /> <br />
> </div>
> My question is what is the purpose of the id field? I know the name
> field is what php references, but am not sure what id is for?
> Thanks.
> Dave.
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Hi Dave,

Sometimes it's helpful to target a specific element for stylistic or
functional purposes, and that's when you'll find an id attribute helpful.

In your example above, label elements use the id in the 'for' attribute
(and, speaking to your example, you should have for="name" instead of

In terms of CSS, you can specifically reference the element by it's id using
the notation tag_name#id_value, and id's have the highest order of
specificity (i.e., if you try and style an element by tag name, class,
and/or id, the id styles are what will take precedent, all other things

In terms of javascript, you can reference the element by it's id by using
the function getElementById('id_value):

Just remember that a particular id can only occur once on a page (another
difference between the name attributes in a form, as you could have multiple
forms on a page and each form could have an input with a "zip" name without
issue, but that same page could only have one id with the value "zip".)

That all said, with the advent of javascript data attributes, you'll have
one more way to target elements for design and functionality:

Hope this helps,


Nephtali:  PHP web framework that functions beautifully

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