Through the history of Drupal, there have been several different modules that allow the building of forms: Profile, Flexinode, Survey, Webform, CCK, and D7's Field. All of these set out with specific purposes in mind, whether collecting surveys or creating node content. The task of actually building the form was secondary to the task of using the form. This is where the Form Builder project comes in. Form Builder provides a single, universal interface for creating form structures. Once the form structure is created and tweaked to the liking of the user, the changes are then sent to the providing module (whether Webform, CCK, Profile, or others) and that module then deals with changes to its internal settings and new fields in the database.
Form Builder represents a major jump in the administrative user interfaces for Drupal. Utilizing jQuery UI and AJAX-based editing and previews, Form Builder can speed up the process of building a form dramatically. But the fun doesn't stop there, with Form API's array-based structure now in every part of Drupal (commonly called "Renderables"), Form Builder may be used to edit not only forms but the actual display of the page.
In this talk Nathan Haug (quicksketch) will give an introduction to the Form Builder interface and show how it can be used currently. Some modules like Webform are already fully compatible with Form Builder. After an introduction to the front-end of the module, the talk will go into the API and show how any Form API element or renderable may be made editable through Form Builder.
If you're interested in hot new APIs, better UX, or you just think the current Fields UI sucks, come check out Form Builder!
This talk is intended for primarily for developers interested in developing using Form Builder. Users interested in user interface design and experience may also be interested.
Questions answered by this session
What is Form Builder?
How is it useful right now?
How can it be used for in the future?
How do I prepare for Form Builder?