Working with the HTML 5 Validation API

The HTML 5 validation API is designed to work without Javascript interception, only based on the markup that the browser sees. However, there are some entry points, where you can influence the course of the validation.

A typical flow without Javascript looks like this:

user fills input field user tries to submit the form page load :valid and :invalid match immediately errors are reported to the user form is submitted only without errors

All the methods and properties described below are fully supported by Hyperform. When you apply Hyperform to window, their polyfills will be installed globally for all input elements:

hyperform(window);
var element = document.createElement('input');
assert('willValidate' in element);

Checking, if an element will be validated at all

To check, if an element will be validated at all (or whether it will be skipped for one reason or another), evaluate element.willValidate.

if (element.willValidate) {
  // this element is not disabled. On submit it
  // will be checked for its validity state.
}

Marking an element as invalid

At any time you can mark an element as invalid by setting its validation message to a non-empty value:

element.setCustomValidity(message);

An element marked this way will respond to the :invalid CSS pseudo-class and will report message to the user, when she tries to submit the containing form. To mark the element as valid, again, set the message to the empty string:

element.setCustomValidity('');

You can query the currently set validation message (your own or the default one of the browser) with element.validationMessage.

Manually checking the validity and reporting to the user

Use checkValidity, if you are just interested in whether an element will validate or not. Use reportValidity to also inform the user about the validation result. Both will trigger an event named invalid, if the element in question is, well, invalid.

To query specific errors (like, if the user entered a value into a required field), the validity object provides specific properties:

// specific problem with missing value:
var element_is_empty = element.validity.valueMissing;

// specific test for missing a pattern requirement:
var element_doesnt_match = element.validity.patternMismatch;

//.. and so on.

// overall test, if all constraints are met:
var element_is_valid = element.validity.valid;
// or equivalent (but triggers the "invalid" event):
var element_is_valid = element.checkValidity();

// show a warning to the user, if the element is invalid (or remove said
// warning again if valid):
element.reportValidity();

Switching off the validation

When a form has an attribute novalidate, the browser will skip validation altogether for this form. You can control this feature in your code by toggling form.noValidate (with upper-case “V”).

form.noValidate = true;
// validation is switched off for this form

This is an all-or-nothing property, and you cannot control single input fields apart from setting them in the disabled state. (Read on to learn about Hyperform’s solution to this.)

Things, that do not work well with the HTML 5 API

When you try to hook into the HTML 5 validation API, you will quite soon run into a wall that prevents you from implementing some of the most common validation patterns. This is where the high level API of Hyperform comes to rescue. Some common problems, that are not solvable with the methods above alone, include:

How all of these work in detail is described on the next page.


:gem: Next: Extra Hyperform Features – functionality added beyond standard HTML 5 validation.