[drupal-devel] [feature] Form groups should be collapsible

mathias drupal-devel at drupal.org
Wed Jan 26 14:33:00 UTC 2005

 Project:      Drupal
 Version:      4.5.2
 Component:    base system
 Category:     feature requests
 Priority:     normal
 Assigned to:  Anonymous
 Reported by:  tangent
 Updated by:   mathias
 Status:       patch

One usability issue surrounding collapsible elements is controlling how
they would operate when present on the node editing form (which would
be a great location for this functionality). For example what happens
when someone clicks the preview button? I would want forms fields that
contain data to stay expanded and not re-collapse.


Previous comments:

January 25, 2005 - 22:42 : tangent

Attachment: http://drupal.org/files/issues/collapsible_formgroups.patch (2.8 KB)

With all the talk of form reorganization and with the latest attempts at
coding a solution, I thought I'd step up and contribute my solution. It
is a quick development that I just threw together and it will probably
need to be expanded to support more options, but it works and it has
zero impact on existing code other than a small change to
form_groups(). I've added an optional boolean parameter called
"collapsed" so that modules can specify if the group should be
initially collapsed or not.

Known issues:
1. Styling the collapsed forms to look the same or even just good in
every browser may prove troublesome. It looks fine in Mozilla/Firefox
but the legend jumps around a bit in IE. I'm not terribly concerned
about that at the moment though.

2. Required fields are not handled so a collapsed fieldset *could*
contain a required field. This will need to be dealt with before this
is a real solution, in my opinion. The difficulty lies in the fact that
required fields are not labeled (in the markup) as such, other than by
adding an extran span. Maybe we should think about adding a "required"
attribute to required fields.

I'm attaching the patch (against HEAD) now and will attach the
javascript file shortly as well as a test page so you can see the

As an aside, I'm setting this issue to patch status since that seems to
be the process used around here. However, I think that generally an
issue should ONLY be set to patch status if the attached file is worthy
of being commited. Please correct me if I have misunderstood.


January 25, 2005 - 22:44 : tangent

Attachment: http://drupal.org/files/issues/drupal.js (1.68 KB)

Here's the (new) drupal.js file. Note that don't necessarily think the
functions included in it need to be loaded for every request. If more
javascript is added, it should probably be broken up into separate
pieces that can be sourced as need.


January 25, 2005 - 22:46 : tangent

Attachment: http://drupal.org/files/issues/fieldset_test.html (3.41 KB)

Here's a stand-alone test page so you can see what the functionality
would be like. Please report any issues with specific browsers by
attaching your user-agent string or a description of your browser and
the issue. Screenshots are welcome.


January 26, 2005 - 03:22 : Junyor

FYI, window.addEventListener is not supported in Opera.


January 26, 2005 - 03:27 : chx

A cross browser solution to add event listeners can be found at

That one works with Opera.


January 26, 2005 - 03:45 : tangent

Attachment: http://drupal.org/files/issues/fieldset_test2.html (3.84 KB)

Here's an update of the test page. You should see the toggle image now
and I've added extra event handling for all those substandard browsers

I also corrected an issue where, if javascript is disabled, the group
could be collapsed and not expandable.


January 26, 2005 - 03:48 : tangent

For what it's worth, if this functionality doesn't work in some browsers
that's ok. As long as the code fails silently everything else will
degrade nicely and they'll simply see all the forms.


January 26, 2005 - 04:08 : tangent

Attachment: http://drupal.org/files/issues/fieldset_test3.html (4.06 KB)

This one might work better. I missed some stuff if the last one. I don't
have Opera or Konqueror to test with though.

I'm working a method to deal with required fields next.


January 26, 2005 - 04:37 : Dries

Looks good (though I haven't looked at the code).

The node-edit/submit form would be an obvious candidate for this kind
of stuff.



January 26, 2005 - 07:34 : tangent

Should fieldset collapsing be optional? This implies that form_group()
would need 2 new arguments: $collapsible and $collapsed.

Someone has already voiced a desire for a configuration to
enable/disable collapsible groups but I think that we should simply let
the module decide. In my opinion it would be like offering a config
preference for allowing expanding menus or not.


January 26, 2005 - 08:35 : Bèr Kessels

Attachment: http://drupal.org/files/issues/drupal_form_toolbox.png (19.23 KB)

Great work!
Some initial thoughts from me:
We need logic to uncollapse forms that have the required flag set.
(required forms should be visible by default)
We need logic to uncollapse forms that have errors.
The form group should, in this case get an extra class to show that,
when collapsed, it contains an error, or a required field. 
We must think of a method to avoid colapses-in-collapses. I.E: you
collapse form_group, which is great, but what if (i think bigger) we
have three areas on a page, that can be collapsed: in that case, the
form_groupos inside such an area should not be collapsible.
We could decide to collapse the other forms, when opening one. This is
somethimes called "cards", sometimes they are called "toolboxes' see
attachement for an example.

View: http://drupal.org/node/16204
Edit: http://drupal.org/project/comments/add/16204

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