TIL Connecting html forms to Django forms

I am starting to write TIL -Today I Learned- posts following Simon Willson’s What to blog about. Here is the first one.

Today at work I was having issues connecting an html template that has a form on it with the Python view that was processing the form. I asked Jochen about it and he pointed me that I was missing the name attribute in the html form, thus when getting the form from the request and validating it it was not valid.

A simple working example for this would be the following: lets take the example from Django documentation, the template we want to connect is as follows:

<form action="/your-name/" method="post">
    <label for="your_name">Your name: </label>
    <input id="your_name" type="text" name="your_name" value="">
    <input type="submit" value="OK">
</form>

And the Django form as:

from django import forms

class NameForm(forms.Form):
    your_name = forms.CharField(label='Your name', max_length=100)

The html form has, in the input tag, the name attribute specified. My mistake was that I was not specifying it, thus when in the view I was retrieving and validating the form it was not being a valid form because the input was not being assigned to the correct field in the form.

The view for this form is:

from django.http import HttpResponseRedirect
from django.shortcuts import render

from .forms import NameForm

def get_name(request):
    # if this is a POST request we need to process the form data
    if request.method == 'POST':
        # create a form instance and populate it with data from the request:
        # the form was not being populated as I was missing
        # the name attribute
        form = NameForm(request.POST)
        # check whether it's valid:
        if form.is_valid():
		        # Of course my form was not valid
            # process the data in form.cleaned_data as required
            # ...
            # redirect to a new URL:
            return HttpResponseRedirect('/thanks/')

    # if a GET (or any other method) we'll create a blank form
    else:
        form = NameForm()
    return render(request, 'name.html', {'form': form})

After adding the name attribute I was able to start processing my form and keep connecting all the different inputs needed. It was a good learning.

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