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Saving Dynamic Web Page Data without Submit?

Posted on 2003-10-28
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Last Modified: 2012-05-04
I'm using PHP and MySQL - I have an email form which the user fills in the To:, Subject and Body then clicks on submit - the problem is that a lot my users are starting to fill out the form and then they click on the Back button and then the forward button (don't ask me why) and the data they typed in is gone!! They don't understand how dynamic web pages work vs static pages, etc. Is there a way for me to save the data to my php variables before the user clicks the submit button so that when they Fwd back to the page I can restore the data that was there?

Thanks...
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Question by:rfresh
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3 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:lozloz
ID: 9638344
this is probably more a javascript question than a php question.. my javascript ain't so hot so i don't know if it can done but i'd imagine you'd have to have an event which relates to browsing away from the page to store the information in a cookie and then load it up again.. this isn't very easy and seems like a lot of effort, maybe just a simple message at the top saying "don't browse away from this screen before completing the form" would be more appropriate?
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by:errows
ID: 9639568
Using the onUnload event with javascript, you should be able to save all your form's data.
You can also use onChange on every field, wich might be less efficient...

http://www.devguru.com/Technologies/ecmascript/quickref/evhan_onunload.html

errows
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de_wagter earned 125 total points
ID: 9784941
a regular form should not loose it's contents when hitting back and forward. However if you set the page to be expired, then browsers don't cache anymore, and also, if special javascript functions are called to submit the form or loading your page, this also happens.

<html><body>
<form method=post>
<input type=text name=test>
<input type=submit>
</form></body></html>

A simple form like this one should NOT lose its contents hitting back and forward. (please tell me if it does with you!)

If this one keeps its contents, then check your site for any META like no-cache, headers definitions with expire, javascritps changing form values etc...

If this doesn't help you can always post the form using the onUnload even as errows proposed, and keep it in some session variable for example...
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