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Please make sure you have read the Tag Syntax document and understand how tag attribute syntax works.

Within the form tags, there are two classes of tags: the form tag itself, and all other tags, which make up the individual form elements. This is important as the The behavior of the form tag itself is different than that of the elements enclosed within it. Before we go provide a reference for all the form tags, including the form tag itself, we must outline some general characteristics first.

Form Tag Themes

As previously noted explained in Themes and Templates, the HTML Tags (which includes Form Tags) are all driven by templates. Templates are grouped together to form create themes. By default, WebWork provides The framework bundles three themes :in the distribution.



Sometimes too simple


Extends simple




Extends xhtml

The predefined themes can be used "as is" or customized.


The xhtml theme renders out a two-column table. If


a different layout is needed,


do not write your own HTML


. Create a new theme or utilize the simple theme.

Simple theme caveats

The downside of using the simple theme is that it doesn't support as many of the attributes that the other themes do. For example, the label attribute does nothing in the simple theme. Similarly, the functionality offered by the simple theme is much less than that of the xhtml and ajax themes: the automatic display of error messages is not supported.

Common Attributes

All the form tags extend the UIBean class. This base class generally provides a set of common attributes, that can be grouped in to three classescategories: templated-related, javascript-related, and general attributes. We won't document what these attributes do here as that is taken care of in each individual The individual attributes are documented on each tag's reference . However, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the structure of the UI tags and what attributes are available for all

In addition to these the common attributes, a special attribute exists for all form element tags: form (ie: ${parameters.form}). This The form property represents the parameters attributes used to render the form tag and allows you to provide interaction between your form elements and the form itself. For example, in a template you could access , such as the form's id. In a template, the form's ID can be found by calling ${}.

Template-Related Attributes


Javascript-Related Attributes


Tooltip Related Attributes


General Attributes

TODO: need to include code from

When Some Attributes Don't Apply


Some tag attributes may not be utilized by all, or any, of the templates. For example, the form tag


supports the tabindex attribute, but none of the themes render


the tabindex.

Value/Name Relationship

In many of the tags , (except for the form tag, ) there is a unique relationship between the name and value attributes. The name attribute is what the form element gets named and eventually submitted as. This effectively is the expression to which you wish to bind the incoming value toprovides the name for the tag, which in turn is used as the control attribute when the form is submitted. The value submitted is bound to the name. In most cases, it is the name maps to a simple JavaBean property, such as "firstNamepostalCode". This would eventually call setFirstName().

Similarly, you often wish to also display in your form elements existing data from the same JavaBean property. This time, the attribute value is used. A value of "%{firstName}" would call getFirstName() and display it in your form, allowing users to edit the value and re-submit it.

You could use the following code, and it would work just fine:


<@ww.form action="updatePerson">
    <@ww.textfield label="First name" name="firstName" value="%{firstName}"/>

However, because the relationship between name and value is so often predictable, we automatically do this for you, allowing you to do:


On a submit, the value would be set to the property by calling the setPostalCode mutator.

Likewise, a form control could be populated by calling a JavaBean accessor, like getPostalCode. In the expression language, we can refer to the JavaBean property by name. An expression like "%{postalCode}" would in turn call getPostalCode.


However, since the tags imply a relationship between the name and value, the value attribute is optional. If a value is not specified, by default, the JavaBean accessor is used instead.


While most attributes are exposed to the underlying templates as the same key as the attribute (ie: ${parameters.label}), the value attribute is not. Instead, it can be accessed via the "nameValue" key (ie: ${parameters.nameValue}) to indicate that it . The nameValue key indicates that the value may have been generated from the name attribute rather than explicitly defined in the value attribute.

ID Name Assignment

All form tags automatically assign an ID for you. You are free to override this ID if you wish. The ID assignment works as follows:

  1. For forms, the ID is the assumed to the action name. In the previous example, the ID would be "updatePerson".
  2. For form elements, the ID is assumed to be form's ID_element name

Form Tag Reference

  1. checkbox
  2. checkboxlist
  3. combobox
  4. datepicker
  5. doubleselect
  6. file
  7. form
  8. hidden
  9. label
  10. password
  11. radio
  12. select
  13. submit
  14. textarea
  15. textfield
  16. token

to the control, but the ID can be overridden if needed.


The default ID is the action name. For example, "updateAddress".


The default ID is the form's name concatenated with the tag name. For example, "updateAddress_postalCode".

Form labelposition propagation

When labelposition attribute was defined for <s:form> tag it will be propagated to all form elements, but if form element defines its own labelposition it will take precedence over <s:form>'s attribute. Since 2.3.17.

Required Attribute

The required attribute on many UI tags defaults to true only if you have client-side validation enabled, and a validator is associated with that particular field.



Next: UI Tag Reference