inputEx — a YUI-based Forms Utility

By YUI TeamMay 8th, 2008

Click through to visit the announcement for inputEx v. 0.1.0

Parisian coder Eric Abouaf (aka “Neyric”) released version 0.1.0 of his YUI-based forms library, inputEx.

As of this release, inputEx supports only client-side-generated views — form fields are configured in a JSON format and created for you on the fly. Eric identifies the following unique features in inputEx:

  • complex data structures (list/objects/tree/list of urls/objects of objects etc…)
  • composition between the fields (for “meta”-fields such as InPlaceEdit, List, Tree, Pair, …)
  • javascript object mapping for greater interactivity
  • a common “updated” event to handle different browsers and different field interactions

Eric has API docs, a Getting Started tutorial, examples, and more on the website. He’s looking for contributors, if you’re interested in extending the library; check out the website for full details on the project.


  1. Good start!

    IMHO however form elements should be included in the YUI itself – it is so crucial to any serious web application. It would be nice to know IF and WHEN this could happen.

    A month ago we have started implementing our own form handling too, because we needed this badly.

    Good luck with the project,

    Michal Frackowiak

  2. @Michal,

    A comprehensive forms collection will be a part of YUI down the road, but we’ll always be interested on YUIBlog in looking at and linking to what others are doing on top of the base library. Eric’s work here is of particular interest in that it helps to address a current cap in YUI’s coverage.


  3. This looks really nice. However, one thing that looks like it is missing is a markup-based solution. I would like the forms to exist and work if JavaScript is turned off. From what I can tell, all of these fields are created in js and not the markup. One thing I like about YUI is that I can create things like the tab panel from either js or markup.

  4. @Lance — I agree with you (and I suspect Eric does as well). I know Satyam and Dav have already weighed in with input and support, and Eric has a link for people who want to contribute. I’m hopeful that as Eric evolves this he or one of his contributors will add progressive enhancement as a feature. -Eric

  5. Many thanks for your kind encouragements !

    @Michal, @Eric

    I think we all agree that a forms collection would be very helpful to the YUI community. Being part of YUI would be even better !

    I tried to make it as YUI-like as possible (
    and the road is still long
    ), so that the community could contribute to it. (and it started with very good advices from the YUI team!)


    Progressive enhancement will definitely be added sooner or later.
    It isn’t there yet because of inputEx origins: it was built for a javascript-intensive web application.

  6. Very nice, might consider it for my next project

  7. [...] Matt Snider (F2E lead at Mint) continues his long-term process of blogging about the work he’s doing building on top of YUI with "Dom.activate to Focus on Form Elements." Matt writes: "Each browser supports focus in a slightly different way and until recently most did not support the ’select’ Function on an Input Element. In addition, you should never attempt to focus on a hidden or non-displayed Element, nor should you focus on an Input Element of type ‘hidden’. Because of all this trickiness, it is rather handy to have one method that manages all this for you." Looking for more explorations of forms management with YUI? Check out InputEx. [...]

  8. [...] with the help of two Erics. One is Eric Abouaf, whose inputEx library of controls, featured in the YUI blog, was the reason to write this article. I realized there was no documentation to guide library [...]