Gerda Shank > HTML-FormHandler > HTML::FormHandler::Field::Select



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HTML::FormHandler::Field::Select - select fields


version 0.40066


This is a field that includes a list of possible valid options. This can be used for select and multiple-select fields. Widget type is 'select'.

Because select lists and checkbox_groups do not return an HTTP parameter when the entire list is unselected, the Select field must assume that the lack of a param means unselection. So to avoid setting a Select field, it must be set to inactive, not merely not included in the HTML for a form.

This field type can also be used for fields that use the 'radio_group' widget, and the 'checkbox_group' widget (for selects with multiple flag turned on, or that use the Multiple field).


The 'options' array can come from a number of different places:

From a field declaration

In a field declaration:

   has_field 'opt_in' => ( type => 'Select', widget => 'RadioGroup',
      options => [{ value => 0, label => 'No'}, { value => 1, label => 'Yes'} ] );
From a field class 'build_options' method

In a custom field class:

   package MyApp::Field::WeekDay;
   use Moose;
   extends 'HTML::FormHandler::Field::Select';
   sub build_options {
       my $i = 0;
       my @days = ('Sunday', 'Monday', 'Tuesday', 'Wednesday',
           'Thursday', 'Friday', 'Saturday' );
       return [
           map {
               {   value => $i++, label => $_ }
           } @days
From a coderef supplied to the field definition
   has_field 'flim' => ( type => 'Select', options_method => \&flim_options );
   sub flim_options {  <return options array> }
From a form 'options_<field_name>' method or attribute
   has_field 'fruit' => ( type => 'Select' );
   sub options_fruit {
       return (
           1   => 'apples',
           2   => 'oranges',
           3   => 'kiwi',
   -- or --
   has 'options_fruit' => ( is => 'rw', traits => ['Array'],
       default => sub { [1 => 'apples', 2 => 'oranges',
           3 => 'kiwi'] } );

Notice that, as a convenience, you can return a simple array (or arrayref) for the options array in the 'options_field_name' method. The hashrefs with 'value' and 'label' keys will be constructed for you by FormHandler.

From the database

The final source of the options array is a database when the name of the accessor is a relation to the table holding the information used to construct the select list. The primary key is used as the value. The other columns used are:

    label_column  --  Used for the labels in the options (default 'name')
    active_column --  The name of the column to be used in the query (default 'active')
                      that allows the rows retrieved to be restricted
    sort_column   --  The name or arrayref of names of the column(s) used to sort the options

See also HTML::FormHandler::Model::DBIC, the 'lookup_options' method.

The options field should contain one of the following data structures:

ArrayRef of HashRefs

Each hash reference defines an option, with the label and value attributes corresponding to those of the HTML field.


A list of key/value pairs corresponding to HTML field values and labels.

ArrayRef containing one ArrayRef

Each item inside the inner ArrayRef defines both the label and value of an option.

Customizing options

Additional attributes can be added in the options array hashref, by using the 'attributes' key. If you have custom rendering code, you can add any additional key that you want, of course.

Note that you should *not* set 'checked' or 'selected' attributes in options. That is handled by setting a field default.

An options array with an extra 'note' key:

   sub options_license
      my $self = shift;
      return unless $self->schema;
      my $licenses = $self->schema->resultset('License')->search({active => 1},
           {order_by => 'sequence'});
      my @selections;
      while ( my $license = $licenses->next ) {
         push @selections, { value => $license->id, label => $license->label,
              note => $license->note };
      return @selections;

Setting the select element to disabled:

   sub options_license
      my $self = shift;
      return unless $self->schema;
      my $licenses = $self->schema->resultset('License')->search(undef,
           {order_by => 'sequence'});
      my @selections;
      while ( my $license = $licenses->next ) {
         push @selections, { value => $license->id, label => $license->label,
              attributes => { disabled => ($license->active == 0) ? 1 : 0 } };
      return @selections;

You can also divide the options up into option groups. See the section on rendering.

Reloading options

If the options come from the options_<fieldname> method or the database, they will be reloaded every time the form is reloaded because the available options may have changed. To prevent this from happening when the available options are known to be static, set the 'do_not_reload' flag, and the options will not be reloaded after the first time

Sorting options

The sorting of the options may be changed using a 'sort_options' method in a custom field class. The 'Multiple' field uses this method to put the already selected options at the top of the list. Note that this won't work with option groups.

Attributes and Methods ^


This is an array of hashes for this field. Each has must have a label and value keys.


Coderef of method to return options


If true allows multiple input values


This can be used to store how many items should be offered in the UI at a given time. Defaults to 0.


Set to the string value of the select label if you want the renderer to create an empty select value. This only affects rendering - it does not add an entry to the list of options.

   has_field 'fruit' => ( type => 'Select',
        empty_select => '---Choose a Fruit---' );


Usually the empty value is an empty arrayref. This attribute allows changing that. Used by SelectCSV field.


Sets or returns the name of the method to call on the foreign class to fetch the text to use for the select list.

Refers to the method (or column) name to use in a related object class for the label for select lists.

Defaults to "name".


For the renderers: whether or not to call the localize method on the select labels. Default is off.


Sets or returns the name of a boolean column that is used as a flag to indicate that a row is active or not. Rows that are not active are ignored.

The default is "active".

If this column exists on the class then the list of options will included only rows that are marked "active".

The exception is any columns that are marked inactive, but are also part of the input data will be included with brackets around the label. This allows updating records that might have data that is now considered inactive.


This is a way to provide a hint as to when to automatically select the widget to display for fields with a small number of options. For example, this can be used to decided to display a radio select for select lists smaller than the size specified.

See select_widget below.


Sets or returns the column or arrayref of columns used in the foreign class for sorting the options labels. Default is undefined.

If not defined the label_column is used as the sort condition.


If the widget is 'select' for the field then will look if the field also has a auto_widget_size. If the options list is less than or equal to the auto_widget_size then will return radio_group if multiple is false, otherwise will return checkbox_group.


Returns the option label for the option value that matches the field's current value. Can be helpful for displaying information about the field in a more friendly format.


Set this flag to true if you don't want to validate the options that are submitted. This would generally only happen if the options are generated via javascript.

error messages

Customize 'select_invalid_value' and 'select_not_multiple'. Though neither of these messages should really be seen by users in a properly constructed select.

Rendering ^

The 'select' field can be rendered by the 'Select', 'RadioGroup', and 'CheckboxGroup' widgets. 'RadioGroup' is for a single select, and 'CheckboxGroup' is for a multiple select.

Option groups can be rendered by providing an options arrays with 'group' elements containing options:

    sub options_testop { (
            group => 'First Group',
            options => [
                { value => 1, label => 'One' },
                { value => 2, label => 'Two' },
                { value => 3, label => 'Three' },
            group => 'Second Group',
            options => [
                { value => 4, label => 'Four' },
                { value => 5, label => 'Five' },
                { value => 6, label => 'Six' },
    ) }

The select rendering widgets all have a 'render_option' method, which may be useful for situations when you want to split up the rendering of a radio group or checkbox group.

Rendering with Template Toolkit

Calling 'options' from Template Toolkit can causes issues with wantarray when there is only a single option. As a solution you should use 'options_ref'.

Database relations ^

Also see HTML::FormHandler::TraitFor::Model::DBIC.

The single select is for a DBIC 'belongs_to' relation. The multiple select is for a 'many_to_many' relation.

There is very limited ability to do multiple select with 'has_many' relations. It will only work in very specific circumstances, and requires setting the 'has_many' attribute to the name of the primary key of the related table. This is a somewhat peculiar data structure for a relational database, and may not be what you really want. A 'has_many' is usually represented with a Repeatable field, and may require custom code if the form structure doesn't match the database structure. See HTML::FormHandler::Manual::Cookbook.


FormHandler Contributors - see HTML::FormHandler


This software is copyright (c) 2016 by Gerda Shank.

This is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as the Perl 5 programming language system itself.

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