Developing software in the Real World

Zend_Filter_Input / Zend_Validate Messages

The basic usage of Zend_Filter_Input is:

$filters = array('body' => array('StringTrim' , 'StripTags'));
$validators = array('body' => 'Alpha');
$input = new Zend_Filter_Input($filters, $validators, $_POST);

if ($input->isValid()) {
// do something with form
} else {
// failed validation
$messages = $input->getMessages();
// iterate though $messages to display to user
}

The problem is that the message you get out isn’t always written as you would like. Consider the output if the body record is empty. A dump() of $messages gives this:


The text isn’t exactly what I would want to display to a user. To change it you pass in a messages parameter to the $validators array:


$filters = array('body' => array('StringTrim' , 'StripTags'));
$validators = array( 'body' => array('Alpha',
'messages'=>array(Zend_Validate_Alpha::STRING_EMPTY=>'The body is empty!')));
$input = new Zend_Filter_Input($filters, $validators, $_POST);

This works as expected. The problem now is that you need to know the “magic constants”, so here is a list of all the constants and the associated default message:

Zend_Validate_Alnum::NOT_ALNUM
‘%value%’ has not only alphabetic and digit characters
Zend_Validate_Alnum::STRING_EMPTY
‘%value%’ is an empty string
Zend_Validate_Alpha::NOT_ALPHA
‘%value%’ has not only alphabetic characters
Zend_Validate_Alpha::STRING_EMPTY
‘%value%’ is an empty string
Zend_Validate_Between::NOT_BETWEEN
‘%value%’ is not between ‘%min%’ and ‘%max%’, inclusively
Zend_Validate_Between::NOT_BETWEEN_STRICT
‘%value%’ is not strictly between ‘%min%’ and ‘%max%’
Zend_Validate_Ccnum::LENGTH
‘%value%’ must contain between 13 and 19 digits
Zend_Validate_Ccnum::CHECKSUM
Luhn algorithm (mod-10 checksum) failed on ‘%value%’
Zend_Validate_Date::NOT_YYYY_MM_DD
‘%value%’ is not of the format YYYY-MM-DD
Zend_Validate_Date::INVALID
‘%value%’ does not appear to be a valid date
Zend_Validate_Digits::NOT_DIGITS
‘%value%’ contains not only digit characters
Zend_Validate_Digits::STRING_EMPTY
‘%value%’ is an empty string
Zend_Validate_EmailAddress::INVALID
‘%value%’ is not a valid email address in the basic format local-part@hostname
Zend_Validate_EmailAddress::INVALID_HOSTNAME
‘%hostname%’ is not a valid hostname for email address ‘%value%’
Zend_Validate_EmailAddress::INVALID_MX_RECORD
‘%hostname%’ does not appear to have a valid MX record for the email address ‘%value%’
Zend_Validate_EmailAddress::DOT_ATOM
‘%localPart%’ not matched against dot-atom format
Zend_Validate_EmailAddress::QUOTED_STRING
‘%localPart%’ not matched against quoted-string format
Zend_Validate_EmailAddress::INVALID_LOCAL_PART
‘%localPart%’ is not a valid local part for email address ‘%value%’
Zend_Validate_Float::NOT_FLOAT
‘%value%’ does not appear to be a float
Zend_Validate_GreaterThan::NOT_GREATER
‘%value%’ is not greater than ‘%min%’
Zend_Validate_Hex::NOT_HEX
‘%value%’ has not only hexadecimal digit characters
Zend_Validate_Hostname::IP_ADDRESS_NOT_ALLOWED
‘%value%’ appears to be an IP address, but IP addresses are not allowed
Zend_Validate_Hostname::UNKNOWN_TLD
‘%value%’ appears to be a DNS hostname but cannot match TLD against known list
Zend_Validate_Hostname::INVALID_DASH
‘%value%’ appears to be a DNS hostname but contains a dash (-) in an invalid position
Zend_Validate_Hostname::INVALID_HOSTNAME_SCHEMA
‘%value%’ appears to be a DNS hostname but cannot match against hostname schema for TLD ‘%tld%’
Zend_Validate_Hostname::UNDECIPHERABLE_TLD
‘%value%’ appears to be a DNS hostname but cannot extract TLD part
Zend_Validate_Hostname::INVALID_HOSTNAME
‘%value%’ does not match the expected structure for a DNS hostname
Zend_Validate_Hostname::INVALID_LOCAL_NAME
‘%value%’ does not appear to be a valid local network name
Zend_Validate_Hostname::LOCAL_NAME_NOT_ALLOWED
‘%value%’ appears to be a local network name but but local network names are not allowed
Zend_Validate_InArray::NOT_IN_ARRAY
‘%value%’ was not found in the haystack
Zend_Validate_Int::NOT_INT
‘%value%’ does not appear to be an integer
Zend_Validate_Ip::NOT_IP_ADDRESS
‘%value%’ does not appear to be a valid IP address
Zend_Validate_LessThan::NOT_LESS
‘%value%’ is not less than ‘%max%’
Zend_Validate_NotEmpty::IS_EMPTY
Value is empty, but a non-empty value is required
Zend_Validate_Regex::NOT_MATCH
‘%value%’ does not match against pattern ‘%pattern%’
Zend_Validate_StringLength::TOO_SHORT
‘%value%’ is less than %min% characters long
Zend_Validate_StringLength::TOO_LONG
‘%value%’ is greater than %max% characters long

Finally, you can also change the generic “not empty” and “missing” messages in Zend_Filter_Input using:


$options = array(
'notEmptyMessage' => "A non-empty value is required for field '%field%'",
'missingMessage' => "Field '%field%' is required"
);
$filters = array('body' => array('StringTrim' , 'StripTags'));
$validators = array('body' => 'Alpha');
$input = new Zend_Filter_Input($filters, $validators, $_POST);
$input->setOptions($options);

Now you can fix those messages to say something useful and your users will thank you for it!

4 thoughts on “Zend_Filter_Input / Zend_Validate Messages

  1. I'm not sure if this is mentioned in the official docs, but if you aren't interested in the particular type of validation error thrown by a validator in a Zend_Input_Filter chain, you don't have to assign your custom message to a constant. Rather, you can just assign a single message to the validator.

    For instance, the two messages for Zend_Validate_Between are pretty similar, and you might not want to have to assign a message to both constants. In this case, the following code would allow you to specify a custom message for both errors NOT_BETWEEN and NOT_BETWEEN_STRICT:

    $validators = array(
    'salary' => array(
    array('Between', 10000, 20000),
    'messages' => array(
    'Salary must be between $10,000 and $20,000')));

  2. Theres a bug in Zend_Input_Fitler at the moment, it kind of drove me nuts for a few hours.

    Validators with stringEmpty validation messages cannot have those messages overwritten by the ones you define in options.

    So even if you define a custom 'notEmptyMessage' in the options, the alnum validator will still send back its default notEmpty message.

    See http://framework.zend.com/issues/browse/ZF-1912

  3. Oh I should have mentoned in the last post, you can still use define messages for Zend_Validate_Alnum::STRING_EMPTY in the validators array you send Zend_Filter_Input, it just means a lot of extra lines on complex forms until they fix the bug.

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