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A library for building and validating Forms in Elm
version 2.0.0
license BSD-3-Clause
native-modules False
elm-version 0.18.0 <= v < 0.19.0
Tag 2.0.0
Committed At 2018-07-22 12:46:47 UTC
ozmat/elm-validation 2.2.0 <= v < 3.0.0 2.2.1
elm-lang/core 5.0.0 <= v < 6.0.0 5.1.1



A library for building and validating Forms in Elm

Build Status


There is no specific way of handling/validating forms in Elm. This library aims to provide an easy but flexible way of creating forms, validating them, handling the different message updates and building a whole business logic on top of them.

Here is a list of different features that we need when dealing with forms imo (and that the library actually implements) :

  • Custom error
    We should be able to fail with custom errors but also implement some logic on our errors : a custom error is usually more than a string (but can be just a string if that's enough)

  • Field error
    We should be able to have errors at the field level in order to identify which field caused the failure during the validation process

  • Field identification
    The key associated with a field should be more than a string : a comparable

  • Validation process
    The validation process should be accumulative and gather all the errors. But should also provide a way to stop and fail at the first error encountered.

  • View agnostic
    We should be able to work with forms whether we use Bootstrap, MDL, elm-lang/html ... The library should only provide functions to use in the view layer

Plus, the library should also be :

  • Easy to use
    And provide helper functions dealing with the complex stuff so we can focus on the business logic

  • Flexible
    Enough to fit most of the common use cases. But also give us the opportunity to do more if we understand what's happening under the hood

  • Pipeline friendly
    Because when you start using elm-decode-pipeline you just really like this syntax :)

A quick overview

Here are some parts of the first example : a basic form with three fields (two strings and one int) that creates an OtherModel


{- Model -}

init : ( Model, Cmd Msg )
init =
    ( Model (F.form myFormFields myFormValidate)
    , Cmd.none

type alias Model =
    { myForm : F.Form String MyFormError OtherModel


{- Form -}

type alias OtherModel =
    { firstName : String
    , lastName : String
    , referenceNumber : Int

type MyFormError
    = EmptyString
    | NotInt

myFormFields : FF.Fields String
myFormFields =
        [ ( "first-name", FF.input )
        , ( "last-name", FF.input )
        , ( "reference-number", FF.input )

myFormValidate : FV.Validate String MyFormError OtherModel
myFormValidate fields =
    FV.valid OtherModel
        |> FV.required fields "first-name" (FV.stringField <| FV.notEmpty EmptyString FV.success)
        |> FV.required fields "last-name" (FV.stringField <| FV.notEmpty EmptyString FV.success)
        |> FV.required fields "reference-number" (FV.stringField <| NotInt FV.success)


{- Msg/Update -}

type Msg
    = Form (FU.Msg String)

update : Msg -> Model -> ( Model, Cmd Msg )
update msg model =
    case msg of
        Form formMsg ->
          { model | myForm = FU.updateForm formMsg model.myForm } ! []


{- View -}

inputText : String -> String -> Html Msg
inputText placeHolder fieldName =
      [ inputStyle
      , placeholder placeHolder
      , onInput (FU.stringFieldMsg Form fieldName)


F.validate model.myForm -- validates the form and returns a `FormResult`

A journey with Forms (examples)

For a better understanding on how to use the library, I would recommend you to go through all the examples, following the order specified. You should have a look at the source code, as there are some comments there, while running the examples and playing with them.

All the examples are single apps (and have their own elm-package.json), so you can run them like this :


If you have downloaded/cloned the all library you can just :

cd elm-forms/examples

and have access to all the examples.


  • If you have a ConfigError when validating your form, have a look at which field is concerned and
    • If the error is a MissingField one : make sure there is no typo error in the field key either in the Fields or in the Validate function
    • If the error is a WrongType one : make sure you're using the stringField helper for an input/select field and the boolField helper for a checkbox field
  • If a field value never changes
    • First make sure you're implementing the form Msg and you're updating the form with the updateForm function
    • Second, in your view, make sure you have an event defined on the field and it's using a form Msg : stringFieldMsg or boolFieldMsg
    • Finally make sure there is no typo error in the field key either in the Fields or in your view event
  • If a field validation never/always fails/succeeds, make sure you're using the success or failure function