Form Generator: retain settings on re-run

The Bootstrap 4 Form generator is a great feature, but there is one particular issue which makes it less useful than it could be: it seems that the generator is designed to be re-run, but doing so will delete manual changes (without any warning).

For example, a new form will add help text to every field (eg ‘Enter your large text here’ - unlikely to be text anyone would ever choose). It will also add placeholder text to every field. Of course this may be useful, but in at least some cases, if not all, the help text and placeholder text will need removing or editing. It’s not much of a problem to remove initially. However, every time the generator is run, all of the defaults are put back again - so you have to delete what you didn’t want and re-edit etc…

There are other problems - eg I’ve just noticed that a field I had set to be disabled, is once again enabled. Setting up checkboxes is a bit of fiddle (shouldn’t the generator makes these work automatically?) - and this work is undone.

The generator does ‘remember’ important settings - eg selected fields, field order, labels and type. So it seems that it’s intended to be re-run. This might well be useful - to change field order, add/remove fields, change type etc… However, as it is now, it will probably be quicker to make changes to the code directly.

A simple change would be to have two new options - to include/exclude default placeholders and help text. This would be useful too for the inital form generation. It would be much better to have two extra columns for these - columns which would be ‘remembered’. Also, a column for field options (enabled/read-only) and settings for checkbox fields. (And probably one or two others - ideally, styling, but that’s perhaps asking too much.)

I mentioned something similar about re-running the paging generator - and was told it was only meant to be used once. That’s fair enough (and not a big deal with that tool). If the same applies to the form generator, then the ‘run’ option shouldn’t be avaiable for an existing form - or a warning message should pop up to indicate possible loss of work. At the moment, it seems an incomplete solution - yes, you can re-run the generator, as long as you’re prepared to redo potentially lots of changes.

Yes you are right that re-running the generators is deleting all manual updates. What I usually do is create the form with the generator, and then apply any changes manually after I have verified that the form was created as I needed to. Re-running a generator is very useful but yes it needs you to be very careful and you only remember how much careful you need to be after you have done the same ‘mistake’ many many times. Nice topic, especially for new people in here

This has been improved in Wappler 5.2.1, the settings are now retained on re-running the generator.