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Show HN: FormFiller – A JavaScript bookmarklet for repopulating forms (formfillerjs.com)
21 points by mikeaag on Aug 1, 2015 | hide | past | favorite | 12 comments

This seemed familiar to me and I recalled this: http://www.benjaminkeen.com/open-source-projects/smaller-pro...

It is the first hit in Google for 'form filler bookmarklet'.

Any noteworthy differences between yours and that? (Honest question, no snark intended.)

I'll be honest, once I decided I needed a solution, and that browser extensions weren't an option, I didn't really try that hard to find a bookmark alternative as I figured I could create something to do the job fairly quickly.

The first version of FormFiller was written in about 30 minutes over the course of 2 lunch breaks and it did what I needed it to (though not very elegantly. It send the generated JS bookmark code to a php script which saved it to a file which was then loaded in the created bookmarklet. Caused issues with https though :( )

Also, because I originally made it for use at my day job, there were some special use cases that I hard coded in.

Once I'd got to that point, the thought of looking for existing solutions didn't cross my mind.

Now, to answer your question, having looked at the project you linked, I would say that there are only a few differences (at the moment).

1) While they are both open source, FormFiller is on GitHub and therefore I feel it's a bit easier for people to access the source code and potentially contribute.

2) The FormFiller save bookmarklet loads the code from https://rawgit.com/wearecontrast/FormFiller/master/src/FormF.... What this means is that when I update FormFiller with new features, everyone gets upgraded without having to create a new Save bookmarklet. (This doesn't update the generated bookmarklets though. Anyone wanted to take advantage of a new feature can just use their current bookmarklet to populate the form, then save again using the automatically updated Save bookmarklet. The benefit of this is, if your generated bookmarklet works now, it will always work regardless of any features added/removed in the future)

3) When you click the FormFiller bookmark to save a form, you are presented with a modal window. Currently, the only thing you can do on this window is change the name of the link (and thus the name of your bookmark). The plan going forward is to re-implement some of the functionality I need at work. This means being able to select certain fields to have random values inserted, and also having fields have calculated values inserted. for example, random characters in the name fields, and always inserting the current date (or +3 days) into a date field.

4) The only other difference I could see was that FormFiller does not split up the generated bookmarklets for multiple forms on the page. I'm not sure if this is better or worse though?

Thanks for the comment and I hope that gives a bit of insight into where I'm planning on taking FormFiller. If you end up giving FormFiller a try then feedback is always appreciated :D

Cheers, Mike

Fair enough. I haven't tested either one recently, but here is a dump of some past notes I took about improving the other one, as food for thought.

* put focus on submit button

* offer option during creation to auto-sumbit the form. trigger click event on the submit button.

* detect wrong form and alert user something like "This form does not seem to be the same form that was saved. Try anyway?"

Thanks for the notes, will definitely take them on board. Auto-submit is probably going to be the first feature that gets added. I currently have a separate bookmarklet for it, but it's much easier if it's just part of the generated bookmarklet.

They are indeed similar, but work a little differently. One of the main requirements I had when making FormFiller was it needed to be cross browser. The reason for this is that at work I have to use Firefox, and our testers prefer IE, but at home I use chrome. I wanted to create something which I could use on any browser, so unfortunately browser extensions were out of the question :(

Lazarus does look interesting though.

Hey all,

I'm Mike, one of the guys behind FormFiller.

We made FormFiller to scratch our own itch, but thought others might find some use out of it as well. (You can read more about how it came about at http://wearecontrast.com/2015/07/month-5-introducing-formfil...)

Would love to hear your feedback on how we can make it better.

Cheers, Mike :D

You should make a really dramatic video where everyone in the team is presented in a chair, cutting between closeups of their face and details of FormFiller's user interface, while telling the story of the product, how it came about, how design is what really matters the most and how you will change the world with it. Jokes aside, cool idea :)

Totally this :)

http://www.phpied.com/form-auto-fill-bookmarklet/ My take on the problem from 2006 :) Mike, hope your project can pick up an idea or two

Hey, thanks for the comment.

I find it crazy that you created that 9 years ago!

FormFiller doesn't currently support auto filling the form with data, but it's definitely something i've considered for the future. I've saved that post and will give it another read when I get around to adding that functionality in.

Cheers, Mike

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