Include array or class/object in form model class



Hello world,

I have a multistep form and in step 3 there have to be some elements (and filters) that are dependant on the choise made in step 2.

In step 2 the user fills in a categorie (select out of 150 possibilities) and in the next step the user has to fill in some characteristics belonging to that categorie, so the characteristics in step 3 are dependant on the choise in step 2. There are about 10 characteristics per categorie, so put al that inputs in one form is a bit to much.

Via the controller i pass the choice to the form model, so my idea was to make 150 classes that produce the inputs and filters (or other includes like a JSON) and include the correct one in the form model bases on the categorie choise.

But wat is the safest way, include an array in the form model class with require_once, include an JSON array or do it with a new class like this:

class PlaatsenadvertentieForm extends Form
private $rubriek;

private $characteristics;

// Constructor.
public function __construct($step,$categorie)
    $this->categorie= $categorie;
    //instantiate new object for the characteristics based on the categorie
    $this->characteristics= new characteristics($this->categorie);
    // Define form name
    // Set POST method for this form
    $this->setAttribute('method', 'post');

    // Set binary content encoding (voor foto upload).
    $this->setAttribute('enctype', 'multipart/form-data');

    // Execute elements and filter functions

protected function addElements($step) 
    if ($step==1) {
   If (($step==1) {
        …//// some other elements



I don’t know how require_once could help here, but I think it ends in a hidden dependence.

If I understand your problem correctly then the constructor injection is the right choice.

Some comments to your code:

Can be omitted, because this is the default method for a form which is created with zend-form.

Can be omitted when the file element is used in the form. If the method prepare is called then this will be set automatically.

English names and comments would help here in the forum for a better understanding.
No idea if anyone here understands Dutch. :wink:


I made some adjustments, maybe now its more clear :grinning: