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  1. #1
    Regular Coder LearningCoder's Avatar
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    validating email in javascript

    Hi, I have a form which I want to add some javascript validation to so that it prevents the action script executing everytime, even when there is invalid data. I was hoping to prevent the submission when there is invalid data.

    Anyway, I just had a look on a few sites about emails and validating emails with javascript. Judging by the list of possible valid and invalid email addresses on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Email_a...mail_addresses, this looks like a very daunting task and one which would be far too complicated for me to write.

    I'm thinking right now that regular expressions would be the way it should be done rather than checking for certain characters and positions etc individually.

    What I wanted was some advice on how to validate it and if any have validated forms before using regular expressions and/or individual tests, what was the easiest and what would you advise me to start looking into?

    Bearing in mind I have little javascript knowledge. When I first got my JS book when I started out, I got up to regular expressions and it overwhelmed me and as I still weren't 100% about using objects and DOM etc etc, I stopped trying to learn JS regExp. I've been reading the chapters the last day or so and it's becomes slightly more clear each time I read it.

    Please lt me know your thoughts.

    Regards,

    LC.

  • #2
    Master Coder felgall's Avatar
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    As you will to validate everything again on the server in case the person has JavaScript turned off you might just check for the obvious such as that it contains an @ and that there is at least one . after that in your JavaScript validation and then rely on the server validation to pick up the less obvious errors. Of course even if an email address is valid doesn't mean that it exists - the only way to confirm that it actually exists is to send an email AND get a meaningful response.

    If you do want to do a full validation in JavaScript then a function that uses regular expression to do a full validation looks like this (which first checks the maximum lengths of the two parts and then uses a regular expression):

    Code:
    validateEmail = function(email) {var e = (email+'@').split('@'); if (e[0].length > 255 || e[1].length > 63) return false; return !email.search(/^[\040\t]*(?:\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:(?:\\[^\x80-\xff]|\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:\\[^\x80-\xff][^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\))[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\)[\040\t]*)*(?:(?:[^(\040)<>@,;:".\\\[\]\000-\037\x80-\xff]+(?![^(\040)<>@,;:".\\\[\]\000-\037\x80-\xff])|"[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015"]*(?:\\[^\x80-\xff][^\\\x80-\xff\n\015"]*)*")[\040\t]*(?:\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:(?:\\[^\x80-\xff]|\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:\\[^\x80-\xff][^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\))[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\)[\040\t]*)*(?:\.[\040\t]*(?:\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:(?:\\[^\x80-\xff]|\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:\\[^\x80-\xff][^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\))[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\)[\040\t]*)*(?:[^(\040)<>@,;:".\\\[\]\000-\037\x80-\xff]+(?![^(\040)<>@,;:".\\\[\]\000-\037\x80-\xff])|"[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015"]*(?:\\[^\x80-\xff][^\\\x80-\xff\n\015"]*)*")[\040\t]*(?:\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:(?:\\[^\x80-\xff]|\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:\\[^\x80-\xff][^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\))[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\)[\040\t]*)*)*@[\040\t]*(?:\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:(?:\\[^\x80-\xff]|\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:\\[^\x80-\xff][^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\))[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\)[\040\t]*)*(?:[^(\040)<>@,;:".\\\[\]\000-\037\x80-\xff]+(?![^(\040)<>@,;:".\\\[\]\000-\037\x80-\xff])|\[(?:[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015\[\]]|\\[^\x80-\xff])*\])[\040\t]*(?:\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:(?:\\[^\x80-\xff]|\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:\\[^\x80-\xff][^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\))[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\)[\040\t]*)*(?:\.[\040\t]*(?:\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:(?:\\[^\x80-\xff]|\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:\\[^\x80-\xff][^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\))[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\)[\040\t]*)*(?:[^(\040)<>@,;:".\\\[\]\000-\037\x80-\xff]+(?![^(\040)<>@,;:".\\\[\]\000-\037\x80-\xff])|\[(?:[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015\[\]]|\\[^\x80-\xff])*\])[\040\t]*(?:\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:(?:\\[^\x80-\xff]|\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:\\[^\x80-\xff][^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\))[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\)[\040\t]*)*)*|(?:[^(\040)<>@,;:".\\\[\]\000-\037\x80-\xff]+(?![^(\040)<>@,;:".\\\[\]\000-\037\x80-\xff])|"[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015"]*(?:\\[^\x80-\xff][^\\\x80-\xff\n\015"]*)*")[^()<>@,;:".\\\[\]\x80-\xff\000-\010\012-\037]*(?:(?:\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:(?:\\[^\x80-\xff]|\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:\\[^\x80-\xff][^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\))[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\)|"[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015"]*(?:\\[^\x80-\xff][^\\\x80-\xff\n\015"]*)*")[^()<>@,;:".\\\[\]\x80-\xff\000-\010\012-\037]*)*<[\040\t]*(?:\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:(?:\\[^\x80-\xff]|\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:\\[^\x80-\xff][^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\))[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\)[\040\t]*)*(?:@[\040\t]*(?:\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:(?:\\[^\x80-\xff]|\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:\\[^\x80-\xff][^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\))[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\)[\040\t]*)*(?:[^(\040)<>@,;:".\\\[\]\000-\037\x80-\xff]+(?![^(\040)<>@,;:".\\\[\]\000-\037\x80-\xff])|\[(?:[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015\[\]]|\\[^\x80-\xff])*\])[\040\t]*(?:\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:(?:\\[^\x80-\xff]|\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:\\[^\x80-\xff][^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\))[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\)[\040\t]*)*(?:\.[\040\t]*(?:\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:(?:\\[^\x80-\xff]|\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:\\[^\x80-\xff][^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\))[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\)[\040\t]*)*(?:[^(\040)<>@,;:".\\\[\]\000-\037\x80-\xff]+(?![^(\040)<>@,;:".\\\[\]\000-\037\x80-\xff])|\[(?:[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015\[\]]|\\[^\x80-\xff])*\])[\040\t]*(?:\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:(?:\\[^\x80-\xff]|\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:\\[^\x80-\xff][^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\))[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\)[\040\t]*)*)*(?:,[\040\t]*(?:\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:(?:\\[^\x80-\xff]|\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:\\[^\x80-\xff][^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\))[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\)[\040\t]*)*@[\040\t]*(?:\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:(?:\\[^\x80-\xff]|\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:\\[^\x80-\xff][^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\))[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\)[\040\t]*)*(?:[^(\040)<>@,;:".\\\[\]\000-\037\x80-\xff]+(?![^(\040)<>@,;:".\\\[\]\000-\037\x80-\xff])|\[(?:[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015\[\]]|\\[^\x80-\xff])*\])[\040\t]*(?:\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:(?:\\[^\x80-\xff]|\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:\\[^\x80-\xff][^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\))[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\)[\040\t]*)*(?:\.[\040\t]*(?:\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:(?:\\[^\x80-\xff]|\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:\\[^\x80-\xff][^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\))[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\)[\040\t]*)*(?:[^(\040)<>@,;:".\\\[\]\000-\037\x80-\xff]+(?![^(\040)<>@,;:".\\\[\]\000-\037\x80-\xff])|\[(?:[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015\[\]]|\\[^\x80-\xff])*\])[\040\t]*(?:\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:(?:\\[^\x80-\xff]|\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:\\[^\x80-\xff][^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\))[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\)[\040\t]*)*)*)*:[\040\t]*(?:\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:(?:\\[^\x80-\xff]|\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:\\[^\x80-\xff][^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\))[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\)[\040\t]*)*)?(?:[^(\040)<>@,;:".\\\[\]\000-\037\x80-\xff]+(?![^(\040)<>@,;:".\\\[\]\000-\037\x80-\xff])|"[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015"]*(?:\\[^\x80-\xff][^\\\x80-\xff\n\015"]*)*")[\040\t]*(?:\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:(?:\\[^\x80-\xff]|\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:\\[^\x80-\xff][^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\))[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\)[\040\t]*)*(?:\.[\040\t]*(?:\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:(?:\\[^\x80-\xff]|\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:\\[^\x80-\xff][^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\))[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\)[\040\t]*)*(?:[^(\040)<>@,;:".\\\[\]\000-\037\x80-\xff]+(?![^(\040)<>@,;:".\\\[\]\000-\037\x80-\xff])|"[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015"]*(?:\\[^\x80-\xff][^\\\x80-\xff\n\015"]*)*")[\040\t]*(?:\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:(?:\\[^\x80-\xff]|\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:\\[^\x80-\xff][^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\))[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\)[\040\t]*)*)*@[\040\t]*(?:\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:(?:\\[^\x80-\xff]|\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:\\[^\x80-\xff][^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\))[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\)[\040\t]*)*(?:[^(\040)<>@,;:".\\\[\]\000-\037\x80-\xff]+(?![^(\040)<>@,;:".\\\[\]\000-\037\x80-\xff])|\[(?:[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015\[\]]|\\[^\x80-\xff])*\])[\040\t]*(?:\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:(?:\\[^\x80-\xff]|\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:\\[^\x80-\xff][^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\))[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\)[\040\t]*)*(?:\.[\040\t]*(?:\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:(?:\\[^\x80-\xff]|\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:\\[^\x80-\xff][^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\))[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\)[\040\t]*)*(?:[^(\040)<>@,;:".\\\[\]\000-\037\x80-\xff]+(?![^(\040)<>@,;:".\\\[\]\000-\037\x80-\xff])|\[(?:[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015\[\]]|\\[^\x80-\xff])*\])[\040\t]*(?:\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:(?:\\[^\x80-\xff]|\([^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*(?:\\[^\x80-\xff][^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\))[^\\\x80-\xff\n\015()]*)*\)[\040\t]*)*)*>)$/);}
    Stephen
    Learn Modern JavaScript - http://javascriptexample.net/
    Helping others to solve their computer problem at http://www.felgall.com/

    Don't forget to start your JavaScript code with "use strict"; which makes it easier to find errors in your code.

  • #3
    Regular Coder LearningCoder's Avatar
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    Thank you for your reply.

    I already have the validation complete on server side using php so I just wanted to add a little javascript to the site to try and improve it.

    Kind regards,

    LC.

  • #4
    Supreme Master coder! Philip M's Avatar
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    Code:
    if (!(/^([a-z0-9])([\w\.\-\+])+([a-z0-9])\@((\w)([\w\-]?)+\.)+([a-z]{2,4})$/i.test(email.value))) { // returns true if invalid
    If you want to be pedantic change {2,4} to {2,6} to allow for travel and museum domains. Personally I have never encountered one.

    This regex is fine but does not of course detect errors such as @gmial.com.

    Another good way is to get the user to confirm his email address (type it twice in two boxes) and check that they match. You can block pasting if you want to compel typing.

    But at the end of the day it is for the user to get his email address right, just as his street address or postcode. There is no point in excessive validation.

    You have to be magnamonius in defeat. - Commentator Radio Scotland

    All the code given in this post has been tested and is intended to address the question asked.
    Unless stated otherwise it is not just a demonstration.

  • #5
    Master Coder felgall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Philip M View Post
    Another good way is to get the user to confirm his email address (type it twice in two boxes) and check that they match. You can block pasting if you want to compel typing.
    Most browsers can remember your email address for you so there is little chance of you mistyping it when with the press of a button it gets filled in for you. For those browsers that don't there are add-ons that can remember form fields like that for you - and everyone should be encouraged to at least have their email address memorised so that they avoid mistyping it.

    Note that with email addresses anything is valid before the @ provided it is enclosed inside "" and the part after the @ can be specified either as a domain name or as an IP address enclosed in []. So if you perform any validation beyond just checking for @ and at least one . after without using the full regexp then you will block valid email addresses and so at least potentially prevent someone from entering the only valid address they have.
    Stephen
    Learn Modern JavaScript - http://javascriptexample.net/
    Helping others to solve their computer problem at http://www.felgall.com/

    Don't forget to start your JavaScript code with "use strict"; which makes it easier to find errors in your code.

  • #6
    Supreme Master coder! Philip M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by felgall View Post
    Most browsers can remember your email address for you so there is little chance of you mistyping it when with the press of a button it gets filled in for you.
    More info please. I do not find this in either IE or GC.

    All the code given in this post has been tested and is intended to address the question asked.
    Unless stated otherwise it is not just a demonstration.

  • #7
    Master Coder felgall's Avatar
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    In GC go to Settings then scroll down to "Passwords and Forms" in the Advanced section. Then select "Manage Autofill options" then "Add new street address". One of the fields you can enter there to autofill into forms is email address.

    In Safari select Preferences then the Autofill tab. Next click the Edit button next to the "Address Book Card" option and you can enter your email address there.

    In Opera select "Preferences" then "Forms" and enter your email address.

    IE can't actually fill in your email address automatically the way the above three browsers can but if you go to the Content tab in Internet Options and select the Settings button in the autocomplete section you can turn on Autocomplete for forms so that when you start typing your email address it will fill the rest in for you once you type the first few characters.

    Firefox works the same way as IE. Go into Options and select the Privacy tab. Make sure that "Remember search and form history" is checked. When you type the first few characters of your email address the rest will be filled in for you automatically.

    So that's three of the top five browsers can fill in your email address for you with a single mouse click and two that will fill it in by typing the first few letters. None of the five most popular browsers will allow you to accidentally mistype your email address after you have the browser properly configured to remember it.
    Stephen
    Learn Modern JavaScript - http://javascriptexample.net/
    Helping others to solve their computer problem at http://www.felgall.com/

    Don't forget to start your JavaScript code with "use strict"; which makes it easier to find errors in your code.

  • #8
    Supreme Master coder! Philip M's Avatar
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    Thank you very much for the info. I have never bothered with autofill as I use Shortkeys instead and simply typing #e places the email address in the text box.

    But whether provided by autofill or not the script still needs to validate the (format of) the email address.
    Last edited by Philip M; 12-16-2012 at 10:28 AM.

    All the code given in this post has been tested and is intended to address the question asked.
    Unless stated otherwise it is not just a demonstration.


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