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View Full Version : Validating a UK telephone number.



LearningCoder
11-14-2012, 01:35 AM
Hi I am in the process of validating my post data and have come to the phone number field.

I'm not quite sure how to approach this.

When I get to that part of my switch, I send it through the intval() function. This seems to take of the 0 on the beginning of the string.

I decided to leave it as a string, and then use settype() just before doing my database stuff.

Here is my code relating to the phone number:


case "phone":
$num_len = strlen($value);
if(!ctype_digit($value)){
$errors[] = "You can only enter digits into the phone field.";
}
if($num_len != 11){
$errors[] = "Your telephone number must be 11 digits.";
}
die();
break;


I also did a bit of research and found UK landline and mobile numbers contain 11 digits, and the landlines range from 01200 up to 01997 (with the exception of around 50 which are 'not in use' (according to wikipedia)).

Anyone got any suggestions on how to tackle this?

Thank you for any feedback.

Kind regards,

LC.

firepages
11-14-2012, 03:00 AM
is_numeric($input)
is all you really need for a phone number unless you want to allow international numbers (which I assume you dont)

from my experience people will often add spaces (even when you tell them not to)...e.g. '04033 55555'
so you might be well to $input=str_replace(' ','',$input) , then check for strlen() and is_numeric().

LearningCoder
11-14-2012, 03:47 AM
Thank you very much for the explanation.

What if they start entering characters such as the hyphen (-)?

I need a way so that if they enter anything but numbers it will get rid of it. I know I can add arrays to the first 2 parameters of str_replace() but it could get a little tedious for my liking.

Kind regards,

LC.

firepages
11-14-2012, 04:27 AM
good point, ok thinking about it regex is probs the way to go :)



$str='0337890- h 345645';
$str = preg_replace("/\D/","",$str);
if($str[0]=='0' && strlen($str)==13){
echo 'ok';
}

djm0219
11-14-2012, 12:50 PM
I use a simple str_replace for phone numbers (and credit card numbers). Takes care of spaces, dashes, periods, commas and parenthesis.


$value_to_clean = str_replace(array('-',' ','.','(',')',','),'',$value_to_clean);

LearningCoder
11-14-2012, 01:34 PM
good point, ok thinking about it regex is probs the way to go :)



$str='0337890- h 345645';
$str = preg_replace("/\D/","",$str);
if($str[0]=='0' && strlen($str)==13){
echo 'ok';
}


I'll have a play around with that code and read up on preg_replace(). Regular Expressions are complicated to understand. Tried using an example code someone gave the other day so thought I'd read up on it.

Can't find any good documentation anywhere for detailed explanations etc.

Kind regards,

Lc.

LearningCoder
11-14-2012, 01:35 PM
I use a simple str_replace for phone numbers (and credit card numbers). Takes care of spaces, dashes, periods, commas and parenthesis.


$value_to_clean = str_replace(array('-',' ','.','(',')',','),'',$value_to_clean);

What would happen if they enter different characters (say someone is pratting about), does your code compensate for these other characters or malfunction?

Kind regards,

LC.

djm0219
11-14-2012, 08:45 PM
That is used before additional checking to make sure it is just numbers. Those are the most common things used when someone is entering a phone number or credit card number. After that "cleaning" additional checking is done to make sure it's the proper length and only numeric (and, in the case of a credit card number for example, whether or not it passes MOD10 check).

LearningCoder
11-14-2012, 10:58 PM
Ah ok, thank you. I will keep my str_replace() in my code and perform the additional checks.

Kind regards,

LC.

firepages
11-15-2012, 12:59 AM
Regular Expressions are complicated to understand. Tried using an example code someone gave the other day so thought I'd read up on it.....


yup I hate regular expressions as well and the documentation confuses me more often than not , that said the above simply replaces anything that is not a number from 0-9 and is better than string replace (in this case) since it will replace newlines/tabs/+ etc , err well anything that is not a digit :)

LearningCoder
11-15-2012, 01:21 AM
That sounds perfect to me. I have just used your code in the site and it's exactly what I want without having many lines of code!

Just wish I understood RegExp!

Kind regards,

LC.

LearningCoder
11-15-2012, 01:42 AM
Is there any particular way to deal with a drop-down list? Just wondering whether I really need a case in my switch for this as the value will always be one of the options.

Kind regards,

LC.

firepages
11-15-2012, 03:21 AM
sorry, not with you, need more info

LearningCoder
11-15-2012, 11:37 AM
I have a list in my form:


<select name="product_options">
<option value="default">Please choose a product...</option>
<option value="benches">Benches</option>
<option value="bin_stores">Bin Stores</option>
<option value="gates">Gates</option>
</select>


Just wondering what kind of validation would I have to perform on a drop-down list? Never used one in my forms before so I'm not quite sure if I need to validate anything?

I have 2 text areas so the only validation I perform on these 2 is making sure the user entered 400 characters or less.

I was racking my brains last night thinking of a way that my list needs to be validated and to be honest I cannot think of one. The value which someone selects will always be 'default' or one of the product names i.e 'benches' or 'gates'.

The only thing I can see to validate is whether or not the user selected something, in which case I need to distinguish which product it was.

Sorry if it's still a little vague.

Kind regards,

LC.

firepages
11-16-2012, 12:55 AM
OK, with you now.
Like you said the user can only select from one of the dropdown boxes so in theory you can only ever get one of your pre-determined values.

That said, if someone was to create a POST request to your webpage via CURL or simply from creating their own form its possible they could add their own options so you need to be aware of that.

Normally you would counter that by ensuring that the POST data came from your server and assuming that ALL user input is potentially evil.
You could check that the incoming product_options is one of your predetermined values or run a filter_var() or more regex to check its a string etc, in your case its probably best to check for one of your predetermined values.

LearningCoder
11-16-2012, 01:09 AM
You know I was thinking to check it against one of my pre determined values and was going to use in_array() to search for the value. I read somewhere that if there's a select box in a form and it gets submitted, you receive the value as an array? Did some var_dump()ing and it showed up as a string so I'm not sure how true that was. I have already created an array in a script dealing with my products page so I wonder if I can use that value in this script or whether or not to just create another one.

EDIT: just found it. inside the same file. moved it about and its got global scope now.

Thanks for the tip.

Regards,

Lc.

Arcticwarrio
11-16-2012, 10:12 AM
Also just to throw a spanner into the works, i live in St Helens Merseyside and phone numbers in town are only 10 digits long.

ie 01744 20022

LearningCoder
11-16-2012, 10:52 AM
Hmm I knew I shouldn't have gone off Wikipedia :@

That's one mighty spanner, I'll do a bit more research then re-write the code relating to that.

Thanks for the info !

Edit: Ok it seems that if you enter the full length code (which you would have to do to ring nationwide for example for me to ring London would mean I have to enter 0207 or 0208 or any other code) then the possibilities range from either 10 or 11. I think I know how to deal with this.

Regards,

LC.



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