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help finding error on form required field


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i was trying to make error message relating from the w3schools learning center but it returned nothing.

please help me find the error....

here is the code i wrote...

<?php// define variables and set to empty values$cnameErr = $dateErr = $itemErr = $rateErr = $qtyErr = "";$cname = $date = $rfn = $item = $rate = $qty = $less = $amt = "";if ($_SERVER["REQUEST_METHOD"] == "POST"){  if (empty($_POST["cname"]))    {$cnameErr = "Customer Name is required";}  else    {$cname = test_input($_POST["cname"]);}  if (empty($_POST["date"]))    {$emailErr = "Date is required";}  else    {$date = test_input($_POST["date"]);}  if (empty($_POST["rfn"]))    {$rfn = "";}  else    {$rfn = test_input($_POST["rfn"]);}  if (empty($_POST["item"]))    {$itemErr = "Item name is required";}  else    {$item = test_input($_POST["item"]);}  if (empty($_POST["rate"]))    {$rateErr = "Please input Rate";}  else    {$rate = test_input($_POST["rate"]);}  if (empty($_POST["qty"]))    {$qtyErr = "Please input item quantity";}  else    {$qty = test_input($_POST["qty"]);}  if (empty($_POST["less"]))    {$less = "";}  else    {$less = test_input($_POST["less"]);}  if (empty($_POST["amt"]))    {$amt = "";}  else    {$amt = test_input($_POST["amt"]);}}function test_input($data){     $data = trim($data);     $data = stripslashes($data);     $data = htmlspecialchars($data);     return $data;}// error messageecho $dateErr; // and so on?>
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thank u


but this returned nothing when i click submit to a blank form.


the form is like this--

<form action="<?php echo htmlspecialchars($_SERVER["PHP_SELF"]); ?>" method="POST"><fieldset class="form-field-set"><legend><h1>Test Invoice</h1></legend><div class="form-field" id="main"><div class="form-field"><span class="error">* <? echo $cnameErr; ?></span><label>Customer Name:</label><select name="cname" id="cname"><option></option><?php// select table$query = "SELECT * FROM customer";$result = mysql_query($query);if (!$result) die("Unable to select database: " . mysqli_error());// fetch data$rows = mysql_num_rows($result);for ($n = 0 ; $n < $rows ; ++$n){		echo "<option>" . mysql_result($result,$n,'cname') . "</option>" ;}?></select></div><div class="form-field"><span class="error">* <? echo $dateErr; ?></span><label>Date:</label><input type="date" name="date" id="date"></div><div class="form-field"><label>Reference No.:</label><input type="text" name="rfn" id="rfn"></div><div class="form-field"><span class="error">* <? echo $itemErr; ?></span><label>Item Name:</label><select name="item"><option></option><?php// select table$query = "SELECT * FROM stock";$result = mysql_query($query);if (!$result) die("Unable to select database: " . mysqli_error());// fetch data$rows = mysql_num_rows($result);for ($n = 0 ; $n < $rows ; ++$n){		echo "<option>" . mysql_result($result,$n,'item') . "</option>" ;}?></select></div><div class="form-field"><span class="error">* <? echo $rateErr; ?></span><label>Rate:</label><input type="text" name="rate" id="rate"></div><div class="form-field"><span class="error">* <? echo $qtyErr; ?></span><label>Quantity:</label><input type="text" name="qty" id="qty"></div><div class="form-field"><label>Discount (%):</label><input type="text" name="less" id="less"></div><div class="form-field"><label>Amount:</label><input type="text" name="amt" id="amt" disabled></div><div class="form-field"><input type="submit" value="Add to Cart" name="submit" id="submit"></div></form>
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i got what the problem was. before, i used --

<? echo $dateErr; ?>

later i changed it to --

<?php $dateErr; ?>

and it worked. but i dont know what the different is.....

Edited by funbinod
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you would still need the echo either way.

i've echoed it and got the result... please recheck on the last line in my first post

// error messageecho $dateErr; // and so on

and in between on several places in my second post......

<span class="error">* <? echo $dateErr; ?></span> //and so on
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