TIL/2020–11–13

Today I learned about Django’s Forms, Email Validation and CSRF Part 1

Before anything else, let’s go through the process of properly creating our login form:

In our users application, let’s add a forms.py file which will be used to create our login form.

Inside our forms.py file we need to import forms from django to be able to create our form fields.

Similarly in how we create our models, we use the same format — but replacing “models” to “forms”.

After creating our form, let’s go to our views.py:

In views.py we have to import a couple of things:

Render — since render is the one connecting the HTTP Request, HTML template and the python elements we create to our HTML template by using context.

Views — in this case, we will be using View rather than DetailView or ListView. When we use View, it is automatic to include def get(self, request) and def post(self, request) since we will be using the get and post methods for our validation.

Forms — Obviously, we have to connect our forms.py to our views.py which will eventually be connected to our template.

And on our users/login.html, since we used context to use the “form”, we can make use of it in out .html template as {{form.as_p}}.

After doing so, this is what we get:

As you can see it is not password protected. In the forms.py, we can adjust that setting by adding a widget to the Password field.

Now let’s go back to the .html template and let’s create a form and a button so that we can connect it.

After trying to log in, this is the error that we’ll get:

This is where CSRF comes in. CSRF means Cross Site Request Forgery. To explain it in a few words, whenever we login to a website we receive cookies from that website and whenever we come back we give the cookies automatically. For example, we are on a third party website and there is a form/button that let’s us login to another website. When we send that form or use that button, the website that we are trying to login to is receiving a POST request from the third party website using our credentials. The issue with this is that the third party website could possibly take advantage and learn how to make you change your password or perform some action on the website. And the way we prevent this, the way Django fights against these types of actions is by using a CSRF token. We can insert this in our .html file:

Now, because we inserted {% csrf_token %}, Django automatically inserted this input:

Having this token means that if someone from a third party website tries to send a POST request to our website, whatever he sends won’t work — there will be an error — because he doesn’t have the token Django provided for us.

The token verifies that the POST request is coming from our website and not somewhere else. This protects us and our website since we don’t want people to login from any website. We only want to answer to the POST requests sent by our website.

Now let’s handle the form by sending a POST request.

Now if we print the form, we’ll see that it is receiving the information from the input.

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