Is there a word for form elements that have “relevant” values? If there is, what is it?

By “relevant” values, I mean values that we want to process or which are needed for processing. These values are not necessarily user inputs because they can be hidden fields or static fields.

Elements like the submit button, form headings, and labels are examples of form elements that have irrelevant values.

I guess I’m looking for a programming term because in programming, those are considered form elements and they have “values” in a programming sense.

  • Perhaps "Informative"? – terdon Sep 2 '13 at 14:23
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    This question appears to be off-topic because it is about Naming, including naming programming variables/classes – TrevorD Sep 2 '13 at 14:26
  • What you call "elements" are called "controls". Not sure why labels or buttons properties should be "irrelevant". I am not seeing a distinction, thus far. You need to explain better. – Pam Sep 2 '13 at 14:28
  • @TrevorD this is not naming variables but I'm looking for a rather generic technical term (if one exists) for those kind of form elements. – Pax Sep 2 '13 at 14:55
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    You could try "salient", although I think "relevant" works fine as you've used it. – pjc50 Sep 2 '13 at 15:24

I've very recently seen the term "data elements" used to describe all the fields contained in an app we're working on, in the context of asking for a list of all of them (Which, considering the size of this app? Is going to be a huge undertaking).

Terminology is tricky, because different jargon will mean different things in different fields, even within the same discipline. I suggest that if you're trying to refer to a specific item's elements, you simply refer to it as [That Item]'s elements. No need for a special term to describe them.

Though there is a particular computer term for the data that goes INTO a program, regardless of whether the user inputs them or not. "Parameters" are set at the start of a program, method, or other coded action, and though they don't include things like the "submit buttons" and other elements of whatever you might be working on, it could help you identify what part of the program you're referring to.

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Without a little more context it's hard to tell for certain what you need, but normally I'd see the term "set" or "class" used.


This set of variables define the person's attributes.

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"Required fields" is what I usually use and see.

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  • That means something else entirely: fields in a form that must be filled out for the form to be submitted. Some of the elements that the asker is looking for may well not be required (or indeed fields) on the actual page/form. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Sep 2 '13 at 20:53

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