I have a form with a nested subform that has an ajax submit button in it. The subform is built inside a form_alter and attached to the form. The submit buttons #name is made unique by using a UUID generator.

When I press the ajax submit button, Drupal steps through its form builder steps rebuilding the form. Because of this, the same code in the form_alter is called rebuilding the same subform. The problem is that when it is rebuilt, the submit button gets a brand new #name via the UUID generator. As such, Drupal cannot match the _triggering_element to a #name, and the ajax fails.

One solution I thought to try was to attach the #name to $form_state storage when the form is first built hoping that it would be available when the form is rebuilt. For e.g. in the same form_alter I execute:

      $input = $form_state->getUserInput();
        //This only runs when the form is being rebuilt

And I may be able to grab the correct #name out of $form_state storage and set it so Drupal can correctly match and find the right ajax callbacks.

Is something like this possible? Is there a better way to handle this?

  • 1
    What I can tell you is that in nearly 15 years of using Drupal, I have only ever found setting #name to cause issues. Better to leave that one alone. Not sure what you're trying to do though, so can't really help with a solution.
    – Jaypan
    Mar 5, 2021 at 3:03

1 Answer 1


You only need #name if the form array keys don't provide a unique path for form_state. I agree with @Jaypan, I too found setting #name never really necessary, it seems to be more reliable to define a unique key to the lowest level of the form element if you have issues with Ajax not finding the form element. In either case, #name or form key, it has to be predictable, derived from data which doesn't change between form builds, for example a field delta.

The form object and $form_state are not cached when a form is rendered, only after submitting the first Ajax request. So it doesn't help to store data in $form_state you want to use to rebuild $form.

  • The form that gets built within the node edit form exists in a certain Paragraph type. So if more than one of these paragraphs is added to the page, I'm not quite sure how I'd get away with not using a UUID generator to either create unique keys or a unique #name. Is your intuition that it would work better if the generate was acting on the keys instead of the #name?
    – plambre
    Mar 5, 2021 at 14:31
  • It needs to be unique only within the form, so it should work if you add the field delta of the paragraph reference field to #name or form array key.
    – 4uk4
    Mar 5, 2021 at 14:37
  • Ah that makes sense, use the ordering on the fields to make the names or keys unique. Now in my case, each relevant field on the Node is a Paragraph which references a Paragraph. The $form array I get is like ['field_name']['widget'][0] where the [0] array does have a '#delta' value, but in my case its always 0 because there aren't other items in ['widget'] (and there will only ever be 1). I noticed at the $form['field_name'] level there is a 'weight' key with a changing value. Could that potentially be used in the same way?
    – plambre
    Mar 5, 2021 at 14:51
  • To any who find this question: 4k4 led me down the right path. I was building the form in a hook_field_widget_WIDGET_TYPE_form_alter so there was not a unique delta available, but in the 3rd argument (context) the machine name of the parent field is provided in a few places. This machine name has to be unique within the Node, so I used it to assign the #name value instead of a UUID and ajax started working.
    – plambre
    Mar 5, 2021 at 15:27

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