Each of these functions are merely HTML generators to help you write your view files. You certainly do NOT have to use these whatsoever. I like to use them since I can easily make one change to these and it takes effect for all the HTML elements I might want to have in a view.
$settings is an associative array (key=value pair). Below is a list of all the possible key values and which functions use them.
Most of the functions…
checkpostvars (boolean) If no value is set for the field, and this value is set to true, then the system will look at the $_POST vars to get a value. If none is set there, then
checktemplatevars is considered.
checktemplatevars (boolean) If no value is set for the field, and this value is set to true, then the system will see if you have set the variable in template variables. If none is set there, then the table and field_name are used to get a value for the field.
class (string) html class value. default: “text ui-widget-content ui-corner-all” for everything but select() which has a default of “text ui-widget ui-corner-all”
disabled (string) html disabled value. default: none
field_name (string: required) name of the database field.
hint (array) key-value pairs that define a hint. default: none
id (string) html id value. default: none
label (string) label text
label_class (string) html class string for the label. default: ‘text’
label_style (string) html style string for the label. default: none
name (string) html name value. default: same as field_name key-value pair.
field_name as the html name value if specified
showhints (boolean) show input hints? if a variable is named “whatever” then there would need to be another variable named “whatever_hint” in order for
showhints to fire
style (string) html style value. default: none
table (table: required) an instance of a
table object where the data is coming from
value (string) value to display in the input element. If none is specified, then the default behavior defined in this order: checkpostvars, checktemplatevars, database
maxlength (integer) html size and maxlength value. default: none
type (string): html type value. default: “text”
rows (integer) html rows value. default: none
cols (integer) html cols value. default: none
addfirst (boolean) true to add the option “Select One…” to the beginning of the options.
selected (string) determines which VALUE is selected
choices (array) key-value pair of choices for the select
hint (string) string to be displayed as a hint to the input field.
name, id, class, style are the same as above, but must be in the array here as well.
null. But each function ECHOs html code to the user obviously.