Dynamic Dropdown Widget - 414 Request ~ URI Too Large Error

  • Profile Image
    Asked on September 09, 2014 at 09:20 AM

    Everytime I try something new on your services I invariably end up on the support forum notifying you of a bug ...

    My client requires a form that can be done with the dynamic dropdown ... it's for schools etc.

    I use your dynamic dropdown ... for a simple list of names of students ... I get this ...

    Brilliant .. so I create a test form to see whether this widget can handle a nested list ...



    So, what exactly is the problem here ... there is a limit n the number of characters?

    I need this working today ... as promised by the fact you deem it market ready ... and have it proudly exhibited.

    Tell me ... yawn ... did you test this properly?

    Regards mark

    PS sorry I don't mean to sound a misery ... i just do all your testing work .. at the expense of my time ... to make your product better ... you say Thanks ... not really a fair fit.

    Hope you can help on this one.

  • Profile Image
    Answered on September 09, 2014 at 11:14 AM

    Hi Mark,

    Thanks for being so nice and cooperative. We greatly appreciate it. We do apologize though for any inconveniences caused. I completely understand how you feel and I would exactly do the same if I were on your shoe.

    Anyway, since the problem is related to the URL limit which requires developers attention, I have escalated this thread right away. 

    What you can do at least for now is to reduce your dropdown options or break it down into multiple dynamic dropdown widgets so it does not bypass the limit. Yours is just too lengthy. The length of the widget URL depends on the widget options/values. Splitting the widget values should help.

    Thank you for your understanding as always! You have been very helpful and we are always grateful for that. An update will follow once this is taken cared by our developers.

    Best Regards!

  • Profile Image
    Answered on September 09, 2014 at 11:57 AM


    I can't reduce the dropdown options ... that is what the client requires.
    Breaking it down into multiple dynamic dropdown widgets ... that won't work ... its a crap hack solution that you've never tried when someone is paying you.

    This widget did not come with the warning of ...

    "You can't do long lists"
    "You can't do lists over XXX number"

    It doesn't say it ... where does it say it ... why doesn't it say it .... in fact it states that you can have an endless nested list thing going on ... that's obviously crap.

    This is not a long list for a dropdown ... believe me ... this is not a long list.

    Like all the other jotform widgets I've used it has critical problems based on the fact thatit was never tested properly.

    You should have advised on this ... its Jotforms fault I went down this road ... I prepared a demo for a client ... and then said to them ... yes it can be done. You neglected to advise on the critical issue that the dropdown has a limit. Did you not think this was relevant?

    Now for the second time in 2 weeks my relationship with a client is being compromised. I lost the other business because of the unseen shortcomings of Jotform

    Now ... what do I say to my client?

    And exactly what is the f****g limit on this widget that you lot have shoehorned me in on using ... when its not fit for purpose ... like all the other widgets you've launched ?? 

    I'm sorry ... I'm so fed up ... a limit on the list length ... please tell me you can sort this today!

    Regards Mark

  • Profile Image
    Answered on September 09, 2014 at 02:10 PM

    We do our best to add a great deal of functionality on a daily basis.  Our development team literally works around the clock updating and fixing issues on top of adding all these extra widgets.  You seem to require quite a bit of functionality that is outside the limits of what our forms were intended for, which does in fact help us quite a bit to test the limits of what our forms and widgets are capable of.  For this we are very grateful.  If your customers are requiring custom solutions however, we may not always be able to provide you and them with updates on the specific day you need them.  

    If you need this level of support and service you may want to look into a more custom solution with one on one support specifically for you.  We have fixed most of your problems in a timely manner but as we do release quite a bit of content, we can not promise your customers that we will be able to solve all your requests immediately.

    If the solution presented my colleague is not sufficient, you will need to wait until we are able to address your issue.  I understand your frustration, but the way you are addressing our staff is inappropriate.  Please remember that there is a human being on the other end of that computer that is working extremely hard so that you can provide your customers with a great tool.  

  • Profile Image
    Answered on September 09, 2014 at 03:14 PM


    Fair point. My tone is one of extreme frustration and not appropriate so I shall refrain from sounding off in this manner. Sorry for that.

    A critical limitation of the Dynamic Dropdown is the fact that there is a limit on list length.

    Please consider ... I put a nested list together of around 120 -150 top level items. There is no method of doing this by import. One has to do it manually ... unless you can think of a way of exporting columns in excel that are seperated by charcter spaces at the front end. So that is a two hour job.

    Then you find the whole thing can not be been done because of a top-level issue. One sentence advising the limitations of the widget would have prevented this.

    You advise that perhaps I need a custom solution ... not in this case ... I just want to know that it can deliver on its promise.

    OK look ... can you tell me the limit of this widget ...

    Number of lines?

    Number of characters?

    Number of nested elements?

    What is it? This is a fair request is it not.

    Many Thnaks Mark


  • Profile Image
    Answered on September 09, 2014 at 03:51 PM

    Hi Mark.

    I know what you mean by 'not a long list' as I have had few chances myself to create a very long dropdown with few big cities and their streets... Now it was not based on Jotform, so I will not talk about that any more :)

    The reason why you get the error is that the widget is called through the iframe, which itself uses GET - which is limited to the amount of data that can be sent to a server at a time. This depends on your browser, on the server, on routers and such that have this data pass through, etc.


    What I would recommend to developers as a possible solution is next:

    - iframe calls for a hashed valued URL if the data is longer than specified value (I will make an example right after the list)

    - this hash points to the file that will be sent to widget iframe filled with a simple JS AJAX code that would grab the data through the post into the widget. While it is doing that the widget can be set to display 'acquiring data' or any other such notice (grayed out, locked, etc).

    - The alternative to AJAX post to get the data would be multiple codes of js that would retrieve segments of dropdown and connect them together. I however believe that the AJAX POST would be a much cleaner and leaner approach.

    Example of URL
    Currently the URL looks like this:

    http://widgets.jotform.io/dynamicDropdowns/?list=Aaron Villanueva%09%0A KS4%09%0A  11%09%0A   FI-5C-MMO%09%0AAbbie

    With my suggestion it would look like this


    It could even have the same ID as the form with _1, _2, _3, etc appended at the end to differentiate different form dynamic dropdown widgets.


    @Mark what you could do for now is to either set multiple dropdowns with some conditions that would based on the value show other dropdowns (similar to what Elton mentioned) or wait for the solution to be created.

    I personally think that it would be good to make a new form based on the current one and then change the dropdowns to be smaller 'top level' dropdowns with conditional logic that hides some and shows some other 'lower level' dropdowns. This would allow you to set it up quickly and in the same time easily switch over to the working widget once they make the fix :)


    I hope that helps at least one side if not to both developers and you Mark :)

  • Profile Image
    Answered on September 09, 2014 at 04:11 PM

    Hi, me again ;)

    Just found the documentation that talks about this:

    Note: Servers ought to be cautious about depending on URI lengths above 255 bytes, because some older client or proxy implementations might not properly support these lengths.

    You can see it here: http://www.w3.org/Protocols/rfc2616/rfc2616-sec3.html#sec3.2.1

    Of course this limit is suggested, but every browser and server accept much more these days, but Internet Explorer would still limit the GET request with a few over 2000 bytes.

    1 Bytes = 1 character (0.87 of character if you want to go into technicalities but counts as 1 :) )
  • Profile Image
    Answered on September 10, 2014 at 06:57 AM


    Thankyou very much for putting the time in to explain and advise. i think the conditional logic approach would take me too long.

    The Dynamic Dropdown is ideal .... bar the limit problem of course.


    Could I reach out and ask whether the developer could look into this to see if it is a quick fix. I would be most grateful.

    Many Thanks, Mark

  • Profile Image
    Answered on September 10, 2014 at 09:42 AM

    Hello Mark,

    One of our developer is already looking into this issue. They are aware of this limit and will surely get back to you as soon as they have any update on this.

    Thank you!

  • Profile Image
    Answered on September 10, 2014 at 01:07 PM


    I tried the idea of using two dynamic dropdowns ... to half the size of the list. Makes sense.

    But oh dear ... my client has Internet Explorer ... and it doesn't work on that browser ... even with half the list

    Try this in Internet explorer: http://form.jotformpro.com/form/42525134781958

    That's half the list length. Doesn't even show the dropdown does it?

    Shall I split it into four? Just kidding

    Would you be kind enough to advise the developer it is seriously limited in Internet Explorer and thus ... to me ... is useless.

    Thanks Mark

  • Profile Image
    Answered on September 10, 2014 at 01:26 PM

    I checked the form in IE and you are correct, the drop down does not even show up.  I moved the new bug to another thread so that we may address the IE bug separately.  I agree with you on this one, flat out not working in IE is pretty bad.  The first issue has already been assigned and I'll add a comment to look into the IE issue in this thread also.

  • Profile Image
    Answered on September 10, 2014 at 01:48 PM

    @Mark and @David unfortunately IE is known to be 'buggy' (to say the least) especially as you go through the older versions of it. Plus it being as it is the limit I mentioned above is the lowest with it, so it simply will not work if it is too much for it to handle, at least not over GET, POST however should work even with it :).

    The only 'quick' solution would be to place a dropdown for each level and then as the user selects one level of answers a new dropbox replaces it, or gets shown under that - here I am talking about the regular dropdown widgets. This would require a bit more time though.

  • Profile Image
    Answered on September 11, 2014 at 04:46 AM


    IE might be buggy ... but it's a developer's job to get their thing to work with it.

    It's still the main browser of choice.

    If its the case that the dynamic dropdown cannot work on Internet explorer ....

    It should be withdrawn from the widget area as "not fit for purpose" 

    Or at least it should state the following clearly before anyone wastes their time with it ...

    Important. This widget does not work with Internet Explorer and has significant limitation on all browsers with regard to list length.

    People would then be able to make an informed choice instead of entering a honey-trap ... like I did wasting hours putting together a list.

    Thanks mark

  • Profile Image
    Answered on September 11, 2014 at 03:10 PM

    Hi Mark,

    IE might be buggy ... but it's a developer's job to get their thing to work with it.

    Yes, you are right about being able to work on IE, although I do understand that sometimes it is not possible to test everything on every single browser and have it working properly. For example if you create something for people in China, they will be testing (big companies) with Maxthon, so earlier that required some adaptations :)

    Similar is with IE being used by many people and companies, just it always has issues..

    It should be withdrawn from the widget area as "not fit for purpose"

    I think that they will resolve this soon so no need to go to that just yet ;)

    I am not sure which way you have decided to go with now, but if you need setting up the conditions in multiple (regular) dropboxes, I might be able to help, if you need any :)

  • Profile Image
    Answered on September 12, 2014 at 06:38 AM


    very kind offer. I understand conditional logic etc ... good at it.

    Problem here is that I have 150 entries with three nested levels for each entry.

    Too big for conditions man ... you'd be there for ever ;-)


    This is a great tool that works. There needs to be a fix for the length though ... any chance it is being looked at.

    Thanks Mark 

  • Profile Image
    Answered on December 17, 2014 at 01:01 AM

    Hello Mark,

    We recently made some server updates that resolve the 414 Error (and other errors in relation to character count in the widget settings). 

    The update involved a lot of widgets, and we had to run system - wide tests to make sure. 

    Good news. 

    The 2000 Character limit has been lifted - tested - and published to the production server.

    You can now add as many options as you would like in dynamic dropdowns and and about 200 other widgets that are supported by the update. 

    Here is a test form with 42,638 Characters (2000 lines of config) - http://form.jotformpro.com/form/43501076746959?

    Works perfectly - its a bit jittery with IE8 - but there is only so much one can do with such an old browser -

    IE8 gets jumpy when you go beyond 20,000 characters (Test this - 20k characters: http://form.jotformpro.com/form/43500493113949?) - which I think is still reasonable.

    Please share your experience.