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From Leszek Gawron <>
Subject Woody complex multipaged form
Date Thu, 31 Jul 2003 15:05:12 GMT
I am really sorry if this is a repost but I have some problems with my smtp

I've send this to dev@cocoon as it contains some ideas about Woody multipage

                          * INTRODUCTION *
Consider such case:

You have a form for inputting report parameters. It goes something like this:

Please input all report parameters blah blah:

Customer code :     _________________________ *pick*
   Start date :     _________________________ *pick*
     End date :     _________________________ *pick*
     Ordering :     ______________________\/_

    -  Submit -

A little description:

1. Customer code
you need a valid customer code here. There are a lot customer codes (for
example 10'000). In my xml form description (which is later on rendered to
html via a stylesheet) I have introduced specialized input type called
"picker" which renders as a readonly edit box and a button. When *pick* button 
is pressed:
1. a popup window opens which contains a form with query parameters
2. I can query a customer
3. get a list of first XXX results
4. pick a customer by clicking a table row
5. the above causes to fill-in the edit box with a valid customer code and the
popup closes automatically

2. Start and end date
I have introduced a JavaScript based calendar ( <div> shown in an absolute
position) so now: 
1. I do not need to worry that the date is invalid
2. the form looks really sexy :)

                             * GOAL *
I'd like to achieve the same/similar functionality with Woody without too much

So first: 
1. Can I implement a widget that is not a standard one (a customer/product
picker, date picker)?

2. Can I render it my way without rewriting the whole woody stylesheet? (I
think not).

Big question now: 
3. Some users hate popup windows (me too). So I'd like to migrate to flow
based approach and after customer picker button is pressed a query page is
opened but IN THE SAME WINDOW. After picking a customer the flow goes back to
main form. As far as I understand Woody builds it's model basing on request
parameters (I do not get the whole binding concept right now so please correct
me). How can I store the main form data until flow gets back to it? Let me
remind you that the purpose of this whole thing is to write a bunch of reports
so I really do not want to write a bean for each report I implement.

A nice approach would be : 
1. Display a report form and allow user to edit data.
2. When a picker is pressed the whole form is stored (with no bean and stuff -
just the whole form) somewhere in the session context under "form_name"
3. Picker is displayed
4. If picker is submitted - some of picker model data is rewritten to a main
5. Main report is displayed again.

what do you think about all that?

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