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From "Niall Pemberton" <>
Subject Re: [beanutils] Summary of propsed/committed changes for Bugs
Date Mon, 12 Jul 2004 19:01:17 GMT
Craig, thanks, I appreciate your feedback.

Its not an issue I have a strong opinion on - all I'm interested in is
helping resolve the outstanding beanutils bugs to move it nearer a release.
The question then is whats the best course of action in relation to these

The principle of "if the object you pass implements Map, it is *always*
treated as a Map" seems sound to me and I'm happy to change the fixes I've
worked on to do that. The issues I see are:

A)  setNestedProperty already contains the behaviour you are against
(getNestedProperty was inconsistent and doesn't) - PropertyUtils was
modified back in  Nov 2002 (version 1.34) under Bug 14440 so that if the
bean was a Map it first checked for a regular property before setting it in
the Map. So the current Struts 1.1 behaviour is based on that.
I guess there are three options:

1)   Change getNestedProperty to implement the same behaviour - what I was
proposing, but you are against
2)   Remove this behaviour from setNestedProperty - this fits in with the
principle you stated, but since Struts 1.1 is operating with this version
seems to go against what you were saying about being backward compatible.
3)   Do nothing, leaving the inconsistency - this is the one option I'm dead

B) The other part of the change was to the get/setSimpleProperty - they
currently only update "regular" bean properties and don't handle Maps. Bug
26904 asked that they did. Now I'm not sure whether you are against this
part of the change or not and I guess we have three options here as well:

1) Do nothing - don't handle Maps  (but this breaks the principle of if its
a Map then ignore regular properties)
2) Change get/setSimpleProperty as I was proposing (and what the bug asked
for) which is if there isn't a simple property and its a Map, then set the
Map's value.
3) Change get/setSimpleProperty so that it first checks if the bean is a Map
before looking for a regular property - that fits your principle but breaks
backward compatibility.

The more I write this email the more I like the principle, because its
straight forward to explain/understand. However we would have to alter
setNestedProperty to not set regular bean properties and change
get/setSimpleProperty to check if its a Map first before setting the
regaular property. I like this idea but the big issue would be backwards

I gues the pragmatic approach is just  to alter setNestedProperty to not set
regular bean properties - makes it consistent with getNestedProperty and
fits the principle - but leaves get/setSimpleProperty inconsistent with

I guess I'm for the pargmatic option - because I'm just think of the flood
of emails/bugs with doing the whole thing, what do you think?


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Craig McClanahan" <>
To: "Jakarta Commons Developers List" <>
Sent: Monday, July 12, 2004 4:37 AM
Subject: Re: [beanutils] Summary of propsed/committed changes for Bugs

> Niall Pemberton wrote:
> >4) Bug 23815, 26904 and 29571
> >
> >Bug 23815   PropertyUtils.getNestedProperty() doesn't allow getXxxx on
> >Map-Instances any longer
> >Bug 26904  (g|s)etSimpleProperty fails when passing a Map
> >Bug 29571  Inconsistent behaviour of BeanUtils.setProperty() and
> >BeanUtils.getProperty() methods
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >These bugs all related to the same issue. Craig McClanahan posted
> >in one of the bugs that what was being requested would break backward
> >compatibility. I believe that the change in behaviour I'm proposing
> >satisfies both camps and resolves the inconsistencies between some of the
> >methods. I've documented on Bug  23815 the changes in behaviour to
> >PropertyUtilsBean I'm proposing.
> >
> >
> >
> Niall,
> Thanks for taking the time to propose a solution to this problem, as
> well as all the work you've done on the other BeanUtils issues.  As I
> just posted in the comments on bug 23815, I'm deeply concerned that
> changing this behavior will break Struts 1.1 apps (yes, I know that
> people only now converting from Struts 1.0 would find it easier; but
> it's the Struts 1.0 behavior that was badly broken).  What's worse is
> the fact that this isn't the only case where a map is treated specially
> -- exactly the same thing happens with the standard implementations of
> dynabeans (including DynaActionForm in Struts 1.1).
> The standard implementations of expression evaluation (JSTL 1.0/1.1, JSP
> 2.0, JSF 1.0/1.1) all conform to the way that BeanUtils currently works
> -- if the object you pass implements Map, it is *always* treated as a
> Map.  This is further evidence that the right path for default behavior
> lies in maintaining what we currently have, not going back to what was
> broken.
> For making the Struts 1.0 transition easier, I'd be +1 on setting up a
> BeanUtilsFactory that allows you to set the characteristics of the
> BeanUtils instance to be created (somewhat like what JAXP does to set up
> a parser instance that is either validating or non-validating, for
> example).  But I'm -1 on changing the default behavior of these methods
> until we do the beanification step.
> Craig
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