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From Patrick Linskey <>
Subject Re: ValueHandlers vs FieldStrategies
Date Tue, 25 Nov 2008 17:47:30 GMT

(I'm offline at the moment, so my research abilities are diminished.)

Yes, I think that that's a bit of tragic naming. Last time I looked at  
the *Handler / @Strategy dichotomy, my conclusion was that it seemed  
like the annotation should be renamed @Handler. But I've never really  
chased down all the code pathways sufficiently to validate that.

It doesn't look like it'd be that difficult to support FieldStrategies  
as well as ValueHandlers in MappingRepository, but it would definitely  
be worth digging through the svn history for MappingRepository (in  
particular, MappingRepository.namedHandler()) for more details.

Also, I seem to remember something wonky about requiring a pair of  
parentheses at the end of a <something> in order for it to be parsed  
correctly. I can't remember the details, and it's amazingly difficult  
to search through email history for (). But the gist was that someone  
was trying to set some configuration point (which I think might have  
been a strategy) to a classname, and our parser was getting tripped  
up. IIRC, it thought that the classname was supposed to be an alias,  
so was routing it to the wrong branch. Adding an open and close parens  
was sufficient to convince the parser that the thing had a classname  
component, and the right behavior ensued. However, the issue may or  
may not have had to do with strategies and handlers, and also it might  
have been an issue with unqualified classnames / package-less  

But in any event, it might be worth changing your test like so:




On Nov 24, 2008, at 11:47 AM, Kevin Sutter wrote:

> Hi,
> A question has surfaced about the use of ValueHandlers vs  
> FieldStrategies.
> According to the OpenJPA documentation [1], a user should be able to  
> specify
> either a custom ValueHandler implementation or FieldStrategy  
> implementation
> via the @Strategy annotation.  This does not seem to be the case.  Our
> OpenJPA implementation is quite dependent on a ValueHandler  
> implementation
> for the value of the @Strategy annotation.  After instantiating the  
> Class
> that is specified in the annotation, OpenJPA explicitly attempts to  
> assign
> it as a ValueHandler.  If it can't pass this test, then we return  
> null and
> process as if nothing was specified.  No warning message or anything.
> FYI, the FieldStrategy can be specified in the persistence.xml as a
> MappingDefault (also documented in [1]).  This approach works, but  
> then
> we're specifying the FieldStrategy for all instances of that type --  
> not
> specific attribute instances.
> Although we are losing a few of the original development team  
> members, I'm
> wondering if anybody has any history with these ValueHandlers and/or
> FieldStrategies?
> o  Are ValueHandlers meant for individual field processing, and the
> FieldStrategies meant for more global type processing?  This  
> definition fits
> well with the current implementation, but I'm not ready to declare  
> that as
> gospel.
> o  A warning message of some type would be good for the case where the
> Strategy can't be properly instantiated and used.
> o  I also re-discovered the problem that was recently identified via  
> OPENJPA-758 [2].
> o  The documentation needs to be clarified, at a minimum.  No matter  
> what we
> come up with for a final solution, this section needs a bit of work.
> Comments and suggestions are welcome, especially from our past  
> experts from
> BEA and SolarMetric...  :-)
> Thanks,
> Kevin
> [1]
> [2]

Patrick Linskey
202 669 5907

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