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From "Mayne, Peter" <PeterMa...@ap.spherion.com>
Subject RE: Are primitive attributes taboo in Tapestry?
Date Fri, 01 Aug 2003 05:18:32 GMT
>> When dealing with optional input, there has to be a way of 
>> distinguishing actual input from no input. Generic defaults are a bad 
>> thing, and tend to bite.
>Agreed, but when the behavior is based only on the value, what 
>difference does it make?

Suppose you're filling in a home-loan form with lots of fields.

Suppose you miss filling in the "how much are you going to repay per month?"
field. (You don't see it, or you decide you'll fill in the other fields and
come back to it, but you forget.)

Suppose that field defaults to something that the bank thinks is reasonable,
but you wouldn't think so if you knew what that value was.

If you don't like the subsequent answer (based on the default value of that
field), and so give up on owning a house, you'll never realise it was
because of a missed field that shouldn't have had a default in the first

Can you come up with a specific case where a default value (ie a blank field
represents an actual number) is reasonable? Probably, and Tapestry lets you
do it. But...

Surprising the user is never a good idea.

Peter Mayne
Technology Consultant
Spherion Technology Solutions
Level 1, 243 Northbourne Avenue, Lyneham, ACT, 2602
T: 61 2 62689727  F: 61 2 62689777

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