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From Adam Hardy <>
Subject Re: where does a form element get and put it's data
Date Tue, 01 Jul 2003 11:20:36 GMT
Surely you have the same issue with selecting the correct option in the 
select box as you do with the radio buttons?

If I understand correctly what you are saying, you are actually talking 
about 2 seperate datasets: the dataset that you are going to edit in the 
form, and the dataset that you use to populate radio buttons or select 

In the average application I write, the datasets for dropdowns etc 
rarely gets edited, so I retrieve it from the database and keep it, 
normally as a list of beans, in APPLICATION_SCOPE, and I keep the 
editable data in the request or the session. But to get the editable 
data into an HTML form, I always have to call it up first (your step 2) 
and put it into the ActionForm. How else are you going to get it into 
the textboxes, checkboxes, selectboxes etc?

If I want to keep my editable data around server-side for some reason, I 
keep the form in the session, but normally I don't, so I keep my forms 
in my request. Normally too I only ever edit one bean of data at a time. 
I have done editable lists of many beans using the nested-beans plug-in too.

Hope I understood you correctly and haven't been waffling on beside the 


Heather Buch wrote:
> I know the Struts form bean raises a lot of discussion. Personally, form beans
> cause me a lot of confusion too, maybe not in the same way that they confuse
> others, but maybe so. I'll attempt to explain.
> I feel like it is not consistent whether a form bean is first used upon
> creating, or submitting a form.
> Basically, my Action classes fall into two general categories:
> 1. "list" action classes which get data from my database and put it into a form.
> 2. "save" action classes which take data from the form and write to the db.
> As far as I am concerned, this is how use of a form bean makes sense to me:
> 1. user requests a form
> 2. "list" action executes and saves some database data into a the session or
> request.
> 3. user fills out and submits form
> 4. form bean collects data
> 5. "save" action executes and gets data out of form bean
> But sometimes I feel like struts intends for me to use a form bean like this:
> 1. user requests a form
> 2. "list" action executes and saves some database data into a the session or
> request.
> 3. "list" action creates a form bean and puts data into it (I don't like this.
> I don't want to see my form bean until after form is submitted)
> 4. user fills out and submits form
> 5. form bean collects data
> 6. "save" action executes and gets data out of form bean
> I cannot understand how some of the jsp tags work vis a vis form beans.
> For example, if, in a "list" action, I make a list of beans of database
> information and set that list in the session, I can then use the "html:select"
> tag to retrieve data from the bean I have set in the session, and write it to
> the form bean. This makes sense.
> However, if I want to use a prepopulated radio button, then, in my "list"
> action I have to get data from the database and put it in my *form bean*.
> Based on what I understand, the html:radio "property" attribute will only
> prepopulate the radio button if the information retrieved from the *form bean*
> via "property" matches the "value" attribute of html:radio. But I do not want
> to *retrieve* infromation from my form bean when I display my form. I want to
> retrieve information from the bean that my "list" action has saved in the
> session. I only want to retrieve information from my form bean during my
> "save" action. 
> so it seems like the flow of information from database to form bean and then
> to action is kind of inconsistent. I hope this makes sense. If  you need some
> examples, let me know and I'll try to create them.
> Best,
> Heather Buch
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