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From Mark Lowe <>
Subject Re: Newbie: java.lang.boolean and DynaActionForm?
Date Wed, 17 Dec 2003 15:14:45 GMT
DynaActionForms as cool as they are are more trouble than they're worth 
unless its a small simple form. For one thing you don't find out what's 
wrong until runtime.

I just use strings for dynaaction forms as it works, the problems our 
in part caused (i think) by the conversions done by beanutils 
(org.apache.commons.beanutils). Validator validates stuff even of type 

if/when you use action forms, the typing issues are less of a pain. I 
know that its discouraged according to the party line. But then those 
aren't the folks paying you are they.

Part of the problem is that action forms are strongly coupled to the 
presentation layer, but sometimes its handy to be able to copy the 
properties from your model beans to the servlet layer. Often this means 
having both groups of beans looking pretty much the same, but some MVC 
purists claim this is the devils work as you're not decoupling enough. 
While I symathise with this position, its often not pragmatic to go 
down this route at an early stage of a project. In fact I've been known 
to nest model beans in action forms, and re-factor later to decouple, 
while I know this breaks with MVC the folks paying for work don't 
really give a toss whether its mvc or not.

I'm not saying break with the world according to these folks who know 
better than me, but just that sometimes its important to understand 
their focus is different to some of us. While they're laying out road 
maps for future technologies, publishing books and suchlike. We're 
stuck in an "is and ought" dilemma, between clients/bosses and trying 
to craft the best app we can.

So IMO careful what you believe or you might end up trying to find the 
holy grail of tech development, while your productivity suffers.

My 2 pence.

On 17 Dec 2003, at 14:24, Engbers, ir. J.B.O.M. wrote:

> Hi,
> Both 'Struts in Action' and 'Programming Jakarta Struts' state that
> ActionForms and DynaActionForms are nearly equivalent and the main 
> advantage
> of using DynaActionForms is that you don't have to declare all the 
> getters
> and setters.
> In DynaAction Forms each property can be of a (array of a) primitive 
> types.
> Thanks to Pedro Salgado and Martin Gainty (see "Retrieving boolean
> properties from a DynaActionForm" on december 16), I partially 
> succeeded in
> solving the first problem which only confronted me with the next 
> problem :-(
> And while looking for a solution to that problem, I found a bugreport
> (23355) in which Craig states that
> 'Adding these (getInteger, getBoolean etc, Ben) would encourage a 
> behavior
> that Struts discourages -- using
> non-String data types in a form bean.'
> Maybe that this explains why I have only found examples that use
> String-properties (which lead me to my first question: where can I find
> examples that use non_string properties?) but it leaves me with the 
> more
> fundamental question:
> Why do DynaActionForms offer the possibility to declare non-String
> properties without supporting them?
> Should I avoid using DynaActionForms at all and use the 
> DynaValidatorForm?
> Ben Engbers
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