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From Hubert Rabago <>
Subject Re: Wouldn't validation be better performed by Actions rather than ActionForms?
Date Fri, 18 Mar 2005 17:39:33 GMT

On Fri, 18 Mar 2005 17:17:39 +0000, Lawrie Gallardo
<> wrote:
> I'm still relatively new to Struts, but I can't help but feel that
> validation would be better performed by Action classes rather than
> ActionForm classes.
> It seems to me that, ideally, you want
> 1. Validation,
> 2. Transformations (ie convert separate day, month and year HTML fields to
> Java Date object), and
> 3. Mapping of ActionForm fields (/HTML parameters) to Domain POJOs / DTOs
> to all be configured in the same config file (to minimise duplication) and
> to be implemented in the same class rather than scattered between multiple
> config files and classes.

Hmm, you just described one use case for FormDef when coupled with its
Validator integration.  :)

> Now, if my understanding is correct:
> 1. There is always a one-to-one mapping between an ActionForm and an
> ActionMapping,

An action form holds the request parameters that accompany a request. 
The most common use case is a form being submitted.  You submit each
<form> to one URL - that's why there's a one-to-one mapping.

> 2. Struts best practice is to have each Action class handle all possible
> operations for the HTML request it deals with using DispatchLookupAction or
> something similar,

That certainly is one practice.  Personally I don't use that.  I
mostly use my own Action subclasses, or if I want dispatch
functionality, I used to use MappingDispatchAction.  Now I use the
ActionDispatcher class in .

> 3. Almost noone creates ActionForms manually any more - they use
> DynaActionForm (or validating variations of this). And for those who do
> still create ActionForms manually, they don't offer anything in the way of
> reuse, and are basically throw-away classes.

My own rule has been, if the requirements can be fulfilled by a dyna
form, then that's what I use.  Otherwise, I use a manually created
ActionForm.  Whenever I have a manually created ActionForm, believe
me, they're certainly not throw-away.


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