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From Joe Germuska <>
Subject RE: sTRUTS 1.3 - chain flow /again
Date Thu, 26 May 2005 01:07:51 GMT
At 9:23 AM +0100 5/25/05, Marco Mistroni wrote:
>Hello Joe & all,
>	I have one question regarding the chain..
>Am I correct to assume that The SelectInput command that comes after
>ValidateActionForm in chain-config.xml should be called in case
>validation fails?
>How does that happen? Javadoc says that
>  * <p>Validate the properties of the form bean for this request.  If
>there are
>  * any validation errors, execute the child commands in our chain;
>  * proceed normally.</p>
>  *
>  * @version $Rev: 153658 $ $Date: 2005-02-13 14:26:03 -0500 (Sun, 13 Feb
>2005) $
>  */

I think that JavaDoc is misleading.  I had wanted to do some 
rearrangement to the chain around this issue, but have not yet.  (To 
be honest, I'm not really sure what "child commands in our chain" 

Here's how it works now: in the process action chain, the 
ValidateActionForm command does the validation and sets a flag in the 
context.  Then, each subsequent command in the chain inspects the 
value of this and controls its behavior accordingly.

This is kind of clumsy, and entangles the commands too much.  It 
would be better to "abort" the chain when the form is invalid, at 
least as soon as possible.  The problem is that commons-chain 1.0 
treats a "true" return from a lookup chain as a signal to end ALL 
chain processing, not just that chain which was looked up.  This has 
been addressed with a configurable property on LookupCommand in an as 
yet unreleased version of commons-chain.  With that, one can "abort" 
a sub-chain without interrupting the processing of the source chain.

There's still the awkward bit of having SelectInput separate from 
ValidateActionForm -- you have at least one class which needs to be 
invoked paying attention to this value in the context.  I've thought 
of a few possible chain design approaches, like a branching command 
or a conditional lookup command, but none have felt so compelling 
that I wanted to push them in yet.

>but as far as I could see, SelectInput is just another command that
>comes after ValidateActionForm... and, one thing that make me more
>confused, is that if ValidateActionForm fails, it should return true, so
>the next command (which is SelectInput) shouldn't get executed.......

That's not true -- as noted above, in commons-chain 1.0, no command 
in a chain may ever return true without cancelling all chain 
processing.  I found this counter-intuitive, as it seems do you -- 
and that's why I added the configuration property to LookupCommand.

I'd suggest checking out the code -- it should be pretty easy to 
actually trace through it and get a better handle on what happens in 

Joe Germuska       
"Narrow minds are weapons made for mass destruction"  -The Ex

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