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ValidateThis 0.95 - Enhancements to the Result Object and Client-Side Validations

I've just released version 0.95 of ValidateThis, my validation framework for ColdFusion objects. This update includes some community contributions, as well as a number of features that were prompted by community requests. Here's a summary of the changes, followed by the details for each one.

  • Numerous enhancements were made to the Result object, as well as the ability to easily substitute your own Result object for the one that is built into the framework, and the ability to automatically inject the Result object into your business object.
  • Client-side validations have been enhanced so that missing form fields will not generate JavaScript errors.
  • Client-side validation code has been refactored, and includes a fix from Martijn van der Woud for the equalTo validation type.
  • More refactoring to set the stage for future enhancements.

The latest version can be downloaded from the ValidateThis RIAForge site. Details of the enhancements follow:

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ValidateThis 0.94 - More community contributions

I've just released version 0.94 of ValidateThis, my validation framework for ColdFusion objects. Once again this update includes community contributions, including some from Jamie Krug and John Whish. Here's a summary of the changes, followed by the details for each one.

  • A new boolean validation type has been added.
  • Proper optionality is now supported for all validation types.
  • The framework can locate your rules definition file with zero configuration when you pass an object into a method call.
  • A newResult() method has been added to the ColdBox plugin.
  • A getFailureMessages() method has been added to the Result object.
  • An issue with overriding failure messages with the custom validation type has been addressed.

The latest version can be downloaded from the ValidateThis RIAForge site. Details of the enhancements follow:

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Who Is Using Contexts with ValidateThis, and How?

This is being cross-posted from the ValidateThis Google group in case there is anyone who uses ValidateThis and reads this blog, but does not subscribe to that group.

I'm conducting an informal survey (consisting of this post) to find out who is using the Contexts feature of VT and how they are using it. Mark Mandel and I had an interesting conversation the other night about contexts, in which he suggested that contexts might be unnecessary with some tweaks to the JavaScript that is generated for client-side validations. As we walked through all of the use cases that I've had for contexts it seemed that he was correct (unsurprisingly - he seems to have an annoying habit of being correct about things), but I imagine that other folks may have found different use cases.

So, if I could beg a minute or two of your time, for anyone currently using VT, would you mind answering the following questions:

  1. Do you use contexts?
  2. Can you provide me with some examples of what the contexts are? I'm particularly interested in knowing what problem you are solving by using the context.

Ideally you'd post your responses to the thread on the Google group, but if you'd rather not do that feel free to leave a comment here or email me directly.

Thanks for your help with this.

ValidateThis API Documentation Available

I'm in the process of creating a roadmap for future development of ValidateThis, my validation framework for ColdFusion objects. I am discussing the roadmap with interested parties via the new ValidateThis-dev Google group, so if you're interested in having any input, or just following along, I welcome you to join that group.

One item that appears on the roadmap is improving the documentation for the framework. There is quite a lot of documentation already available on the ValidateThis wiki (thanks to the CodexWiki team for the tool), but I know that there are some holes. I'm going to try to shore up the docs over the next while, but in the meantime I figured I might as well generate some JavaDoc-style API documentation for the framework using ColdDoc, so that's what I've now done. You can find the API docs at www.validatethis.org/docs/api/. I'd like to thank Mark Mandel for yet another rockin' ColdFusion open source tool (ColdDoc), which made this process oh so easy.

As always, the latest code is available from the ValidateThis RIAForge site, and if you have any questions about the framework, or suggestions for enhancements, please send them to the ValidateThis Google group.

A New Group to Discuss ValidateThis Framework Development

I've created a new Google group, ValidateThis-dev which is intended to be a list for discussing future development of ValidateThis, a validation framework for ColdFusion. I did announce this in a post a few days ago, but it was buried near the bottom of the post so I thought it wise to announce it separately as well.

The existing group, ValidateThis, will remain as the main location for discussions of how to use the framework, and is also appropriate for enhancement requests, whereas the ValidateThis-dev group will be for discussing the design and coding of the framework itself. This new group is a public group, so anyone is free to join. I'd be particularly keen on having anyone who is interested in contributing, or even just sharing their ideas about how the framework can be improved, as members of the group.

If you've never contributed to an open source project before here's a chance to get your feet wet. I promise that we'll be civil and welcoming to anyone that is interested, and with ValidateThis now housed on GitHub it's a nice opportunity to play with Git as well. I hope you'll consider joining and adding your voice to the conversation.

ValidateThis Futures from cf.Objective()

I returned from cf.Objective() a few days ago and have been catching up on all sorts of things. I hope to post a review/discussion of the conference as a whole soon, but for now I just want to touch on some things that came up around ValidateThis.

I gave a presentation entitled Easy and Flexible Validations for Objects during which I described what ValidateThis is, and showed how easy it is to work with. I demonstrated that you can add client-side validations to a form with a single line of code, and can perform server-side validations with just a few lines. I also discussed the different types of validation scenarios that VT is designed to address. There were some questions and suggestions which have prompted me to think of future enhancements to the framework, so I wanted to discuss them here.

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ValidateThis 0.93 - Automatic Property Descriptions

I've just released version 0.93 of ValidateThis, my validation framework for ColdFusion objects. It includes a small bug fix that affected the dependentPropertyValue param when used with ColdFusion ORM objects, and also includes one small enhancement.

Automatic Property Descriptions

Until this release, if you wanted the description of your property to be different from its name, you had to provide a desc attribute for the property in the xml file. For example, you might have a property called firstName. In order to have ValidateThis generate failure messages with First Name in them you would have had to define your property like so:

view plain print about
1<property name="firstName" desc="First Name">

While working on my presentation for cf.Objective() I realized that I could relieve some of this burden by allowing the framework to do this for you automatically. So now, as of version 0.93, any property names that are camelCased will be automatically assigned descriptions, which will comprise of each word capitalized. So firstName becomes First Name and numberOfCarsOwned becomes Number Of Cars Owned, etc.

I'm finding this very useful, and I hope others will too.

As always, the latest code is available from the ValidateThis RIAForge site, and if you have any questions about the framework, or suggestions for enhancements, please send them to the ValidateThis Google Group.

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