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RE: Managing Validation Error Messages

From: Tomayko, Ryan <Ryan_Tomayko@stercomm.com>
Date: Wed, 31 Jul 2002 11:45:46 -0400
Message-ID: <D037B3982A54D611BA5E000629383540437037@scidubmsg02.amr.stercomm.com>
To: "'Dan Dennedy'" <DDennedy@digitalbang.com>, werner.donne@re.be, www-forms@w3.org

I want to chime in on this as well. This is one of the greater shortcomings
of the spec IMO. It is a shame that validation rules to validation messages
is a many to one relationship. It should be possible to provide a
descriptive error message for each validation rule.

I also feel that this might fall into a larger hole of data/presentation
debate [1]. Should [in]validation messages really be part of the
presentation layer? While the validation messages will at some point be
presented to the user, the invalidation occurs at the data/logic level. It
seems to make more sense to attach a meaningful description to the
validation error when the node is found to be invalid. The control is not
really what's invalid, the node the control is bound to is invalid. That
statement can end up being a slippery slope however as you might apply the
same idea to the hint and help common controls. 

- Ryan Tomayko

[1] See Post from Plechsmíd Martin [Martin.Plechsmid@merlin.cz] Re: XForms
Schema Attached 7/25/2002

-----Original Message-----
From: Dan Dennedy [mailto:DDennedy@digitalbang.com] 
Sent: Wednesday, July 31, 2002 10:38 AM
To: werner.donne@re.be; www-forms@w3.org
Subject: RE: Managing Validation Error Messages

Correct, however, the spec does not define a mechanism for a form control's
<alert> to know exactly what constraint failed and why. Using <alert>, the
author can make a rather generic message similar to what Amir saw in
X-Smiles. Also, the author could briefly (elegantly?) state what all of the
facets and constraints are in the message.

My processor's default alert event handler generates a message action that
contains a meaningful error message--at least to me ;-) However, the author
has no control over that message except to completely override it with an
<alert> messsage, which is typically less meaningful. Maybe a future xforms
spec can include error data in the alert event's context info such that an
author can insert something into a custom message using <output>.

> From: Werner Donné
> Dear Amir,
> The form controls can have an "alert" element, which can
> contain the error information that is presented to the user 
> in some way whenever the validation of the portion of the 
> instance data the control is bound to fails.
> Regards,
> Werner.
Received on Wednesday, 31 July 2002 11:54:14 UTC

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