Thank you for your patience, Marius.

> Well you can use different RecordMeta implementations if you need to
> different representation of a record without sequential template
> change. So no state dependency.

I'm really not trying to be difficult, but having multiple RecordMeta
instances, for which the HTML output seems to be only one of many
functionalities, seems to be shooting with canons at sparrows. Having
a toForm functions that takes some template provider as input could be
one option.

Anyways, I was not even thinking at record level, but rather at field
level. See below.

> Well keeping close view representation and backend abstraction makes a
> lot of sense as it reduces lots of complexity. Having records/mappers
> that know how to represent themselves in different contexts (DB,
> xhtml) brings a lot of benefits an simplicity. I admit thought that

(Btw, by "context" I meant different HTML display contexts.)

I agree that a field should be able to provide hints about how it
should be represented, such as max/min length, type, defaults, etc.

Depending on the logical context within the app I'm working on, a
record (and thus its fields) can have multiple representations: row in
a table, complete record as a table, abbreviated record as a table,
complete form as table, form as row in a table, form with mandatory
fields only, records have to be printed out as ini-files, etc.
Unfortunately, it's not me making this stuff up, it's fixed

At field level, there are also different possible representations. For
example, I would like to be able to represent a record as a tabular
form, with every input field being shown with its preferred length. In
addition to this, I would like to have a different form with a fixed
with multi-column layout; for this form, no input field must be wider
than 40 characters. Somehow I have to tell the fields not to make
themselves wider than 40 characters, and not just use the maximum

Again, what it boils down to is the desire to be able to have
different representations for a single record, and to have different
possible representations for each field. This while maintaining as
much encapsulation as possible.

Hence my original idea to have fields provide representation hints
(eg. "I'd like to be 80 characters wide"), and then have another
"something" that uses these hints for the actual output, while
potentially adding additional hints/constrains (eg. "No one get's more
than 40 characters"), css directives, a little red star in front of
mandatory fields (based on a rendering hint), .... Depending on how
the record is being displayed, I would use a different "something",
and neither the record nor the fields would have to know anything
about "application context".

If I then had a default "something", which renders fields the way they
are rendered right now, and have the various record fields
(StringField, etc.) call upon this default "something" whenever their
toForm-function is called, no one would notice something has changed.
But I could also call toForm(formRenderer) for non-default rendering.

> it's quire a paradigm shift from ... say MVC mindset. But let's not
> get into a "patterns" debate now .. we had plenty of those :)



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