Validation in OpenOffice.org
The Apache OpenOffice Software Development Kit shows the power of form control validation with an example program. This program creates a form document with various types of controls, most of which are bound to external validators. Those validator objects impose (exemplary and rather arbitrary) restrictions on the control values.
As shown in the example program, the form runtime environment of Apache OpenOffice makes use of several features of the validation API, illustrating the advantage over the old, property-based, built-in validation mentioned in chapter Validation.
For instance, invalid values in form controls, where invalid is defined by the external validator object, are not enforcing a valid value automatically. Instead, the invalidity is shown with a red border around the control. If the control does not allow for a red border, its text is underlined with red waves. Additionally, the explanation why a certain value is invalid appears as tooltip at the respective control.
This way, the user who fills in a form receives immediate feedback about which values and controls need attention, without destroying whatever information has already been entered.
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