ACF core principles

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While the mvc.lua code provides a generic framework for any lua "mvc"-based appliction, "acf" is the component that makes the mvc.lua framework into a configuration Application. Some ideas and rationales for application-wide settings are discussed here.

Use of cfe

A cfe (Configuration Framework Entity) is a way to pass data between a model,controller and view in a common way. There are many ways to do this (e.g. closures, AKClass); use of cfe is an arbitrary decision just to keep development moving forward.

A cfe is a table with some fields guaranteed to exist. It is also a way to abstract user-modifiable data from view-centric html input types. ACF isn't necessarily web-only. With a different controller and views, it could be cli (or gui?!)

Fields in all cfes

cfe's are constructed from a function in acf-controller.lua that returns an anonymous table with the following fields

Field Default Description
value empty The value of the cfe (e.g. the ip address, hostname, password, etc.)
type text The type of entity (see below)
option empty common modifiers for this type of cfe
errtxt empty text explaining why validation failed

The reason for having these fields pre-defined is to allow models,controllers and views to use the indexes without having to first check if they exist. For example the entity will always have a value and type.

cfe's can have other fields, or can have their defaults overwritten by specifying a table in the argument list to the cfe constructor:

mycfe = cfe({label="Foo", type="boolean", value=true})

is equivalent to

mycfe = {value=true, type="boolean", option="", errtxt="", label="Foo"}

cfe types

The type field of a cfe can be one of the following:

type Description Modifiers
text a text field, typically one line of text
longtext a multi-line text field, like a textarea
select a select list value is the currently selected item
option is a table of select options
boolean a checkbox
action a submit button or link to an action option is a table with keys of "prefix", "controller", "action", etc
message a text message typically used for something the view should not allow the user to change.
raw raw binary data
closure a function
form a set of cfe's that make up a form value is a table of cfes
option is a table with keys of "prefix", "controller", "action", etc.
group a set of cfe's that make up an anonymous group value is a table of grouped cfes (can be used when several cfe's share the same name)


Use of CRUD

CRUD stands for Create Read Update Delete. Where possible, ACF models/controllers should follow this pattern. To help reuse of code, the functions in models and controllers should have one of Cread Read Update or Delete in their names (create_interface_by_name, update_hostname, delete_package, read_timezone, etc.)

Use of cmd

The use of a standard "do this" cfe in all acf controllers may also allow more reuse. It is suggested to use "cmd" as the name of this cfe, with the value being the command to perform.


The Model defines the object set

The model is responsible for writing and reading from the running system. The model also does not need to know which part of a specific acf module it is running under. It is not mandatory that the model be lua "oop" as the rest of the system is. (the model may not have any need to know "self")


Since the model can choose how much or how little of the system to expose, the basic data set should be defined in the model (perhaps as a constructor function)