Difference between revisions of "ACF how to write"

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m (From <nil> to a running ACF example application <span style="color:red">Under Construction</span>)
m (From <nil> to a running ACF example application)
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Please see [[ACF_core_principles]] for further details on CFEs.
 
Please see [[ACF_core_principles]] for further details on CFEs.
 +
 +
===Step 7 - How To Get It Going?==
 +
Once you have completed all the above mentioned steps, go on with:
 +
* sudo make install (this will install your app with the http server)
 +
* point your browser to http://ip-of-your-dev-host/

Revision as of 10:16, 17 November 2007

How to Write an ACF Under Construction

For some examples please see svn

svn co svn://svn.alpinelinux.org/acf

  • shorewall
  • dhcp


From <nil> to a running ACF example application

Step 1 - The Programming Language

  • ACF uses lua as programming language. Have a look at lua.org [1] before starting.

Step 2 - The Development Environment

Step 3 - Create A Development Directory

Once you entered the ACF Development Environment as described in step 2:

  • in your user home create a directory for your application (e.g. mkdir ~/myapp)
  • and cd into it (e.g. cd ~/myapp)

Step 4 - MVC, How Does It Affect My Coding?

ACF is an MVC based framework. What does this mean to you? Your application is separated into three layers: Model, View, Controller - each of which has one or more files.

  • Model: In Model the 'real work' is done (e.g. modifying config files, starting/stopping services etc.)
  • View: This is where you define what your application will look like. You can have one or more files, each presenting a dynamic html page which only as much code as neccessary to format the data you retrieve from Model.
  • Controller: The event dispatcher. In controller you place one function per event. If the user calls the respective 'event page' (web), acf will fire an action - the same-named function in controller will be called. This function then retrieves neccessary data from Model and passes it to View to be displayed to the user.

Step 5 - The Example Files To Start With

Now let us have a look at the files we need to place into our application directory:

  • Makefile
  • config.mk
  • myapp-model.lua
  • myapp-myview-html.lsp
  • myapp-controller.lua
  • myapp.menu


Makefile:

The Makefile once called does install our acf application so that we can look at it working.

APP_NAME=myapp
PACKAGE=acf-$(APP_NAME)
VERSION=1.0_alpha1

APP_DIST=myapp-model.lua        \
         myapp-myview-html.lsp  \
         myapp-controller.lua   \
         myapp.menu

EXTRA_DIST=README Makefile config.mk

DISTFILES=$(APP_DIST) $(EXTRA_DIST)

TAR=tar

P=$(PACKAGE)-$(VERSION)
tarball=$(P).tar.bz2
install_dir=$(DESTDIR)/$(appdir)/$(APP_NAME)

all:
clean:
        rm -rf $(tarball) $(P)

dist: $(tarball)

install:
        mkdir -p "$(install_dir)"
        cp -a $(APP_DIST) "$(install_dir)"

$(tarball):     $(DISTFILES)
        rm -rf $(P)
        mkdir -p $(P)
        cp $(DISTFILES) $(P)
        $(TAR) -jcf $@ $(P)
        rm -rf $(P)

# target that creates a tar package, unpacks is and install from package
dist-install: $(tarball)
        $(TAR) -jxf $(tarball)
        $(MAKE) -C $(P) install DESTDIR=$(DESTDIR)
        rm -rf $(P)

include config.mk

.PHONY: all clean dist install dist-install

Remark: Should you create additional view files for example, don't forget to place their names in Makefile under APP_DIST otherwise they will not be installed later on and your application will fail with an error message.


config.mk: For use with the Makefile. Just copy/paste it. We will look at it later.

prefix=/usr
datadir=${prefix}/share
sysconfdir=${prefix}/etc
localstatedir=${prefix}/var
acfdir=${datadir}/acf
wwwdir=${acfdir}/www
cgibindir=${acfdir}/cgi-bin
appdir=${acfdir}/app
acflibdir=${acfdir}/lib
sessionsdir=${localstatedir}/lib/acf/sessions


myapp-model.lsp:

-- acf model for myapp
-- Copyright(c) 2007 <Your name here> - Licensed under terms of GPL2
module (..., package.seeall)

cfgfile = "/tmp/myfile"

-- This function returns a cfe (table of values) containing the files'
-- value as string and an error code. If the file does not exist, we'll
-- simply return "" (an empty string, but NOT nil)
readfile = function()
   retval = ""
   error = 0
   fileptr = io.open( cfgfile, "r" )
   if fileptr ~= nil then
      retval = fileptr:read( "*a" )
      if retval == nil then
         retval = ""
      end
      fileptr:close()
   end
   return error, cfe({ msg = retval })
end

-- This function will write new contents into our file
writefile = function( newcontents )
   fileptr = io.open( cfgfile, "w+" )
   if fileptr ~= nil then
      fileptr:write( newcontents )
      fileptr:close()
   end
   return
end


myapp-myview-html.lsp:

<?
   form = ...
   option = form.option
?>
<h1>MyApp - MyView</h1>
<form action="" method="POST">
  <textarea name="textdata"><? io.write( form.value.msg ); ?></textarea>
  <input type="submit" name="cmd" value="update">
</form>


myapp-controller.lua:

-- the myapp  controller
module (..., package.seeall) 

--- default code up here
--- do not change anything except: self.conf.action for redirect
local list_redir = function( self )
   self.conf.action = "myview"
   self.conf.type = "redir"
   error (self.conf)
end

local pvt = {}
mvc= {}
mvc.on_load = function( self, parent )
   if ( rawget(self.worker, self.conf.action) == nil ) then
      list_redir(self)
   end
   pvt.parent_on_exec = parent.worker.mvc.post_exec
end

-- This is where 'our' code starts

myview = function( self )
   -- self.clientdata contains the data from the html form
   -- in your myapp-myview-html.lsp
   local clidat = self.clientdata  

   -- user did submit the form (not just call the page)
   if clidat.cmd then
      if clidat.cmd == "update" then -- user pressed update button
         self.model.writefile( clidat.textdata )
      end
   end
   error, value = self.model.readfile()
   return cfe({ value = value })
end


myapp.menu:

# Cat   Group   Tab     Action
Test    MyApp   MyView  MyView

Step 6 - What Does It Do?

This program only just displays a <textarea> box and a submit "update" button. The user can enter text which is saved into a file once he presses "update".

In Depth

Now let us have a closer look at the different files' contents:

myapp.menu

In this file you define:

  • The Category in which a menu entry for your program will appear
  • The Group, resp. the subheading's name under Category
  • The Action with-in your controller that will be called once the user klicks on the menu entry defined by Category and Group.
myapp-controller.lua

The controller is an event dispatcher. So in here you define all the actions that the user can call or that are defined in the menu. Each action is a separate function that will receive self as the only parameter.

In our case the action is myview.

For every action you define here, so can define a separate view file using the nameage: myapp-action-html.lsp

This function can call the model's functions to update and/or retrieve data (e.g. self.model.readfile()).

Anything that this function returns will be passed on to the view

myapp-model.lua

The functions defined in here can be accessed by the controller to update/set/retrieve data, start/stop services, basically do any 'real work'.

myapp-myview-html.lsp

This is our view. It receives the data to be displayed via controller. What ever is returned by a controller action (function) can be accessed by the view (see the first three lines .. <? .. ?>).

How to exchange data between model-view-controller?

To exchange data between model, view and controller ACF uses the so called Configuration Framework Entities (CFE).

Please see ACF_core_principles for further details on CFEs.

=Step 7 - How To Get It Going?

Once you have completed all the above mentioned steps, go on with: