[OpenAjaxIDE] date formatting

Jon Ferraiolo jferrai at us.ibm.com
Thu Aug 20 07:56:12 PDT 2009

If we add another attribute, its name should reflect that the attribute
only applies to formatting dates versus other datatypes. Therefore, instead
of 'formatString', the attribute should be named something like
'formatDate', 'dateFormat' or 'dateResultFormat'. (The latter one is long,
but re-inforces that we are formatting on the property editor result rather
than the input value that is given the property editor.)

But like Adam I would like to see side-by-side comparisons of how the OAM
file would look if we added a new attribute versus pushing this feature
into something that has to be done via JavaScript. I'll take a crack at it.

With a 'dateResultFormat' attribute:

<property name='mindate' datatype='String' format='date'
<javascript location="afterContent">
  var calwidget = new YAHOO.whatever.calendar({...mindate:@@mindate@@...});

Without a 'dateResultFormat' attribute:

<property name='mindate' datatype='Date' format='date'/>
<javascript location="afterContent">
  var mdate = @@mindate@@;
  var mdate_string = mdate.getMonth()+"/"+mdate.getDay
  var calwidget = new YAHOO.whatever.calendar({...mindate:mdate_string


  From:       Lori Hylan-Cho <avocadoh at gmail.com>                                                                               
  To:         Jon Ferraiolo/Menlo Park/IBM at IBMUS                                                                                
  Cc:         Kin Blas <jblas at adobe.com>, "ide at openajax.org" <ide at openajax.org>                                                 
  Date:       08/19/2009 10:41 PM                                                                                               
  Subject:    Re: [OpenAjaxIDE] date formatting                                                                                 

I agree with Kin that we shouldn't make widget developers (or oam.xml file
writers, who may not be the same people) write extra JS when we can include
a declarative format in the spec.

I agree with Jon and Scott that a separate attribute for the format string
should be used for the reason Jon outlined.

As regards encouraging bad coding practices, I'd rather recognize reality
and give dev tools a chance to support it than try to get everyone to
conform to an ideal.


[brevity brought to you by iPhone.]

On Aug 19, 2009, at 9:55 PM, Jon Ferraiolo <jferrai at us.ibm.com> wrote:

      After thinking about things, I don't like either of the following:




      The 'format' attribute tells the tool what type of special editor to
      display within the property editor in order for the user to enter a
      value. For example, a tool might provide a calendar widget to edit a
      property that has format="date", a clock dial widget to edit a
      property that has format="time", and a color picker widget to edit a
      property that has format="color". I don't think we want to try to
      co-mingle the formatting instructions into the same attribute that
      provides a hint about which editor widget to use within the property
      editor UI.

      If we are going to offer date formatting, I think an additional
      attribute such as what Scott has proposed is the way to go.

      Regarding whether we should include this feature or not, I won't
      object if the majority think this is a necessary feature for version
      1.0, but at the moment I'm not sold that this is an appropriate
      feature for the spec. Two things worry me:

      (1) So far, I haven't seen any JavaScript-free OAM files for OAM
      files that wrap widgets from Ajax toolkits. If OAM authors need to
      resort to JavaScript anyway, then for the YUI calendar widget (and
      similar calendar widgets), the widget developer working on the
      calendar widget can figure out how to format the date values (perhaps
      by including Steve's 40 lines of JavaScript within that particular

      (2) I'm not sure that it is compelling easier for a widget developer
      to discover and learn how to use the 'formatString' attribute versus
      writing a little JavaScript to create the appropriate string before
      calling the constructor.

      But nevertheless, if the majority want this feature, I'm OK with
      adding it as Scott proposes below.


      <graycol.gif>Kin Blas ---08/19/2009 03:21:31 PM---For the
      datatype="Date" there are 2 supported format values, "date" and
      "time": <property name="myDa

 <ecblank.gif>       <ecblank.gif>:                                        
 From:               Kin Blas <jblas at adobe.com>                            
 <ecblank.gif>       <ecblank.gif>                                         
 To:                 "ナide at openajax.org" <ide at openajax.org>                
 <ecblank.gif>       <ecblank.gif>                                         
 Date:               08/19/2009 03:21 PM                                   
 <ecblank.gif>       <ecblank.gif>:                                        
 Subject:            Re: [OpenAjaxIDE] date formatting                     
 <ecblank.gif>       <ecblank.gif>                                         
 Sent by:            ide-bounces at openajax.org                              

      For the datatype=”Date” there are 2 supported format values, “date”
      and “time”:

      <property name=”myDate” datatype=”Date” format=”date” />
      <property name=”myTime” datatype=”Date” format=”time” />

      Rather than introducing another attribute, as proposed in Scott’s
      example. Why not just leverage the existing @format attribute in
      conjunction with the variables used by PHP:


      The current proposed values for the Date @format aren’t that useful
      in my opinion. So I envision something like:

      <property name=”myDate” datatype=”Date” format=”d/m/Y” />
      <property name=”myTime” datatype=”Date” format=”g:i:s” />

      Regarding Jon’s comment about being able to work around this problem
      with additional code added to the <javascript> or <content> sections
      … I really feel that if we want this OAM format to be adopted by the
      various frameworks and the industry, that we need to make it
      drop-dead simple for them to support their formats/patterns so they
      don’t have to resort to writing extra-glue code to make up for our

      --== Kin ==--’

      From: ide-bounces at openajax.org [mailto:ide-bounces at openajax.org.] On
      Behalf Of Scott Richards
      Sent: Wednesday, August 19, 2009 3:00 PM
      To: Steve Repetti; 'Jon Ferraiolo'; ide at openajax.org
      Subject: Re: [OpenAjaxIDE] date formatting

      I think a lightweight solution that supports a very small set of
      legacy formats would be all we need. Sounds like Steve’s 40+ lines of
      DateFormat code could handle this.

      I like a simple approach of adding an additional formatString=””
      attribute or maybe call it formatPattern that enables you to format
      in the value that is replaced using the @@variableName@@ notation in
      either the <javascript> or <content> sections. Here is an example.

      <property datatype=”date” format=”date” formatString=”YYYY-MM-DD” />

      YYYY = four-digit year
      MM = two-digit month (01=January, etc.)
      DD = two-digit day of month (01 through 31)
      hh = two digits of hour (00 through 23) (am/pm NOT allowed)
      mm = two digits of minute (00 through 59)
      ss = two digits of second (00 through 59)

      The formats from YUI Calendar takes Javascript Date Object or a
      string formatted as “mm/yyyy” and “mm/dd/yyyy”. The selected property
      can only be specified with a string not a Javascript date object and
      it does not support ISO 8601 format. See this link


      Here is an example of how we could support YUI Calendar date strings
      using formatString.

      var cal1 = new YAHOO.widget.Calendar("cal1",
      { pagedate:"5/2007",
      selected:"5/5/2007-5/27/2007" });

      This would look like the following in the oam.xml file:

      var cal1 = new YAHOO.widget.Calendar("cal1",
      { pagedate:"@@pageDate@@",
      selected:"@@selectDateStart@@-@@selectDateEnd@@" });

                  <property name=”pageDate” datatype=”date” format=”date”
                  formatString=”MM/YYYY” />
                  <property name=” selectDateStart” datatype=”date”
                  format=”date” formatString=”MM/DD/YYYY” />
                  <property name=” selectDateEnd” datatype=”date”
                  format=”date” formatString=”MM/DD/YYYY” />

      Not sure if we should support dropping out leading 0’s, do we need to
      support this? We could do with just M or D. But the YUI calendar
      works specifying dates with or without leading 0’s. So this may be

      Here is the link for jQuery Date formats. They support multiple
      formats including iso 8601. So with could support it as follows:
      IDE mailing list
      IDE at openajax.org
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