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The rule input field is the most powerful and complex one of all the inp= ut fields offered by this panel. In its most simple incarnation it looks an= d works like a regular text input field. There is also only an incremental = increase of the complexity in the specification for this case. However, it = is unlikely that you would use it for such a purpose. The real power of thi= s input field comes from the fact that rules can be applied to it that cont= rol many aspects of its look as well as overt and covert operation.
The basic nature of this input field is that of a text input field and a= s mentioned before, in its most simple incarnation that is what it looks li= ke and how it operates. However, the layout of the field can be defined in = such a way that there are multiple logically interconnected text input fiel= ds, adorned with multiple labels. Further more, each of these fields can be= instructed to restrict the type of input that will be accepted. Now you mi= ght ask what this could be useful for. As an answer, let me present a few e= xamples that show how this feature can be used. Before i do this however, i= would like to describe the specification syntax, so that the examples can = be presented together with the specifications that make them work in a mean= ingful way.
The actual specification of the layout, the labels and the type of input= each field accepts all happens in a single string with the layout&nbs= p;attribute. First let us have a look at the specification format for a sin= gle field. This format consists of a triplet of information, separated by t= wo colons ':'. A typical field spec would look like this: N:4:4, where= the first item is a key that specifies the type of input this particular f= ield will accept - numeric input in the example. The second item is an inte= ger number that specifies the physical width of the field, this is the same= as in the with of any regular text field. Therefore the field in the examp= le will provide space to display four characters. The third item specifies = the editing length of the string or in other words, the maximum length of t= he string that will be accepted by the field. In the layout strin= g you can list as may fields as you need, each with its own set of limitati= ons. In addition you can add text at the front, the end and in between the = fields. The various entities must be separated by white space. The behavior= of this field is such that when the editing length of a field has been rea= ched, the cursor automatically moves on to the next field. Also, when the b= ackspace key is used to delete characters and the beginning of a field has = been reached, the cursor automatically moves on to the previous field. So l= et us have a look a some examples.
The following specification will produce a pre formatted input field to = accept a US phone number with in-house extension. Even though the pattern i= s formatted into number groups as customary, complete with parentheses '(' = and dash '-', entering the number is as simple as typing all the digits. Th= ere is no need to advance using the tab key or to enter formatting characte= rs. Because the fields only allow numeric entry, there is a much reduced ch= ance for entering erroneous information. "( N:3:3 ) N:3:3 - N:4:4= x N:5:5". Each of the fields uses the 'N' key, indicating that only n= umerals will be accepted. Also, each of the fields only accepts strings of = the same length as the physical width of the field.
This specification creates a pattern that is useful for entering an e-ma= il address "AN:15:U @ AN:10:40 . A:4:4". Even though the fir= st field is only fifteen characters wide it will accept a string of unlimit= ed length, because the 'U' identifier is used for the edit length. The seco= nd field is a bit more restrictive by only accepting a string up to forty c= haracters long.
It might not be uncommon to require entering of an IP address. The follo= wing simple specification will produce the necessary input field. All field= s are the same, allowing just three digits of numerical entry. "N= :3:3 . N:3:3 . N:3:3 . N:3:3"
Serial Number or Key Code
If you ship your product with a CD key code or serial number and require= this information for registration, you might want to ask the customer to t= ranscribe that number from the CD label, so that it is later on accessible = to your application. As this is always an error prone operation, the predef= ined pattern with the easy editing support and restriction of accepted data= helps to reduce transcription errors "H:4:4 - N:6:6 - N:3:3"= ;. This particular specification will produce three fields, the first accep= ting four hexadecimal, the second six numerical and the third three numeric= al digits.
Even though the above examples all use single character labels between f= ields, there is no restriction on the length of these labels. In addition, = it is possible to place label text in front of the first field and after th= e last field and the text can even contain spaces. The only limitation in t= his regard is the fact that all white space in the text will be reduced to = a single space on the display. This means that it is not possible to use mu= ltiple spaces or tabs in the text.
The following table lists and describes all the keys that can be used in= the specification string.
|N||numeric||The field will accept only numerals.|
|H||hexadecimal||The field will accept only hexadecimal numerals,= that is all numbers from 0-F.|
|A||alphabetic||The field will accept only alphabetic characters= . Numerals and punctuation marks will not be accepted.|
|AN||alpha-numeric||The field will accept alphabetic characters and = numerals but no punctuation marks.|
|O||open||The filed will accept any input, without restric= tion.|
|U||unlimited||This key is only legal for specifying the editin= g length of a fields. If used, the field imposes no length restriction on t= he text entered.|
Like all other input fields the rule input field can also be pre-filled = with data and as usual, this is accomplished thought the set attr= ibute. As you might expect, the details of setting this field are rather on= the complicated side. In fact you can set each sub field individually and = you can leave some of the fields blank in the process. The set sp= ecification for all sub fields is given in a single string. Each field is a= ddressed by its index number, with the count starting at 0. The index is fo= llowed by a colon ':' and then by the content of the field. The string &quo= t;0:1234 1:af415 3:awer" would fill the first subfield with 1234,= the second one withaf415 and the fourth with awer. The third sub= field would stay blank and so would any additional fields that might follow= .
The individual field specs must be separated with spaces. Spaces within = the pre-fill values are not allowed, otherwise the result is undefined.
The user input from all subfields is combined into one single value and = used to replace the variable associated with the field. You can make a numb= er of choices when it comes to the way how the subfield content is combined= . This is done with the resultFormat and separator attr= ibutes. TheresultFormat attribute can take the following values:
|plainString||The content of all subfields is simply concatena= ted into one long string.|
|displayFormat||The content of all subfields and all labels (as = displayed) is concatenated into one long string.|
|specialSeparator||The content of all subfields is concatenated int= o one string, using the string specified with the separator attri= bute to separate the content of the subfields.|
|processed||The content is processed by Java code that yo
Here's some short example to illustrate this:
or a bit more robust validation by checking whether the address is onlin= e:
Coming with IzPack 5.0 (introduced in 5.0.0-RC2) it is not necessary to =
<spec .. set=3D"..."/> attribute any l=
onger. During creating the appropriate UserInputPanel with the rule field, =
there will be at first filled in the the values from the assigned variables=
, which are parsed and divided among the single edit field of a compound ru=
le field. If the assigned variable isn't set, the value of the 'set' attrib=
ute is used like before. This fits better the behavior of other input field=
s on UserInputPanel, for example of
seems to be more natural (default values are only fallbycks of missing con=