cfUniForm v.4.0 - Leaner, Meaner, More Features - Just Plain Ol' Better

Posted on February 24, 2010 at 4:44 PM in ColdFusion, Uni-Form Tag Library

WOW! It has been a year already since cfUniForm v3.0 was released. I guess it's about time I made some serious upgrades, eh? Well, after a year of a few minor updates, I present to you cfUniForm v4.0, a major release with a number of new features and other updates to make it leaner and meaner.

In all reality, there are so many updates with v4.0 that I don't think I can adequately cover everything in a single post. Well, perhaps I could, but it would end up being "The World's Longest Blog Post Ever", and, well, FRAT! :-) So for now, I will cover a few important highlights.

No Longer Supported

The 'validate' attribute on the field tag (deprecated since v3.0) has been completely removed. If for some reason you are still using it, your forms will break. (how to "fix" it)

Deprecated in v4.0

The 'config' attribute on the form tag has now been deprecated. When it was added way back in v2.6, it was intended to be used to provide a struct of paths for the various CSS and JavaScript files. Looking back, I feel that it was a very poorly named attribute in the first place, since it really provided no configuration other than file paths. As a result, it is now deprecated, and support will be removed in a future release.

No need for worry though. Not only is global configuration still supported, but it's actually hellabetter in v4.0 (more on that in a minute). If you are using the 'config' attribute, just do a quick find/replace and use 'pathConfig' instead.

What's New?

In short, A LOT! As I said at the beginning of this post, there really are too many new items to cover in one single post. Here's a brief list, and I will get several more detailed posts published (hopefully) soon.

Global Configuration

Yes, I know, global configuration has been around for awhile now, but support has been dramatically improved. Like, as in, well, you can now truly have a global config object that contains default configurations for every single available attribute! If so desired, you could even have multiple global config objects; one for each section of your application.

There will definitely be a post on this topic coming soon, but you can get a number of ideas by checking out the new & improved "Global Config" demo.

A big "Thank You!" goes out to Byron Raines for his time and assistance in helping make these features a reality. :-)

Full-on AJAX Application Support

I am currently working on a pet project that is a seriously heavy AJAX application. I've used a little AJAX here and there for quite awhile now, but never to this level. Basically what I have is a one-page AJAX "application". A single page is loaded into the browser, and then everything else - forms included - is loaded via AJAX. Because of this, I found myself having all kinds of problems getting my cfUniForm-powered forms to display properly and also had nightmares hooking the forms into the various jQuery plugins I am using.

This is another topic that will be getting its own post, but for now, take a look at the "Pre-Loaded CSS/JS Demo" for some insight to some of the new features that helped me solve my AJAX-related problems.

<uform:field type="captcha">

That's right, thanks to a major contribution by Matt Graf, cfUniForm now includes native support for CAPTCHA fields! You can see a couple of examples in action on the "Kitchen Sink" demo.

<uform:field type="rating">

Thanks to yet another idea contribution, this one by Mary Jo Sminkey, jQuery's Star Rating plugin is now fully integrated into cfUniForm. Be sure to look for a couple of examples on the "Kitchen Sink" demo.

<uform:states-us-territories />

You can now add <option>s to your State <select> for all of the U.S. Territories simply by including the line above.

Updated DatePick Plugin

When the date picker plugin was first integrated into cfUniForm, there was no such thing as the jQuery UI. Obviously, that is not the case today. The original date picker has been moved into the jQuery UI, but Keith Wood, the author, still has his own version, whose name has changed to 'DatePick'. I like his version a lot better, and so I have stuck with it in cfUniForm.

IMPORTANT! This means that if you are using the old library in a different location (rather than using the cfUniForm-distributed version), you *MUST* update to Keith's latest version, or your cfUniForm-powered forms will throw JavaScript exceptions on date fields!

Other Plugin Updates

The prettyComments, validation, masked input, and timeEntry plugins have all been updated to their latest versions.

To Be Continued...

More posts to come.

(Comment Moderation is enabled. Your comment will not appear until approved.)

On 2/24/10 at 10:52 PM, TJ Downes said:

You rock Matt! The AJAX stuff is JIT for the current project I am working on. I'll let you know how it goes. Thanks again for such a kickass tool to add to my toolbox.

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