‘Iacta alea est’

Basic Form: Widget

I’m going to front up and admit that I got lost among the Bureaucrat widgets. The key challenge is that a widget does not have the field object exposed to it, but only a small subset of the field attributes. A field has a widget, but a widget does not have access to a field.

To be as comprehensive as I would like to be, and to broaden the responsibility of a widget to the whole field HTML, including a label, errors, and a hint in addition to the form control then a widget would need access to the field object itself.

My imagined API goes something like this:

field = Field.new
widget = Widget.new(field)

To give control back to the field itself and make it responsible for rendering itself then you could do the following:

class Field
  def to_s

This is obviously a little simplistic—there are no avenues for configuration, nor means for deciding which widget should be used—but let’s run with this for now.

A widget is then responsible for querying the field to get the necessary information:

class Widget
  attr_accessor :field
  def initialize(field)
    @field = field
  def render
    # HTML

The class could be filled out with methods that query the field object to generate the appropriate matching id/for attribute pairs, the name and so on. These methods could then be called from the render method to put everything in place in the HTML.

I think that’s how I would design it. Whether you then need a widget to separate this from the field is another matter (versus keeping it all in the Field class) but the principle is the same.

Thursday 1st July 2021.