Thursday, February 1, 2007

Orbeon Forms Instance Inspector

A lot can happen when you interact with an XForms page: events are dispatched, actions executed, submissions sent, and more. While you can have some visibility on those by enabling XForms logging in Orbeon Forms, an important part of the state of an XForms page is simply contained in the various XForms instances that you define in your page.

Wouldn't it be just great if you could peek right into the instances in real time as you develop XForms pages? That's exactly what the new Orbeon Forms Instance Inspector does. Enabling it in a particular page is as easy as adding the following line where you want the inspector to appear:

<widget:xforms-instance-inspector id="orbeon-xforms-inspector" xmlns:widget=""/>

And this is the result:

Orbeon Forms Instance Inspector

A few Orbeon Forms sample applications used custom mechanisms to display their instances for educational purposes. They now simply hook up the Instance Inspector.

The Instance Inspector remains quite simple at the moment: it allows you to select what model and instance you want to look at, and if you want to see as plain text or formatted. Suggestions for improvements are naturally welcome!

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