Wizard Validation

Ryan Sonnek bio photo By Ryan Sonnek

How should validation frameworks integrate with “wizards”? It may take a bit of magic to get these concepts to work together, but I am talking about software wizards to help users get through a complex workflow, and not magical sorcerers from fantasy land.

Here’s my issue (in a broad sense):

  1. I want to build a wizard to walk me through a complex operation (ex: MyOperation).

  2. My wizard has registered a number of validators (ex: NameNotNullValidator).

  3. My wizard doesn’t display a validated piece of data until a later step. (ex: can’t enter the nameuntil step 2).

  4. How does the wizard support “delayed” validation until the user has access to the validated field?

I’ve done a lot of work over the past several monthes with Spring RCP, and it seems as if this usecase has never been addressed. I’ve also searched through every framework I could lay my hands on, and none seem to support this scenerio.

This usecase seems so basic, so am I totally missing something? Have I gone crazy, or has the rest of the world turned it’s back on Wizard Frameworks?