Expansion of Component Options

Infusion component options, as written in fluid.defaults blocks, go through a process called expansion when they are used to instantiate a component.

Two kinds of expansion happen during this process:

  • Expansion of IoC references, written as strings in the form {context}.path as a result of the Value Resolution process, and
  • Expansion of expanders, which are blocks of JSON occurring in the options with the key expander

Expanders

The standard use of an expander is to designate a function to be called when instantiating the component options, which produces a value based on processing the expander arguments. This can be useful when static definition of a default option is not possible.

Expanders are specified using the keyword expander in the component defaults:

fluid.defaults("component.name", {
    optionName: {
        expander: {
            ...
        }
    }
});

The basic form of an expander record is very similar to that of an Invoker - it contains entries func/funcName together with args to designate the function call which will produce the required options values.

Name Description
func/funcName Either an IoC reference to a function (an invoker or other function member) or else a global function name holding the function to be invoked
args An array of arguments (or single argument) to be passed to the user-provided function specified in func/funcName.

Note that unlike an invoker which evaluates its arguments every time it is used by its caller, an expander evaluates only once - when the component whose options hold it is constructing.

Examples

This example locates the global function named cspace.search.modelFilter and calls it with the arguments given by resolving the context {searchView} - in this case, most likely the top-level component defined in defaults itself. The return value from this function is then placed in the options of the instantiated component (the fluid.pager) at the path modelFilter:

The resultsPager is specified as an instance of the Infusion Pager component. When this subcomponent is created, the expander will call the function cspace.search.makeModelFilter, passing it the parent searchView component as an argument. The return value will be used as the default modelFilter option to the Pager.

fluid.defaults("cspace.search.searchView", {
    components: {
        resultsPager: {
            type: "fluid.pager",
            options: {
                modelFilter: {
                    expander: {
                        func: "cspace.search.makeModelFilter",
                        args: ["{searchView}"]
                    }
                }
            }
        }
   }
});

Compact format for expanders

The framework provides a compact syntax for expressing expanders as a single string - the above expander could have been written in its context as modelFilter: "@expand:cspace.search.makeModelFilter({searchView})". This is analogous to the similar Compact Format for Invokers.

The fluid.noexpand expander

The fluid.noexpand expander is a very specialised expander that normal users of the framework should not require to use. It has been retained in the framework for completeness, but its effects should normally be obtained using a mergePolicy of noexpand. This expander simply dumps its literal argument (held at a path named value or tree) into the component's options without expansion.

Name Description
type fluid.noexpand (the type field must hold this literal value)
value/tree This property holds some literal component configuration (either a primitive value or larger tree of JSON values) which will be inserted without expansion into the component options

Example

In this example, the function name {specBuilder}.urlExpander will NOT be resolved as an IoC reference. The value {specBuilder}.urlExpander will be assigned to the option named unexpanded.

fluid.defaults("cspace.specBuilder", {
    components: {
        specBuilderImpl: {
            type: "cspace.specBuilderImpl",
            options: {
                unexpanded: {
                    expander: {
                        type: "fluid.noexpand",
                        value: "{specBuilder}.urlExpander"
                    }
                }
            }
        }
    }
});
Note: The use of the fluid.noexpand expander is not recommended - it is less fragile to use a mergePolicy instead (see Merge Policies) - for example, the same effect as the above definition could be had with the following:
fluid.defaults("cspace.specBuilder", {
    components: {
        specBuilderImpl: {
            type: "cspace.specBuilderImpl",
            mergePolicy: {
                unexpanded: "noexpand"
            },
            options: {
                unexpanded: "{specBuilder}.urlExpander"
            }
        }
    }
});