Scripting Actions

Calling client-side JavaScript

Basic usage

Call client-side JavaScript as a result of XForms events:

Starting Orbeon Forms 2016.1:

<xf:action ev:event="xforms-value-changed" type="javascript">
    var v = 2;
    myValueChanged(v);
</xf:action>

Prior to Orbeon Forms 2016.1:

<xxf:script ev:event="xforms-value-changed">
    var v = 2;
    myValueChanged(v);
</xxf:script>

or:

<xxf:script ev:event="xforms-value-changed" type="javascript">
    var v = 2;
    myValueChanged(v);
</xxf:script>

The embedded JavaScript has access to the following JavaScript variables:

  • this: element observing the event causing <xf:action> to run
  • event:
    • event.target: returns the element which is the target of the event causing <xf:action> to run

NOTE: Because regular XForms actions run on the server and JavaScript actions run on the client, JavaScript actions are always executed last in a sequence of XForms actions, even if they appear before other XForms actions.

Passing parameters

[SINCE Orbeon Forms 2016.1]

You can specify parameters to pass to the JavaScript, for example:

<xf:action type="javascript">
    <xf:param
        name="newValue"
        value="xxf:binding('fr-code-mirror')"/>
    <xf:body>
        var instance = YAHOO.xbl.fr.CodeMirror.instance(this);
        instance.enabled();
        instance.xformsValue(newValue);
    </xf:body>
</xf:action>

Syntax:

  • nest as many <xf:param> elements as there are parameters to pass
    • the name attribute specifies the name of the JavaScript parameter to pass
    • the value attribute contains an XPath expression evaluating the value of the parameter
  • embed the JavaScript code within an <xf:body> element instead of directly under <xf:action type="javascript">

Parameters are scoped at the beginning of the embedded JavaScript and you just access them by name, like newValue in the above example.

For an example within Orbeon Forms, see code-mirror.xbl.

XBL handlers

[SINCE Orbeon Forms 2016.1]

The <xbl:handler> element works like an <xf:action> element and also supports the type attribute and nested <xf:param> and <xf:body> elements:

<xbl:handler event="xforms-enabled xxforms-iteration-moved" type="javascript">
    <xf:param
        name="newValue"
        value="xxf:binding('fr-code-mirror')"/>
    <xf:body>
        var instance = YAHOO.xbl.fr.CodeMirror.instance(this);
        instance.enabled();
        instance.xformsValue(newValue);
    </xf:body>
</xbl:handler>

Calling server-side XPath

Simple server-side scripts can be written in XPath. This is particularly useful when using extension functions that have side effects.

You specify an XPath script either with:

<xf:action type="xpath">
   ...
</xf:action>

Or (deprecated as of Orbeon Forms 2016.1):

<xxf:script type="xpath">
   ...
</xxf:script>

Example:

<xf:action type="xpath">
    xxf:set-session-attribute('foo', $total),
    xxf:set-session-attribute('bar', instance()/bar)
</xf:action>

When putting multiple XPath statements, separate them with a comma. This creates an XPath sequence, which is evaluated in order.

XPath scripts have access to the current XPath context, including the focus and in-scope variables.

<xxf:script> or <xf:action>?

Orbeon Forms first introduced JavaScript with the <xxf:script> action. This action is deprecated as of Orbeon Forms 2016.1 and it is recommended to use <xf:action type="javascript"> and <xf:action type="xpath"> instead.

Here are the differences between the two:

  • <xf:action type="...">:
    • this is a standard XForms action
    • without a type attribute, the behavior is standard XForms and runs nested XForms actions
    • with a type attribute, this is able to run nested client-side JavaScript or server-side XPath scripts
    • Only available for JavaScript actions starting Orbeon Forms 2016.1.
  • <xxf:script>:
    • this is a custom Orbeon Forms action
    • this never runs nested XForms actions
    • without a type attribute, the default is to run client-side JavaScript
    • with a type attribute, this can run nested client-side JavaScript or server-side XPath scripts

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