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modeling form with configurable fields

Another data modeling question. Joel doesn't allow
adding new fields in his bug tracker, but this is a very
useful feature. Also a hard one to do cleanly.
Anyone have thoughts on a architecture for very
customizable forms? I can think of two approaches.

1. Use a field table that maps field instances to a form
which is mapped to a project.
Several difficulties. Presentation. How do you make
this look good? Queries. How do you make decent
queries? Is the field a union type? Or is it only
a string?

2. Generate custome code for each project, ala
MDA. In this approach you would generate new
schema definitions and the code to use them, like they
were done by hand. This level is dynamism is hard.
It also makes it difficult to do cross configuration
reports. Let's say project A has a bug configuration,
project B has one, how to do reports combining A and B?

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

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