Forms Generated from Structures

Greeting All:

I am writing this in hopes of not reinventing the wheel. To me this
seems like such a good idea that someone else has thought of and
implemented it already.


I am tracking a bunch of user configurable “Things.” Depending on how
the these Things have a state that is effected by a number of different
factors including the state of things “around” them. Each thing can be
configured by the user via a form, but the options on that form will
change both in kind and allowable value based on the state of the Thing.


I didn’t want to have to create HTML forms for all the states of all
things by hand, so I came up with a data structure that described what
type of information I needed and what allowable return values were.
With this structure I could programmatically create HTML forms, and also
use the same structure to validate the returned values. These
structures obviously could be manipulated in Ruby like ways (Whatever
that means). Unfortunately, I’m a hobby programmer and while the
concept sounded good, the implementation is currently … Um… VERY
Alpha. (And not easy to use either)


I realized that this seemed to be a very obvious idea and that there
would be lots of smart people out there who would have already done all
the hard work. My question is who are they and where to I find the
manifestation of their brilliance?