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The reason to allow unstable "model" object references was baked right into the original conception of the FLUID-3674 issue report. In a set of cooperating components, whose "model" references are bound to scattered parts of "the same" model tree, it becomes extremely hard to implement the ChangeApplier semantics in a consistent way. The "old" ChangeApplier code already has a significant amount of special-cased code which treats the "root model object" reference in a very different way to nested objects - for example, a "DELETE" operation targetted at the root does not actually delete it, but instead operates a "fluid.clear" eliminating all its subobjects. Further, an ADD operation is converted to a MERGE operation, similarly in order to cause the root reference to remain stable. In fact, the " MERGE" operation itself was invented primarily because of this use case, and itself represents an odd anomaly in the old ChangeApplier API - in fact, users are unlikely ever to want the effect of the operation named "ADD" which could be implemented by a "DELETE" followed by a "MERGE" (With the introduction of "declarative change triggering" for FLUID-4258, this unnecessary proliferation of change types is a further annoyance). This inconsistency of this strange "relative" behaviour becomes magnified once we consider the case of a set of cooperating components. Since one component's "base model reference" would be another component's "nested model reference", we would observe inconsistent effects where "the same change" was applied using one component's ChangeApplier or another. This led to the concept of the "cautious ChangeApplier" mentioned in some reports/conversations, which is a requirement (though perhaps not an implementation) that clearly needs to be abandoned. Finally, this "stable root reference" requirement led to a number of anomalies even in simple implementing components. For example, the "InlineEdit" implementation is obliged to wrap its "real model" in a "fake key" named value - since String is an immutable type in JavaScript, it would be impossible with the old semantic to have a modelComponent whose entire model consisted of just a String, since the base model references was required to be stable. This unnatural "wrapping" is also seen in some of the panels of the UIOptions system.

All of these odd conditions taken together imply that the "new ChangeApplier" should be implemented in with the following properties - i) no expectation to "close over" the model reference in a component, but to re-read it on every access, ii) abolition of the "MERGE" change type, and the "ADD" change type to be implemented with the function of the old "MERGE".

Scope of change tracking and null changes