I have a form field used to identify a data object. When my form fails to validate its execute is never run which results in the data object never getting loaded. In many JSP's I want the data object's title and other information, which I can't access if my form validates with errors. Loading the data in the validate method feels wrong, but is it?
Currently the data is loaded in a parent "base" action class that is extended by many other actions. I was hoping there would be some kind of "init" method I could override (be it the Action or the ActionForm) that is always called regardless of validation.
There isn't, although you could implement a custom request processor.
Personally, back in the days of Struts 1, I *never* used the automatic validation. I always had a base action class that had pre- and post-validation methods etc. and just called the validation manually--much more versatile, and it'd still use declarative validation by calling super. (Um, or the form's validate method, or something; I don't really remember.)