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initBinder method - how does it works?

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I am bit confused with initBinder method available in Spring.

How it works?
Whats the use of it?
In what scenario should we use it?

I have a textbox which is tied to java.util.Date property in CommandBean. I used the below code for binding

protected void initBinder(HttpServletRequest request,
ServletRequestDataBinder binder) throws Exception {
new CustomDateEditor(new SimpleDateFormat("yyyy-MM-dd"), false));

But when i enter 02/12/2009 or any text value its not throwing any error message. if i enter 02-12-2009 it works. I am totally confused

Please clarify.

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