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Re: My position on Web Forms 2.0 and the future of XForms

From: Matthew Raymond <mattraymond@earthlink.net>
Date: Wed, 06 Sep 2006 23:49:34 -0400
Message-ID: <44FF96CE.6000904@earthlink.net>
To: Doug Schepers <doug.schepers@vectoreal.com>
CC: public-appformats@w3.org

Doug Schepers wrote:
> Matthew Raymond wrote:
>> 1) HTML is not going away in the immediate future. (In fact, I believe
>> Microsoft has stated that they won't be adding support for XHTML to
>> Internet Explorer.)
> I'd like to debunk this particular speculative misinformation. Chris 
> Wilson has explicitly stated [1] that they do intend to support XHTML, 
> just not in IE7 (which I assume does not count out IE7.1, etc).  In IE7, 
> they will not honor the "application/xml+xhtml" MIME Type, but he also 
> says, "We have fixed the DOCTYPE switch so it will skip an XML prolog, 
> so that valid XHTML can be handled in strict compliance mode rather than 
> quirks mode."

   Chris makes it very clear in that blog entry that adding XHTML
support to Internet Explorer would require significant changes to the
browser's underlying architecture, and while he states his enthusiasm
for XHTML, and says he'd prefer a proper implementation in a later IE
version rather than hacking in support for IE7, he never actually says
that XHTML _will_ be in a later version of Internet Explorer.

   So are we to pin our hopes on the possibility that XHTML might be to
some extent supported in some undetermined future version of Internet
Explorer? Keep in mind that we still have to consider a huge number of
legacy browsers that only support HTML, and we have an implementation of
WF2 on the Opera browser right now. People can easily upgrade existing
HTML pages to use WF2 right now, test them in Opera right now, and have
those pages degrade gracefully for legacy browsers right now, and that
includes Internet Explorer 7.0. Why wait for vaporware XHTML support
that Microsoft hasn't even officially announced?

   That's why I'd rather see only minor changes to solve serious
compatibility problems rather than a ground-up rewrite to support WF2
features in XForms. If we can get the WF2 to at least CR status within a
year, native browser implementations would be ready almost immediately
and upgrading would be relatively painless. In fact, I would wager that
it would be easier for them to implement WF2 in HTML than it would for
them to add support for XHTML. The same cannot be said for anything that
breaks backwards compatibility with HTML web forms. I think a migration
path from HTML to XForms 2.0 via WF2 might be possible, but there is a
finite window of time to achieve this.
Received on Thursday, 7 September 2006 03:49:57 UTC

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