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XForms Simplified Forms Syntax Review Needed

From: John Boyer <boyerj@ca.ibm.com>
Date: Wed, 2 Apr 2008 10:03:02 -0700
To: public-forms-tf@w3.org
Cc: Forms WG (new) <public-forms@w3.org>
Message-ID: <OF21CF154A.A9E793E8-ON8825741F.005BE5D0-8825741F.005DAE6B@ca.ibm.com>
Dear Forms Joint Task Force,

I would like to invite you to have some active dialog regarding XForms 
simplified syntax.  The goal of this work is to streamline XForms for use 
by web authors, which is a topic of great interest to both the Forms WG 
and the HTML WG.

Based on an understanding of the "on the glass" style of authoring desired 
for HTML, the Forms WG has been tasked with figuring out a mapping that 
achieves that style of authorship while also allowing a straightforward 
mapping to "canonical" XForms.  The rationale for placing this requirement 
on the Forms WG in its charter was to provide for web form authors a much 
better "on ramp" to the full power and feature set of XForms while also 
being able to scale back as far as possible to constructs, ideas and 
syntax that are familiar to today's HTML forms authors.

The goal from the Forms WG side is to describe a vocabulary which we might 
implement using XML but which the HTML WG could adopt into both XHTML and 
HTML5 to provide maximal interoperability of forms applications across the 
W3C stack.

In looking at "canoncial" XForms and what it would imply for a scalable 
"on the glass" style, we have gone through a number of iterations and come 
up with a "strawman" view of 
1) what the simplified syntax could look like
2) what changes are needed to the core XForms processing model to better 
support that view.

This link provides a good technical explanation of this "strawman" view, 
and I think it is at the point where it needs more serious consideration, 
collaboration and discussion by the task force:

http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-forms/2008Mar/0097.html

I would actually like to set up a special telecon with the members of the 
task force to help kickstart the review and elaboration process.  I have a 
toll free line that can be used in addition to IRC.  I also have a web 
conference hosting capability that will hopefully work for everyone, but 
the main issue I have now would be getting a statement of availability 
from all of you so we can figure out a reasonable time to hold such a 
call.  Once we have a good time, we might be able to hold the call weekly 
for a number of months to get some real progress.

I hope that you will be as excited as I am by the look of the simplified 
syntax as elaborated so far in the above "strawman" view, and if so then 
hopefully it will inspire the elaboration work needed to bring the 
modified XForms vocabulary into line with the full needs of XHTML and 
HTML5.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.  Also, could you please consider 
adding me to the mailing list so that I can more easily see the responses 
and help with the discussions.

Thank you,
John M. Boyer, Ph.D.
Senior Technical Staff Member
Lotus Forms Architect and Researcher
Chair, W3C Forms Working Group
Workplace, Portal and Collaboration Software
IBM Victoria Software Lab
E-Mail: boyerj@ca.ibm.com 

Blog: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/blogs/page/JohnBoyer
Blog RSS feed: 
http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/blogs/rss/JohnBoyer?flavor=rssdw
Received on Wednesday, 2 April 2008 17:03:52 UTC

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