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Re: [Xsltforms-support] Is XForms a failure to learn from?

From: Joern Turner <joern.turner@betterform.de>
Date: Thu, 16 Oct 2014 10:18:51 +0200
Message-ID: <543F7F6B.30409@betterform.de>
To: "<public-forms@w3.org>" <public-forms@w3.org>
Am 12.10.14 13:43, schrieb Stephen Cameron:
> Hi Alain,
> It would be interesting to hear people's views on the lack of 'success' of
> XForms, from a historical perspective, from the people who put the effort
> in to create the recommendation particularly.
I think i'm one of them. Not so much in helping the spec (though i had
my little contrib) but in implementing it (Chiba/betterFORM).

> Was the problem for XForms simply that two commercial giants had differing
> approaches to the same problem of declarative forms?  Infopath from
> Microsoft and XForms from (via) IBM? More recently Adobe has created
> another forms solution too.
I don't think this was a major problem. MS has never got much attraction
for their Infopath afaik and dumped it again one day. Though it had a
nice interface it couldn't run in the browser and was clearly limited to
office automation (being part of Office Professional).

Adobe PDF forms on the other hand always had some traction. Simply due
to the fact that Adobe Reader was everywhere. But it has some focus on
paper-based forms (or the migration of those).

I definitely think there was/is a market (problem to solve) but as it
stands XForms is not the answer.
> IBM put effort into browser based XForms as Ubiquity but that seemed to
> gain little attention. There was another effort too in FormFaces. Once
> Microsoft had a separate product line in Infopath there was little
> incentive for them to add MVC style forms to Internet Explorer.
> Personally it seems to me that the original spirit of browsers and of the
> web in general for that matter is being lost to commercial interests. On
> that basis it seems to me the W3C as an ultruistic organisation should just
> make its own browser with ALL its XML standards implemented. It would find
> a user-base I am sure, an Apache Licence seems fitting model.
Yes, it surely true that the backing of some majors is needed to create
a big success. As browser vendors decided against supporting XForms
natively the first battle was lost. Esp. as the WG has strongly hoped
for exactly that.

There were times when XForms had a variety of implementations around:
client-side, server-side, an editor etc. But nevertheless is didn't took
off. I fear XForms wanted too much too soon which made the spec bloated
and hard to learn and adapt. Today it seems that only a handful of
implementations are still alive and i doubt that any of them is getting
rich by it.

But forget about the browser idea - that browser exists (Amaya) though
the dev strenght of the W3C obviously is not big enough to really
support all the standards - but what will be gained. Another niche
browser that nobody uses won't help much to get market traction.

> Steve Cameron
> On Sun, Oct 12, 2014 at 8:07 PM, Alain Couthures <
> alain.couthures@agencexml.com  <mailto:alain.couthures@agencexml.com?Subject=Re%3A%20%5BXsltforms-support%5D%20Is%20XForms%20a%20failure%20to%20learn%20from%3F&In-Reply-To=%3CCAG%3Dut6KYbqEstuuWHHRpUgs%2BNw4%3DN5nFWQUSpo9uhSy8JphgnQ%40mail.gmail.com%3E&References=%3CCAG%3Dut6KYbqEstuuWHHRpUgs%2BNw4%3DN5nFWQUSpo9uhSy8JphgnQ%40mail.gmail.com%3E>> wrote:
>>  All,
>> Having a look at AB/2014-2015 Priorities/w3c work success (
>>https://www.w3.org/wiki/AB/2014-2015_Priorities/w3c_work_success), I can
>> read that XForms is one of the "failures to learn from".
>> Surely, there is a lot to be said about XForms as a failure. In this list
>> of "failures", I would personally add XSLT and XQuery for very similar
>> reasons, and surely SVG some years ago, if they all had to be considered as
>> effective Web, or client-side, technologies.
>> What do you think? Shouldn't we write what has to be written?
>> Thanks!
>> -Alain
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Received on Thursday, 16 October 2014 08:19:22 UTC

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