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Re: HTML forms, XForms, Web Forms - which and how much?

From: Mark Birbeck <mark.birbeck@x-port.net>
Date: Fri, 27 Apr 2007 00:44:43 +0100
Message-ID: <640dd5060704261644g6c5b22d2wc595b24bb0eb833f@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Henri Sivonen" <hsivonen@iki.fi>
Cc: public-html@w3.org

Hi Henri,

> Is there a specification that explains the processing model for
> XForms in text/html in a way that is interoperable with IE+formsPlayer?

Well, for better or worse, the XForms processing model doesn't define
how processing is 'kicked off'. It's quite precise about what happens
once the XForms processor is initiated, though, but even then its not
prescriptive about things like how to find all controls that relate to
a given model. So although it says that all controls for a model must
be initialised at a certain point, it doesn't say how to find them.

This of course gives us the best of both worlds; a clearly defined
processing model, without being prescriptive about host language,
parsing, and so on.


> > There is actually nothing about XForms that says it
> > must be delivered in an XML-based language.
>
> That's a bit of a stretch considering that XForms is defined to be
> "an XML application".

I guess it depends what you mean by that. You can use XMLHttpRequest
in an HTML document, can't you? In my view, XForms can be seen as much
the same thing; a powerful processor that can be incorporated into
some host document/application to do all sorts of clever stuff. This
could range from simple forms, through to complex desktop
applications.

At the end of the day, all of this stuff is about implementation. For
example, one of the other products my company has built is called
Sidewinder, and it allows you to create desktop applications using web
standards. We allow events to be dispatched from one window to
another, using DOM 2 Events...is that wrong? On the one hand, you
could say that this is a bad thing because a window is not a DOM
element, so what's it doing being an event target for DOM 2 Events?
But on the other hand, you could say that since this allows
programmers to manage inter-application communication using a paradigm
they are already familiar with, it's actually a pretty good use of a
standard.

The same goes for XForms. Regardless of whether it has been believed
or claimed that it was a language that was only for XML host
languages, the reality is that it is being used today by lots of
people, in an environment that is essentially HTML.

Regards,

Mark

-- 
  Mark Birbeck, formsPlayer

  mark.birbeck@x-port.net | +44 (0) 20 7689 9232
  http://www.formsPlayer.com | http://internet-apps.blogspot.com

  standards. innovation.
Received on Thursday, 26 April 2007 23:44:50 GMT

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