W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-forms@w3.org > April 2001

RE: Why alternate XForms GUIs?

From: Sebastian Schnitzenbaumer <schnitz@mozquito.com>
Date: Tue, 17 Apr 2001 17:44:11 +0200
Message-ID: <D0F1529EE943B3449F755CA1A40887461115B9@winserver.windomain.mozquito.com>
To: "Brian Miller" <brian_n_miller@yahoo.com>
Cc: <www-forms@w3.org>

an interesting question. We are talking about
completely new usage areas for web applications
here. You're right, for the existing desktop 
web browser, XHTML plus the new XForms UI markup,
CSS, and, if necessary, some ECMAScript, should do 
a fine job.

But what about e.g. Voice? All those voice menues on 
the phone, e.g.:

"If you want sales, press 1, marketing, press 2,
customer support, press 3" etc. We all know these and we
can actually do this now in XML by using VoiceXML and 
XForms. Or what about a Map where you can enter the name 
of a City in a form field, and the map zooms and pans 
the city on the map so it becomes visible to the user?

XForms is not only about the desktop web browser,
but for using XForms with new, alternative user 
interface XML languages, e.g. SMIL, SVG, XHTML Basic,
VoiceXML, XUL, UIML, etc. These combinations of XForms
with alternative UI languages are targetted towards
specialized markets, usage scenarios and/or devices.

In the end you might have a single XForm, and multiple
UI "wrapper" for different devices: XHTML Basic for
cellphones/small devices, VoiceXML for voice, XHTML
for standard web browsers, XSL-FO for print, etc. whereas
all those UI documents really only contain the UI and no
data values or logic, and all those UI documents 
externally reference the same XForm. But if you change the 
single XForm model and instance data being linked off all 
those UI wrappers, e.g. by dynamically generating instance data 
out of a back-end system like a XML database, all those web 
applications are dynamically updated without having to tinker 
with the respective UIs and having to create a seperate 
"middleware layer" for each device or output.

We are pleased to see that the Helsinki University of
Technology today released a new version of X-Smiles that
now supports XForms in both SMIL and SVG. One of the 
SVG+XForms examples implements exactly the map example I 
gave before. Check out http://www.x-smiles.org and
discover the full power of XForms for the first time.



> -----Original Message-----
> From: Brian Miller [mailto:brian_n_miller@yahoo.com]
> Sent: Tuesday, April 17, 2001 4:26 PM
> To: www-forms@w3.org
> Subject: Why alternate XForms GUIs?
> Assuming availability and expertise in XHTML and
> ECMAScript, is there any reason why XHTML and 
> ECMAScript would be insufficient to graphically 
> present all XForms?
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Received on Tuesday, 17 April 2001 11:44:16 UTC

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