W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-forms@w3.org > January 2002

RE: GET should be encouraged, not deprecated, in XForms [was: Issue request for the TAG: XForms]

From: David E. Cleary <davec@progress.com>
Date: Wed, 23 Jan 2002 15:27:34 -0500
To: "Paul Prescod" <paul@prescod.net>
Cc: "Tim Bray" <tbray@textuality.com>, <www-forms@w3.org>
> Some of the most important forms users in the world will not move to
> XForms if they do not support GET. This includes Google, Yahoo, eBay
> etc. They understand why GET is important and use it appropriately.

Could you enlighten me as to why GET is important and appropriate for
submitting forms as opposed to POST?

> The definition of GET also mentions forms.
> "The HTTP protocol does not place any a priori limit on the length of
>    a URI. Servers MUST be able to handle the URI of any resource they
>    serve, and SHOULD be able to handle URIs of unbounded length if they
>    provide GET-based forms that could generate such URIs."

How many clients and servers out there in the world support URIs of
unbounded length? But that is orthoganal to this discussion, and probably
not worth going down that path.

> When the Web was invented they went out of their way to make it possible
> to use GET with forms. Tim B-L, et. al. understood the system they were
> trying to build and built it. People built wonderful applications around
> it. Now you want to deprecate a key part of the design. Why?

The same reason anything gets deprecated. It has been superseded by
something better suited for the task at hand. Now I'm no history major in
regards to the development of HTTP, but if there was no POST in the
beginning, then overloading GET the way it has been was certainly a valid
way to go. But that doesn't mean you need to shoehorn in newer technologies
to work with it.

XForms is based on the notion that your instance data is XML. XML does not
serialize well into name-value pairs. In XForms 1.0, we tried our best to
support support the legacy technology, but XForms 2.0 and later should not
be bound to support this legacy technology. The way to signal this is to
deprecate the feature. If the hang-up is over the word "deprecate", maybe
there is something better we could use to signal it will not be supported
moving forward.

BTW, XForms has deprecated the use of DTDs and uses XML Schema instead. Now
DTDs were a key part of the XML 1.0 design and people built wonderful
applications around them, so does that mean XForms should be required to use

David Cleary
the Progress Company
Received on Wednesday, 23 January 2002 15:27:37 UTC

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