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Submitting incomplete forms

From: Mark Seaborne <MSeaborne@origoservices.com>
Date: Mon, 4 Nov 2002 08:32:00 -0000
Message-ID: <DC65AE678B89004B9CCB202E19482CC704FB4F@mail.origoservices.local>
To: <XForms@yahoogroups.com>, <www-forms@w3.org>

Hi

I assume it is a fairly common requirement for someone filling in a form to be able to make regular saves, and maybe to be able to start editing on one machine, and finish on another machine at a later time. This suggests to me that the ability to submit incomplete instances, for appropriate processing, would be useful. Has anyone done any work like this with XForms? 

I haven't read the latest working draft as carefully as I would like, but it looks to me as though saving an incomplete form that is not valid against a referenced W3C XML Schema is not possible, unless the schema has been designed for this use (in which case the instance would be valid, of course). Given that many of us will have no control over the schemas used for validation, that may not be possible (I assume).

I cannot see that I will fare much better using model items to validate. Iis there some way to make properties, such as required, conditional. If I have missed something, I would be grateful if someone could point me in the right direction.  

It seems to me that it would be useful for forms based applications if the author could define multiple states of validity, each with their appropriate actions, such as submit to X for processing, submit to Y for storage and later completion, submit to Z for some external validation processing, etc. If a user has incorrectly completed a form for some reason, one still might be interested in retaining the XML instance in order to see what they have done wrong, and to provide assistance maybe. Kind of thing that Schematron lets you do.

I expect I am just missing something really obvious. If so I would be really grateful if someone could point me in the right direction. Otherwise, I guess it will be a matter of minimal validation within the XForm, and do most of the work at the server. Perhaps that is the safest route to go anyway.

All the best

Mark Seaborne

Origo Services Ltd 
Received on Monday, 4 November 2002 03:36:38 GMT

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