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RE: Submitting incomplete forms

From: Mark Seaborne <MSeaborne@origoservices.com>
Date: Tue, 5 Nov 2002 07:50:55 -0000
Message-ID: <DC65AE678B89004B9CCB202E19482CC704FB51@mail.origoservices.local>
To: <XForms@yahoogroups.com>, <www-forms@w3.org>

Thinking out loud ...

So, again, unless we are missing something, it might be useful if either an XForms model could have more than one submission element, each with a validation level; or maybe multiple submission elements, but have the validation level set at submit time (be nicer to have in the model maybe?). Something along those lines though.

I suppose it would be quite nice if you could just bind form elements to multiple models, each model specifying different validity constraints and different submission conditions. Each model could constrain as little or as much as required. You would even be able to get a user to "fill in" two (or more) XML instances for the price of one. It might be horribly messy to manage though ... you would have to make sure you only used one at a time, yuk!

With things as they stand, I am wondering whether I will just have to resort to lax structural validation in the XForms form, and simply pass back a flag element/attribute to indicate whether the user is "saving" or "submitting".

All the best


-----Original Message-----
From: Karandikar, Shailesh [mailto:Shailesh.Karandikar@dendrite.com]
Sent: 04 November 2002 15:55
To: 'XForms@yahoogroups.com'; 'www-forms@w3.org'
Subject: RE: Submitting incomplete forms


XForms requirements mention save and continue feature. 

I would like to distinguish between incomplete-forms from invalid-forms.
Typically, 'Required' data would result in incomplete forms. It would be up
to the author to decide whether to allow 'saving' of such forms. Incomplete
forms are not 'submitted' but 'saved' to a local or remote persistence layer
to be retrieved later; The exact mechanism depends on the underlying

Unless I've missed something obvious, I do not find this behavior clearly
explained in the processing model. It would be useful to be able to
'declaratively' specify this behavior. XForms author should be able to
specify and control following behaviors:

1. Validation modes supported by the form: delayed, incremental, relaxed, or
validate-on-submit, etc. Although this would complicate the validation
semantics and may result in inconsistent user interactions/interface, it
would be the responsibility of the XForms author to ensure overall

2. Whether an xform instance is allowed save-n-continue feature. This would
be a 'computed' property, based on certain conditions: E.g. User must enter
name and birth-date before suspending a credit-card application. I.e.,
ability to impose validations on fragments when using save-n-continue
feature. This expression could  form a new model item property, to be
applied depending on the validation modes supported by the forms.

Shailesh Karandikar,
Dendrite Inc.

-----Original Message-----
From: Mark Seaborne [mailto:MSeaborne@origoservices.com]
Sent: Monday, November 04, 2002 3:32 AM
To: XForms@yahoogroups.com; www-forms@w3.org
Subject: Submitting incomplete forms


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

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

All the best

Mark Seaborne

Origo Services Ltd 

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Received on Tuesday, 5 November 2002 02:51:28 UTC

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