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Re: XML Schema as a basis to form construction / documents instantiat ion

From: Mark Barratt <markb@textmatters.com>
Date: Tue, 11 Feb 2003 11:41:13 +0000
Message-ID: <3E48E159.7060700@textmatters.com>
To: "Franco, Alexandre" <Alexandre_Franco@Dell.com>
CC: "'www-forms@w3.org'" <www-forms@w3.org>

Franco, Alexandre wrote:
> Hi,
> 
> I'm starting to learn XForms, but I have an idea that some of you may
> already have worked on: I would like to use XML Schema as a basis for web
> forms construction. It's not the same as XForms, in fact it's much simpler: 
> 
>            XML Schema  --->> Form Processor + User Input --->> XML Document
> Instance
> 
> I would like to know your opinions about this work, have anyone built
> something like this? Is it feasible?
> 


Sounds good, but may have problems in practice.

We're working on a series of large, complex (existing) application forms 
which need to be available in HTML and the results fed into a workflow 
system.

There are three key players here: the workflow system developers, the 
business process owners, and the form-design people. Each group has 
different, legitimate, interests in creating something that is 
straightforward for their own systems and their own 'customers' within 
and without the business. We have found that attempting to create a 
common schema that can self-create a form to be an elegant theory but 
not realistic.

We have found that Xforms' decoupling of the user-interface from the 
data schema to be an extremely useful thing. We are writing the form/UI 
in XML (actually, a format which outputs to XML) to a UI-aligned schema 
and mapping the result to the workflow data schema. The output of that 
is Xforms, and the Xform is the source, in turn, of the HTML which the 
user sees.

I don't know if this is the 'right' way to approach the task, but it 
seems to be working for us. I'd be happy to hear about other approaches...


-- 
Mark Barratt
Text Matters
phone +44 (0)118 986 8313
fax +44 (0)118 931 3743
email markb@textmatters.com
web http://www.textmatters.com
Received on Tuesday, 11 February 2003 06:41:30 GMT

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