W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-forms@w3.org > May 2003

Re: XForms - "Suspend and resume support"

From: <AndrewWatt2001@aol.com>
Date: Fri, 2 May 2003 10:50:18 EDT
Message-ID: <1d7.875eccc.2be3dfaa@aol.com>
To: gordongano99@yahoo.com
CC: www-forms@w3.org, XForms@YahooGroups.com

Please take all that follows as my opinion only. The W3C WG may disagree 
profoundly or may find it unexceptional - that's for them to say.

In a message dated 02/05/2003 14:33:12 GMT Daylight Time, 
gordongano99@yahoo.com writes:

> Is XForms meant to be a general-purpose and powerful
> forms implementation, or a replacement for HTML forms?

Superficially, it seems to be trying to be both.

> I don't think it can be both. 

I think it can be both, but within a specified context.

I don't think it can be a "replacement for HTML forms" for a typical 
hand-coding HTML markup author (if there is something as clearly defined as 
that). I see (and this is my speculation) that many HTML-coders not fluent in 
XML will use a visual forms designer to produce XForms rather than get up to 
speed with XPath, W3C XML Schema, XML Events etc.

Microsoft InfoPath has a lovely interface for some aspects of form design 
(but doesn't do XForms) that an XForms design tool would do well to mimic. 
With a visual XForms design tool a lot of the XML complexity and unfamiliar 
territory is hidden.

We've already had > several complaints that XForms 1.0 is way more
> complicated to understand than HTML forms. 

Yes, it is.

Ironically Steven Pemberton made a presentation at the W3C meeting a few 
weeks back complaining about increasing complexity in W3C specifications. 
Strangely he seemed oblivious to the relative complexity that XForms 

He could, quite sensibly, claim that to produce an HTML form that does 
(through scripting) what an XForms form can do would be more complex than an 
XForms form. But many HTML forms are much simpler and less ambitous than 
that. So, de facto, for many non-XML developers there is a significant 
increase in complexity.

Trying to > add everything necessary to make XForms compete with
> full-featured forms packages will make it even more
> incomprehensible for simple XHTML uses.

My guess is that the companies represented on the WG want/need a full feature 
set. That's where they will make their money in, for example, proprietary 
forms tools, workflow products etc etc. Business forms tools, I guess.

The HTML/XHTML (1.x) designer will likely use a visual tool to design 
XForms-containing documents, in my view when they start using XForms.

 (Just trying > to make sense of the bubble/capture/target/observer
> stuff from XML Events is harder than understanding the
> entirety of HTML forms.)

Quite possibly.

Andrew Watt

> --- AndrewWatt2001@aol.com wrote:
> > Is saving / suspend and resume firmly on the agenda
> > for XForms 2.0?
Received on Friday, 2 May 2003 10:50:51 UTC

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