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

Xforms appearances without stylesheets

From: Richard Brett <rbrett@fieldpine.co.nz>
Date: Thu, 20 Nov 2003 08:38:42 +1300
Message-Id: <>
To: www-forms@w3.org


  We are starting to use XForms for generating screens dynamically from XSD
and other XML document types.  This is a being used in an application that
receives SOAP requests and may need to present user input, but without
knowing until runtime how the form will appear exactly (ie, no static form
definitions).  To do this, we dynamically convert xsd/xml to xforms and
have implemented some code to then convert xforms into user presentation
screens.  Note, we have not implemented all of xforms, so are not claiming
to be a conforming application.

Our "output" devices are not browser based, and we do not have stylesheets
ability, which is driving some of the following questions.  I aren't
totally keen to implement stylesheets, and are searching for ideas on how
others using XForms in constrained environments may have solved some problems.

Question: Actual item appearance. While the standard says we can use
	appearance=full | simple | QName-but-not-NCName
 I haven't found much on what the final tag is for?  Can we overload this
to provide a series of extended input display styles  eg, "radio",
"tickbox", or does it have another purpose?  To clarify, the simple sex
entry of M/F can be presented to the user in many different styles, and the
list of full/simple is potentially not strongly defined enough for some of
our customer requirements.

The options I can see are:
a)	appearance="our-style-name"

b)	<extension> ? 

c)	Simply add a new attribute to element tags for our own purposes
	<select ....   my-private-style-hint="popup-window">

d)	implement style="stylesheet options", so that stylesheet elements can be
embedded, are not require a CSS file to be called.

e)	Am I just wrong to try and use Xforms to control the appearance also,
and should be using it only to control the "purpose" (as per requirements
spec), and implement a separate "presentation" layer around xforms?

 While I know we can choose whatever we like as we currently draw the
output from the forms ourselves, I know that these forms will end up in
time being displayed on other web based devices too, so want to chose a
method that fits general standard direction.

Thanks for any guidance
(Constantly concerned he just hasnt read some part of the documentation
before asking this question....)
Received on Wednesday, 19 November 2003 15:27:18 UTC

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