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

RE: [XForms] Re: Will Internet Explorer support XForms

From: Francisco Monteiro <francisco.monteiro01@ntlworld.com>
Date: Fri, 10 Oct 2003 08:50:44 +0100
To: <XForms@yahoogroups.com>, <www-forms@w3.org>
Cc: <Mark.Birbeck@x-port.net>
Message-Id: <20031010075012.GRVW2637.mta07-svc.ntlworld.com@facile1>
Hello Andrew

You mention this InfoPath (which does more than XForms per se does)


I do not believe the above.

My company evaluated InfoPath and XForms (FormsPlayer) with a view of
providing the Inland Revenue Self Assessment tax return.

XForms won hands down. We have a very good demo showing XForms in it gory.

Everybody knows providing any forms which deals with tax issues is
complicated, granted that InfoPath has a good IDE but in our situation we
use 'reflection' on the schema and build 80% of the UI dynamic, it could be
100% but laws of ergonomics and 'real estate' will never make this


The beauty about XForms is the simplicity of its model bindings, a quite
readable specification and FormsPlayer.


Kind Regards


Francisco Monteiro


Facile Technology Ltd.


From: AndrewWatt2001@aol.com [mailto:AndrewWatt2001@aol.com] 
Sent: 09 October 2003 17:48
To: www-forms@w3.org
Cc: XForms@yahoogroups.com


In a message dated 09/10/2003 16:20:48 GMT Daylight Time,
MShupe@AnyDocSoftware.com writes:

I am curious.

It seems to me that the value of XForms depends heavily on its being
supported by the browsers. However, I have not heard any indication that
Microsoft intends to support XForms in IE. They don't mention it anywhere on
their site. Furthermore, they are not complying with it in their InfoPath
product which suggests to me that XForms and InfoPath are competing.  That
is, Microsoft will probably have a vested interest in NOT supporting XForms.
This concern was further confirmed after reading about Microsoft's lack of
interest in fixing CSS bugs in IE. 

At the same time, I don't find anybody expressing concern about this in any
of the XForms sites or forums.

Am I missing something?


My interpretation of Microsoft's strategy is that they are, by various
means, tilting clients back from Web browsers towards paid-for clients.
Office System 2003 programs can be used as front-ends to a range of
server-based applications.

Similarly InfoPath (which does more than XForms per se does) is a paid-for
client, even when used simply to fill in InfoPath forms. This raises a range
of deployment issues for the casual XML-based form. My interpretation is
that Microsoft wishes to position InfoPath as an enterprise forms tool - for
example to replace custom applications - not as a general-purpose ubiquitous
Web forms tool. In other words InfoPath forms are targetted at use in
settings where one user regularly fills in one or more InfoPath forms. The
inclusion of InfoPath only in Enterprise editions of Office System 2003 fits
with that suggestion.

Bear in mind, also, that InfoPath 2003 is already here as an RTM product (at
least for MSDN subscribers and some corporate customers, public release is
21st October). The InfoPath (previously XDocs) project has, I understand, a
long history and design decisions were made long before XForms had reached
anything resembling a fully stable specification. So there was, "back then",
no XForms worthy of the name on which to build the InfoPath product.

Another factor, in my mind anyway, is a lurking, nagging doubt about how
secure XForms forms are. I asked that question on these lists many months
ago and didn't receive a wholly satisfactory answer. XForms *may well* be
secure. It's just that I would like to see a more compelling laying out of
the evidence in support of that conclusion.

What will InfoPath 2005(?) be like? Will there be a free fill-form-only
InfoPath 2005 client? If there is, then maybe Microsoft will adopt XForms
but the underlying architecture of InfoPath is *very* different from XForms.
An XForms-compliant Microsoft client would be a very different animal under
the hood from InfoPath 2003. Alternatively Microsoft may leave InfoPath as
an enterprise tool and produce a more-limited functionality tool for XForms.
Or may leave the low-value space to others. There are many options.

As far as browser support of XForms is concerned then there are "plug ins"
which others have mentioned in their replies.

Andrew Watt 

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Received on Friday, 10 October 2003 03:55:48 UTC

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