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

From: Dharmesh Mistry <dharmesh@edgeipk.com>
Date: Mon, 13 Oct 2003 16:06:30 +0100
Message-ID: <005c01c3919b$95c463a0$7e00a8c0@uk.edgeipk.com>
To: "Bob Foster" <bob@objfac.com>, <francisco.monteiro01@ntlworld.com>, <XForms@yahoogroups.com>, <www-forms@w3.org>

IE Support for XForms.
Please can someone confirm whether Xforms MUST have a plug-in or browser support. As I understand Xforms solutions can be deployed in two ways:
1) Browser based rendering (i.e. browser or plug-in interpretes XForms and renders screen at the client)
2) Server based pre-processor, in which case an Xform implementation is translated to HTML/Javascript at the server so the browser see's a forms solutions without needing a plug-in or specific browser implementation.

Xforms plug-ins are listed on the W3C site but not pre-processors such as what IBM provide.

kind regards................Dharmesh

---- Original Message ----- 
  From: Bob Foster 
  To: francisco.monteiro01@ntlworld.com ; XForms@yahoogroups.com ; www-forms@w3.org 
  Sent: Friday, October 10, 2003 7:12 PM
  Subject: Re: [XForms] Re: Will Internet Explorer support XForms

  > 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 achievable.

  80% seems quite good. Are you able to share the techniques used to achieve this? I am sure we would all benefit from this experience.

  Bob Foster
    ----- Original Message ----- 
    From: Francisco Monteiro 
    To: XForms@yahoogroups.com ; www-forms@w3.org 
    Cc: Mark.Birbeck@x-port.net 
    Sent: Friday, October 10, 2003 2:50 AM
    Subject: RE: [XForms] Re: Will Internet Explorer support XForms

    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 achievable.


    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 

          Yahoo! Groups Sponsor




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Received on Monday, 13 October 2003 11:06:58 UTC

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