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

From: Sikora, Gary <gjsikora@progeny.net>
Date: Mon, 13 Oct 2003 15:06:50 -0400
Message-ID: <390F231507E5CC4996ACACE92CEC9CCA021972@es3.progeny.net>
To: "Dharmesh Mistry" <dharmesh@edgeipk.com>, "Bob Foster" <bob@objfac.com>, <francisco.monteiro01@ntlworld.com>, <XForms@yahoogroups.com>, <www-forms@w3.org>
The advantages of pre-processor over plug-in:
1.	Many organizations, both commercial and military, do not permit
downloads because of security risks and/or added IT costs.
2.	The developer of a XForms Web application does not need to be
concerned whether clients/customers will be permitted to download a
plug-in to make her site accessible. 
3.	The look-and-feel is the browser - no branding, the Web
application developer is in full control.
4.	A plug-in requires a specific browser type and version where
preprocessors can scale the generated markup based on the browser's
capability, e.g. WML to SVG.
5.	Depending upon how a plug-in is implemented and the size of the
document to be rendered, there could be a noticeable delay bringing the
form up, much like opening a PDF file.
The disadvantage of pre-processor over plug-in:
1.	The produced script is larger than the XForms document itself -
compared to other Web content such as images, videos, documents,
animation, etc., this isn't an issue.  Compression and caching
techniques can be used to mitigate the script size.
The advantage of XForms:
1.	Web application interaction layer is declarative and
host-independent, e.g it can be used with J2EE, .Net, Perl, etc.
2.	Common data model between data and interaction layers.
3.	Forms applications can be completely authored in XForms with
zero dependencies on other logic hosted in Java or ASP, for example.
This stand-alone feature enables offline forms interaction. 
Very respectfully,
-----Original Message-----
From: Dharmesh Mistry [mailto:dharmesh@edgeipk.com] 
Sent: Monday, October 13, 2003 1:44 PM
To: Sikora, Gary; Bob Foster; francisco.monteiro01@ntlworld.com;
XForms@yahoogroups.com; www-forms@w3.org
Subject: Re: [XForms] Re: Will Internet Explorer support XForms
Thank you. Sorry I didn't spot that.
So does this answer the question that it is not necessary for browsers
(that is Internet Explorer) to support XForms for companies to deploy
XForms compliant solutions?
I would be interested in understanding what the advantages are of a
plug-in over a preprocessor given the obvious download disadvantages.
	----- Original Message ----- 
	From: Sikora, Gary <mailto:gjsikora@progeny.net>  
	To: Dharmesh Mistry <mailto:dharmesh@edgeipk.com>  ; Bob Foster
<mailto:bob@objfac.com>  ; francisco.monteiro01@ntlworld.com ;
XForms@yahoogroups.com ; www-forms@w3.org 
	Sent: Monday, October 13, 2003 6:01 PM
	Subject: RE: [XForms] Re: Will Internet Explorer support XForms
	www.formfaces.com offers a pre-processor and is listed on the
W3C site.
	-----Original Message-----
	From: Dharmesh Mistry [mailto:dharmesh@edgeipk.com] 
	Sent: Monday, October 13, 2003 11:07 AM
	To: Bob Foster; francisco.monteiro01@ntlworld.com;
XForms@yahoogroups.com; www-forms@w3.org
	Subject: Re: [XForms] Re: Will Internet Explorer support XForms
	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
	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 <mailto:bob@objfac.com>  
		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
		> 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
			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
			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 Monday, 13 October 2003 15:07:09 UTC

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