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Re: Ian Hickson (Opera) On W3C's XForms

From: Robert Bateman <bobbateman@sequoiallc.com>
Date: Fri, 30 Apr 2004 11:45:38 -0400
To: www-forms@w3.org
Message-Id: <200404301145.38755.bobbateman@sequoiallc.com>

On Friday 30 April 2004 03:32 am, Gerald Bauer wrote:
> Hello,
>
>   allow me to highlight the mailinglist post by Ian
> Hickson (Opera) titled "XForms and Mozilla" that
> argues that W3C's XForms is bloated committee-ware and
> has no future.
>
>   Ian writes:
> > 2) Would implementing the [W3C XForms] standard
>
> advance mozilla's mission?

Ian brings forth a good point here:  Does implemeting the various "standards" 
advance Mozilla as a product / platform?  Mozilla does not "implement" 
Macromedia's Flash standard.  It doesn't implement RealPlayers sound 
standard.  It doesn't implement the QuickTime standard.

Let's be realistic - the job of a browser is to render output.  But not all 
output is easy to render.  So the browsers out there support "plug-ins" in 
order to allow others to render output thru the browser.  Make no mistake 
about it - Microsoft is *NOT* implementing Avalon/XAML inside IE verion 7.  
Microsoft has stated publically that Avalon will be rendered by an external 
application (ie - a plugin.)

To date, every XForms rendering engine I've seen has been either a stand-alone 
application or a plug-in for IE.  Each plug-in does the hard work of 
processing the XForms content in order to "render" it via the browser.

I don't know Ian, but I've met his ilk many times in the 25 years I've been a 
developer of software.  Ian is reacting with emotions as his arguments.  This 
is the very argument that we've been seeing in the IT world since day 1.  
Which is a better protocol - IP or IPX?  The better O/S - CP/M or MS-DOS?  
The better word processor - WordStar, Word Perfect, Word, Vi or Emacs?  The 
better desktop - Windows, Apple, Linux, Xerox?  The better programming 
language - Assembler, C, C++, C#, Java, etc.?  Which is better .NET or J2EE?

Who cares!  XForms is not going away.  It may not have the install base in 20 
years that Avalon/XAML has - especially if Microsoft puts Avalon/XAML into 
every version of Windows via one of their patches like they are doing with 
.NET.

IF XForms is to succeed in the long run, we need the many dedicated people 
that are currently involved in XForms to stay the course.  We also need many 
more people to get involved with XForms.  The values and benefits of XForms 
show themselves to the end customer when they see a product that uses XForms.  
It matters not *what* went into *making* that product happen - only that the 
final product does what its supposed to do.

What does Mozilla and Opera need in terms of XForms?  a plug-in that renders 
XForms content.  Who's job is it to write such a beast?  Possibly the 
community in general and possibly a single company.  

Mozilla is facing the greatest challenge of its life: The continued growth and 
expansion of Internet Explorer and plug-ins that only work with IE.  If I 
were Ian, my number 1 goal would be to figure out *how* I can make Mozilla 
work with and use plug-ins made for IE.  THIS is where Mozilla is falling 
flat on its face IMHO.  We don't need *more* plug-in standards.  We need 
Mozilla to work with the same plugins that IE uses.  Then the whole argument 
for XForms in Mozilla is mute.


Bob Bateman
CIO Sequoia Group LLC
Received on Friday, 30 April 2004 12:03:17 GMT

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