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RE: Generation of Xforms HTML web page using a XML Schema Definition

From: <John.Hockaday@ga.gov.au>
Date: Tue, 23 Nov 2004 14:52:38 +1100
Message-ID: <E97B4331B4C19943B69A80E15DE45C26013555DD@mail1.agso.gov.au>
To: <Dharmesh.Mistry@edgeipk.com>, <www-forms@w3.org>

Firstly, thank you all for your responses to my question.  I have a lot of
research to do. ;--) However, I thought that I would answer Dharmesh's
question first because I have a very good practical use for my scenario as

I am involved with the validation, editing, searching an viewing of metadata
(data about data).  We currently use the Australian New Zealand Land
Information Council's (ANZLIC) metadata guidelines for spatial metadata.  We
have developed an extensible Document Type Definition (DTD) for these
metadata guidelines so that we can validate the XML document instances of

Some users/organisations of the DTD have used its extensibility to add other
elements and attributes to suit their business needs.  Fortunately, these
extended DTDs are made public and are available on the WWW so when I validate
the document instances of these extended DTDs I can lookup the DTD from the
URI in the DOCTYPE definition.  I then download the DTD and validate against
that DTD.  I process about 38,000 records so automation is very important.

The problem is that the Australian Metadata Community would like a generic
online metadata management tool.  That is,  an online tool that allows the
creation, modification and validation of XML document instances of their
metadata records.  If we were using just on DTD then I could write an XSLT
that generates an HTML forms page according to that one DTD.  However, there
may be multitudes of DTDs according to the needs of each organisation.  

This is why I would like some software that generates an HTML form or Xform
by reading the DTD.  This would allow a user to either enter the URL of their
DTD or allow a script to read the DTD from an XML document instance, and then
an HTML forms web page could be generated that suites their needs.  If they
were to enter an XML document instance then the content of the element could
be loaded into the HTML forms fields and the can edit to their hearts
content.  Once the edited content is submitted then an XML document instance
can be generated and validated against it's DTD.

This problem is further frustrated by the adoption of the ISO 19115 Metadata
Standards.  A W3C XML Schema is being developed for the 19115 standard and
would be a great starting point for any organisation to adopt. However, it is
likely that the XSD will be extended to suite an organisations needs.  Again
there is a need for an HTML forms web page to be generated from the XSD as
long as the XSD is available from it's URI.  If not then someone, like me,
will have to locate the XSD and generate something like and Oasis catalogue
file that refers to a local copy of the XSD once I have found it.

There is a great need for this type of functionality in the Australian
Metadata community.  I'm *very* surprised if someone else hasn't already come
up with a similar problem.

Thanks for your time.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Dharmesh Mistry [mailto:Dharmesh.Mistry@edgeipk.com] 
> Sent: Tuesday, 23 November 2004 5:15 AM
> To: Micah Dubinko; Hockaday John
> Cc: www-forms@w3.org
> Subject: RE: Generation of Xforms HTML web page using a XML 
> Schema Definition
> Sorry if I am a little slow to understand this, but I am 
> searching for a
> practical use of your scenario?
> However on the question of generating XForms from schema defs 
> then this
> is a problem addressed by Polaris in the UK. Polaris (a UK general
> insurance standards group) like many standards companies produces
> standard schema's for insurance products. They wanted to 
> generate XForms
> from these schema's. So then created "annotated schema's" 
> which could be
> parsed to generate XForms. (This is all public domain).
> Our experience of this is for basic user interaction this is very
> possible, given some annotation. However when more interactive user
> experience is required you end up with a very heavily "annotated"
> schema.......thus mitigating many of the benefits of doing so in the
> first place.
> Kind regards.................Dharmesh
> ---------------------------------------------------------------
> Dharmesh Mistry
> CTO, edge IPK
> E: dharmesh@edgeipk.com 
> M: 07789 222 015
> Newbury Office                   T  +44 (0) 1635 231 231    F  +44 (0)
> 1635 569 371
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> -----Original Message-----
> From: www-forms-request@w3.org [mailto:www-forms-request@w3.org] On
> Behalf Of Micah Dubinko
> Sent: 22 November 2004 18:00
> To: John.Hockaday@ga.gov.au
> Cc: www-forms@w3.org
> Subject: Re: Generation of Xforms HTML web page using a XML Schema
> Definition
> I started doing something like this for a client, but it just got way 
> too complicated.
> How about this:
> 1. Start with an XML instance document
> 2. Add small annotations for calculations, etc.
> 3. Transform the instance document directly into XForms, including 
> default values taken from the instance.
> Much simple, and so far working well.
> http://examploforms.org
> .micah
> John.Hockaday@ga.gov.au wrote:
> >Hi,
> >
> >Can Xforms generate an HTML web form page from an XSD?  Eg. DTD,
> >Schema.  I would like to have some type of software that reads an XSD
> and
> >generates an HTML web forms page that complies to that XSD.  When the
> user
> >fills out and submits the HTML form the contents would 
> generate and XML
> >document instance that complies to the XSD.  
> >
> >Similarly, it would be good if Xforms can solve this following
> scenario:
> >
> >1. a user cuts and pastes an XML document instance into an HTML text
> input
> >form and submits it, 
> >
> >2. software gets the XSD that is referenced in the submitted XML
> document
> >instance,
> >
> >3. the software then generates an Xforms HTML web page that complies
> with the
> >referenced XSD,
> >
> >4. the software then populates the contents of the Xforms 
> HTML web page
> with
> >the content from the submitted XML document instance,
> >
> >5. the user can submit the Xforms HTML web page after they 
> have edited
> the
> >content,
> >
> >6. the software then checks to see if the now edited content of the
> Xforms
> >HTML web page complies with the XSD and lets the user know of
> compliance or
> >and errors.
> >
> >It would be fantastic if Xforms or some other W3C 
> specification can do
> this.
> >
> >Thanks.
> >
> >John Hockaday
> >Geoscience Australia
> >GPO Box 378
> >Canberra ACT 2601
> >(02) 6249 9735
> >http://www.ga.gov.au/ 
> >john.hockaday\@ga.gov.au
> >  
> >
> -- 
>   Available for consulting. XForms, web forms, information overload.
>   Micah Dubinko                           mailto:micah@dubinko.info
>   Brain Attic, L.L.C.                        http://brainattic.info
>   Yahoo IM: mdubinko
>   Learn XForms today: http://xformsinstitute.com
Received on Tuesday, 23 November 2004 03:53:46 UTC

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