W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-forms@w3.org > April 2005

Re: XForms in browsers howto?

From: Joern Turner <joern.turner@web.de>
Date: Tue, 26 Apr 2005 13:05:25 +0200
Message-ID: <426E2075.6080506@web.de>
To: Robin Berjon <robin.berjon@expway.fr>
CC: "www-forms@w3.org" <www-forms@w3.org>

Hello Robin,

Robin Berjon wrote:
> Hi,
> I had tested XForms in various manners (including some reasonably 
> convoluted things) for some time a while back and come out of it with a 
> good impression.
> I now have a really complex application that I have been asked to 
> develop, and that must run inside a browser (plugins being considered 
> tolerable, multiple platforms being required). Since the UI needs to be 
> quite convoluted, and for once could do with some more serious 
> client-side validation, I figured I might see if XForms implementations 
> running inside browsers were mature enough to run XForms, and therefore 
> started implementing using XForms. I expected that things would be 
> better than when I last had a chance to take a long look.
> To say that it's been more of a fight than I expect would be an 
> understatement. I hope it's the chaos leading to apotheosis but things 
> seem to have become worse than they were.
> I'll spare you the crashes from multiple Mozilla and Firefox versions on 
> two OSs and the fighting against formsPlayer so it wouldn't display it's 
> own stylesheet and popup (there's probably documentation on that, but I 
> failed to find it though it might have been because I'd run out of 
> patience at that point).
> So, having skipped the rant, is there a) a viable mix of browser version 
> (even nightlies) and plugin and/or XPI combo that will actually roughly 
> work without crashes and annoyances, and b) any chance that within the 
> upcoming say two months that these issues may be sufficiently addressed 
> that one would consider selling an XForms based WebApp without feeling 
> they're setting the customer up for endless trouble?
we have a java-applet plugin running inside IE6 running on Windows 
called 'Convex'. It's based on the Chiba XForms processor which is 
already around for quite a while on the server-side and has been tested 
on lots of platforms.

Convex uses a hidden java applet and display the results as conventional 
html via liveconnect. The same code can be easily adapted to work in 
Firefox/Mozilla too. A few js script adaptions would be needed for that. 
As we're Open Source  and have limited capacities we push forward the 
things that receive most interest. Convex hasn't gained much of that 
attention yet maybe mainly due to FormsPlayers strength in this segment.

Nevertheless we use Convex in our own customer projects which quite good 
success although there are limitations to the approach when it comes to 
really huge and complex forms which use lots of itemsets inside of 
repeats. This may bring performance down. But if you keep the sheer size 
of your forms reasonable Convex works quite good and has impressive 
interactivity to offer.

With a few additional helping hands Convex can quickly become mature for 
the mentioned scope. We already have first solutions going into 
production by now.

For more information please visit our project page:

and for downloads:

If you'd like to try the Convex code, please use the current CVS version 
instead of the download. It's far ahead.

Joern Turner

Received on Tuesday, 26 April 2005 11:05:41 UTC

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