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

Re: XForms and Ajax

From: Anne van Kesteren <fora@annevankesteren.nl>
Date: Thu, 28 Apr 2005 21:45:25 +0200
Message-ID: <42713D55.7030302@annevankesteren.nl>
To: Mark Birbeck <mark.birbeck@x-port.net>
CC: www-forms@w3.org

Mark Birbeck wrote:
> Thanks for reading the blog, and for your comments.
>> The huge advantage of XMLHttpRequest is of course that it works
>> today.
> I have no problem with saying that XMLHttpRequest is both widely
> available, and a useful workaround for the weaknesses of HTML forms.
> However, the tone of most articles and blogs is that it represents
> some kind of paradigm shift.

For a lot of people it probably is.

> The point of my blog was to show that it isn't, and more importantly,
>  to point out to people that a major motivation of XForms was to
> capture in mark-up the kinds of things that we do every day in script
> -- the patterns that are present in the XMLHttpRequest examples.
> To come at it from a different angle for a moment -- the fuss about 
> XMLHttpRequest is because people are only just starting to realise
> that there is a problem to be solved; the people who kicked off the
> XForms work realised years ago that there was a problem that needed a
> resolution, and came up with one.

Well, XMLHttpRequest was there years ago as well. Albeit a non standard
solution it is supported.

By the way, why does/did SVG 1.2 adapt(ed) a similar interface to
XMLHttpRequest when XForms is suited for it according to the W3C?

(I have a similar question for file submission, but it might be better
to take that to www-svg.)

>> If XForms was natively implemented among XHTML in some IE version 
>> some people might use it ...
> I don't believe that is the barrier to take-up -- although this
> statement gets repeated so often that it has acquired the status of
> truth. People use plug-ins if they serve a useful purpose, and if
> they don't, well...they don't.

The only truly successful plugin is Flash and that is because IE shipped
with it... I think developer rather use a technology that is supported
by every browser out there than using some supposed standard format that
only works if your end users have downloaded a plugin.

And even then, with a plugin there is no native support and things might
not interoperate that well. I believe most XForms plugins render
text/html documents as well, etc.

> There was a time when you had to write applications that targeted the
>  3.2 browsers. Yet now everyone talks about using an advanced feature
> like XMLHttpRequest as if we've always had it!

That's certainly true. But that doesn't guarentee anything for the future.

>> ... (a lot of companies have trouble generating well-formed XML).
> I don't see that. If anything, XML is probably used more than it
> needs to be ;)

I stated that wrong. I meant smaller companies. If you look over the web
and validate a random "XML" site (based on XHTML 1 or so) you will
notice it won't validate. But perhaps those are not the target users of

  Anne van Kesteren
Received on Thursday, 28 April 2005 19:45:26 UTC

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