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Fwd: Re: XForms Myths Exposed - By Ian Hixie (Opera)

From: Eric S. Fisher <efisher@fsystems.com>
Date: Mon, 14 Mar 2005 17:00:47 -0500
Message-ID: <opsnnd3lqltdhxwl@smtp.charter.net>
To: www-forms@w3.org

I have been lurking on this forum for a long time now, interested in the
evolution of forms languages for the Web but not knowledgeable enough to
contribute in any technical sense.  This is my first post.

As a co-inventor of a new language and technology focused on universal
data exchange and integration, I and my company have an interest in Web,
XML and HTML issues as they affect our commitment to support all XML based
data exchange methods.  In this context, it occurs to me that there are
good arguments for all positions, thus my humble offering to this

As a person who has been an information technology professional since
1967, I fail to see the merits of a debate between Xforms and Web Forms.
I think they are both valid and needed responses to similar but subtly
different problems on the Web.  My experience leads me to believe and
assert as a universal IT truth that backwards compatibility is an
essential requirement for allowing applications to evolve.  Yet this truth
is always in dynamic counterpoint to another universal IT truth: that
sometimes a new language, and/or a revolution in the old environment, is
necessary in order to allow previously "impossible" or at least
extraordinarily difficult applications to be implemented more easily.

Perhaps I am missing the point, but it seems to me that the answer to the
question "Xforms or Web Forms" is an emphatic yes.  There is room and need
in the Web universe for both the evolutionary Web Forms approach, to
support backwards HTML compatibility, and the revolutionary XForms
approach, to support a new XML based paradigm.

If there is one point where I disagree with Ian, it is that we can "just"
incrementally improve the existing technologies.  The XML paradigm is a
radical improvement over previous Web technologies, and as one of its many
children, XForms brings a new kind of compatibility with other XML
technologies that overshadows its incompatibilities with earlier
HTML-based forms.

Eric S. Fisher

On Mon, 14 Mar 2005 02:44:59 +0000 (UTC), Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch> wrote:

> On Fri, 11 Mar 2005, T. V. Raman wrote:
>> The Web Forms fans' attempt to polarize between XForms and scripting is
>> unfortunate ---
> The Web Forms fans are not at all attempting to make this comparison --
> the origin of this discussion is actually a statement by Steven  
> Pemberton,
> relayed in a recent news article:
>    http://www.zdnet.com.au/news/software/0,2000061733,39181670,00.htm
> The only "polarisation", if there is any, is between XForms and backwards
> compatibility. Personally I agree that the Web would be better with less
> scripting required to perform basic tasks -- but I don't think that we
> need to have a new language to do this. We can just incrementally improve
> the existing technologies, like HTML.


> That is not the debate I am taking part in, if that debate even exists.
> The debate I am trying to raise is, to extend your analogy, the same as
> the x86 compiler vendors complaining that the RISC ideas are all very  
> well
> but they have a growing x86 installed base with a lot of demand and so
> that's what they want to target.

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Received on Tuesday, 15 March 2005 04:13:20 UTC

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