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RE: XForms vs. Web Forms

From: Goodrich, Christopher Michael <cmgoodr@sandia.gov>
Date: Wed, 16 Mar 2005 10:33:24 -0700
Message-ID: <C01B7DAB36AB864E9C99F5B79655413A032171D9@ES20SNLNT.srn.sandia.gov>
To: www-forms@w3.org

Ok, after having read the article, here are my thoughts:

First,  This article omits details that have come to light recently
regarding the support for xforms.  Namely, the Mozilla foundation has
dropped their flagship suite in favor of the standalone applications
Firefox/Thunderbird (and quite possibly Sunbird as well, although it's
still in beta).  Firefox currently has built in support for xforms in
it's nightly builds (not sure if this has been implemented in the 1.0.1
release, but I suspect that was a security patch fix, not a feature
upgrade).

Second, The tone of the article seems very unbiased, and also doesn't
point out a clear victor, however, more evidence is thrown toward Web
Forms than xforms.  I believe this is due to the individual bias of the
author (although I can't be certain).  Microsoft is a very powerful
force when it comes to implementing new technology, but their use of XML
can only be described as "quirky."  Supporting the new Office 2003 can
lead to a nightmare rather quickly as features that should work, display
as working, and do not give an error, do not work.  Even a full reg
clean reinstall of the application doesn't fix these problems.  I do
have specific examples, but will save them in the interest of not
wandering off topic.  Suffice it to say that I believe there will be
significant backwash when it comes to Microsoft forcing their
proprietary applications on the general masses of the corporate world.

Third,  Implementation of a web standard is always rife with conflict
and debate.  The efforts of W3C to hold together the base standards have
proven time and time again to be invaluable.  Quite honestly, they are
the people that hold open standards in very high regard and I have faith
that they will continue to do so.  Since the group that is pushing Web
Forms is a splinter group from the main Consortium, the battleground is
already set and might lead to a split in the Consortium, but eventually
a clear victor will emerge.  All we can do is continue to test,
evaluate, and provide feedback on the standard that we like the best so
that a clear decision can be made.

My vote still lies with xforms (ok, I'm being biased here) I don't like
Microshaft's proprietary ways and support open standards that make life
easier (scripting is definitely NOT easier).  That being said, I have
yet to make a clear decision regarding my own project, simply because
I'm running into a brick wall when it comes to my own corporation's
adopted technology.  In the end, I have to be a "good corporate citizen"
and go with what is "safe, stable, and out of beta" despite my own
leanings.  Don't think that I go quietly though :-)


Thank you,

Christopher M Goodrich A+
Corporate Computing Help Desk
Sandia National Laboratories
Science Applications International Corporation
cmgoodr@sandia.gov
(505) 284-4797 

-----Original Message-----
From: www-forms-request@w3.org [mailto:www-forms-request@w3.org] On
Behalf Of Goodrich, Christopher Michael
Sent: Wednesday, March 16, 2005 9:47 AM
To: Eric S. Fisher; www-forms@w3.org
Subject: RE: XForms vs. Web Forms


I wish to comment about this.  I do want to preface this by saying that
I support your stand on xforms Eric, but I want to point something out
that you may have missed:

<begin snip>

...If this were true, Macromedia Flash, Real Player and Apple QuickTime
would also be limited this way -- and I have never heard users of any of
these technologies complain because they had to download a plug-in....

<end snip>

I would assume then that you have little customer help desk experience.
I've been doing a help desk for about 8 years, and I can tell you that
the grumbles are there.  Not only from the customer, but from the
support people as well.  Macromedia Flash is difficult to work with,
QuickTime breaks IE very easily, and Real Player is simply too
proprietary to work with easily. I for one do not like any of these
'plug-ins' and definitely want to see xforms fully integrated into the
browser.  I don't see a reason why they shouldn't, especially since xml
is already being integrated into the major browsers.

Although I haven't read the article, I can already assume that it is
highly biased and probably doesn't compare xforms favorably if they
include these other 'plug-ins' as examples.  To me, this would reflect
negatively on xforms.  I will read the article now before I speak too
far out of turn.


Thank you,

Christopher M Goodrich A+
Corporate Computing Help Desk
Sandia National Laboratories
Science Applications International Corporation cmgoodr@sandia.gov
(505) 284-4797 

-----Original Message-----
From: www-forms-request@w3.org [mailto:www-forms-request@w3.org] On
Behalf Of Eric S. Fisher
Sent: Wednesday, March 16, 2005 7:50 AM
To: www-forms@w3.org
Subject: Fwd: XForms vs. Web Forms


I just read this article (all five Web pages) and cannot conclude from
it that Web Forms 2.0 is the "winner."  I thought the article was a
balanced comparison with fair reporting of the real issues confronting
XForms acceptance.

As I said in my earlier post, they are two different specs:  Web Forms
is backward-looking and more or less automatically compatible with the
current generation of browsers.  XForms is forward-looking and is more
concerned with being an open and compatible player in the XML based Web
services arena than in being compatible with earlier technologies.  In
order to have XForms capability in current browsers, you have to
download a plug-in, just like Macromedia Flash, Real Player and Apple
QuickTime, to name just three.

I see no reason at all to consider XForms a dead end just because it is
not supported natively in current browsers.  If this were true,
Macromedia Flash, Real Player and Apple QuickTime would also be limited
this way -- and I have never heard users of any of these technologies
complain because they had to download a plug-in.

Let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater.  There are a lot of
people, most especially Microsoft, that would like to see the XForms
effort fail.  Truly open standards are fundamently incompatible with
lock-in strategies of any sort.  XForms opens the door to a number of
truly astounding applications not invented yet, and its openness
provides the user and developer communities with options for innovation
and competition that would be unavailable otherwise.  We can go down
both development paths without losing any momentum on either.  That's
the glory of the Internet.

Eric S. Fisher

------- Forwarded message -------
From: "Peter Bruhn Andersen" <bruhn.andersen@get2net.dk>
To: www-forms@w3.org
Subject: XForms vs. Web Forms
Date: Wed, 16 Mar 2005 10:03:36 +0100

I've just seen this article
http://news.zdnet.com/2100-9588_22-5581106.html



It 'compares' XForms to the Web Forms 2.0 specification and concludes
that Web Forms is the winner.



I have no knowledge about the Web Forms specification so I would like to
hear what the group thinks about the article. And perhaps more to the
point: Should we keep using XForms or should we switch to Web Forms?



Regards,

Peter



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Received on Wednesday, 16 March 2005 17:34:03 GMT

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