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

Re: XForms vs WebForms

From: jason <jeacott@hardlight.com.au>
Date: Fri, 18 Mar 2005 11:23:33 +1030
To: <www-forms@w3.org>
Message-Id: <20050318005255.4E2D326F9F6@mail.igateway.com.au>

only a couple of responses from me:

> + In comparison, XForms reduces the amount of work she has
>    to do, but requires that the browser supports XForms.

it takes a while to get used to Xforms but you can acheive a great deal with

remarkably little code. Also the availability of serverside Xforms 
implementations seems to have been pretty much ignored in all these debates.
Chiba, Orbeon to name just two, as well as standard dynamic client
implementations like Flash and Java Applet implementations all exist today
require no specific action from your common browser and with Chiba at least 
(and Orbeon too probably but I know less about that one) you can provide as 
much backward compatibility as you like by modifying the XSLT that renders
HTML forms. I admit that the exerience is generally no better than using any

common html forms based application you might find on the web today, but the

advantages for the developer are significant I think. Also there 
is absolutely no reason that Chiba couldnt be combined with AJAX to provide
short (or long) term best of both worlds solution to everyone. Developers
write Xforms, and users could get a really good Xforms interface experience
all the backward compatibility issues would vanish for Xforms in as far as
is supported in browsers today, - which is probably at least as good as 
webforms 2 support would be.

> + Server-side development doesn't change (much?) with the
>    use of WebForms 2. It also doesn't change with the use of
>    XForms (with the exception that the server may receive richer
>    data from the submitted XML model).

I disagree here. Whilst you still have to provide the same information to
form that you would regardless of what technology you choose to render that 
form, at least with Xforms (I havent built a webform2 but I imagine its
the same) most of the basic User interaction management is taken care of by
form itself. so once the form is defined it can take care of all its 
navigation, requesting the right data from the server, validation, and
data manipulation and user feedback stuff. As a developer you can build all 
this function into a single Xform (or multiple linked ones) and not require
serverside code to check or validate or maneuver a user through a complex
So I would definitely argue that the serverside experience with Xforms is
simpler and can be much better structured too as a result of the submission 
being XML. no more trauling through request parameters trying to figure out 
which one represents what in which situation. you can structure your data
query the bits your are interested in, serverside with standard SAX or DOM 
I think this makes for cleaner, simpler, and more robust serverside code 
because the starting point is guaranteed to be a well formed XML document.
Received on Friday, 18 March 2005 00:52:30 UTC

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