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

RE: AJAX vs. Xforms

From: Kugelman, John <jkugelman@progeny.net>
Date: Tue, 25 Oct 2005 14:36:04 -0400
Message-ID: <9A0E40933DE3E548A1B8E32063CE4EE44C27E9@es3.progeny.net>
To: "Mark Birbeck" <mark.birbeck@x-port.net>, "Rafael Benito" <rbenito@satec.es>
Cc: <www-forms@w3.org>
Hi Mark,

I agree completely with this feeling. I think XForms sells itself well from a conceptual POV, where you read about it and perhaps peruse the standard and hear all the nice things it can do. Then you try to find some example pages, some tutorials showing actual XForms pages, and there's very little meat.

I myself got lost in all the different XForms processors that are out there when first introduced to XForms. It was tough to wrap my head around the client-side vs. server-side debate when all I wanted to do was see a quick demonstration. One reads about AJAX and maybe sees a simple drag-and-drop demo and one thinks, "Wow, that's pretty cool." Where are the comparable XForms sites?

FormFaces has a number of example pages bundled with it and we've put those up on our web site (http://www.formfaces.com/samples.html). We haven't really made those tutorial-like, though-we just dumped them on the web site and threw together an index page. Your point about having tutorials and primers is huge. We'd love to help with this because it's hard to sell an XForms processor when you have to sell XForms at the same time. So, we're going to try to do exactly what you suggest and flesh out our own examples so they could serve as an entry point for new XForms authors. The XForms community desperately needs "beginner-friendly" pages and sites.

Also, ironically, FormFaces uses AJAX to implement XForms. For example, FormFaces uses XMLHttpRequest to load and submit instance data. I think this illuminates the AJAX vs. XForms debate in a new way-XForms could, in a sense, be thought of as a really nice wrapper around AJAX. AJAX gives you the ability, through extensive JavaScript acrobatics, to load/submit data on the fly and to dynamically update your page; it is often claimed that XForms does the same but with simple markup and no programming needed. I believe our work shows that this claim is not just a "theoretical" idea, but reality!


-----Original Message-----
From: www-forms-request@w3.org [mailto:www-forms-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Mark Birbeck
Sent: Tuesday, October 25, 2005 8:36 AM
To: 'Rafael Benito'
Cc: www-forms@w3.org
Subject: RE: AJAX vs. Xforms



Hi Rafael,


I think the big difference with the Ajax 'community' is that they produce lots of examples, run Wikis that explain things, and so on. I don't believe XForms is that difficult, but I think new users do need orienting, yet the XForms 'community' has been pretty bad at providing the support needed. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that this is one of the worst 'communities' I have seen--take a look at things like SVG and Python and you'll see primers, samples, Wikis, and all sorts.


So, in short, if XForms has a low take-up we only have ourselves to blame!


As our contribution to helping XForms move forwards (in addition to providing a free plug-in!) we have set-up a Wiki, and have tried to add demos, links and descriptions to help people use XForms. But it needs a lot more, so if people want to help with examples, code snippets, handy links to web services, pattern descriptions or whatever they want, please head over to http://www.xforms-wiki.com/.


One other initiative worth mentioning is that we will be working with the guys at Orbeon to produce some substantial cross-processor examples. Once done they will go up on the Wiki, and we hope that these will also help people new to XForms.






Mark Birbeck
x-port.net Ltd.

e: Mark.Birbeck@x-port.net
t: +44 (0) 20 7689 9232
w: http://www.formsPlayer.com/ <http://www.formsplayer.com/> 
b: http://internet-apps.blogspot.com/ <http://internet-apps.blogspot.com/> 

Download our XForms processor from
http://www.formsPlayer.com/ <http://www.formsplayer.com/>  




	From: www-forms-request@w3.org [mailto:www-forms-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Rafael Benito
	Sent: 25 October 2005 11:55
	To: www-forms@w3.org
	Subject: AJAX vs. Xforms


	AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) architectures are attracting a lot of attention from the Web developer community. Some features, like requesting to a server a piece of XML to update the UI without refreshing the whole browser window, that make AJAX to be gaining recognition, are also present in the Xforms Recommendation. However, it seems that Xforms adoption is evolving at a much lower rate than AJAX. I wonder for the reasons that are causing this to happen and what the Xforms community should be doing to more strongly push Xforms into the web development arena.

	Any ideas or comments on this issue?

	Kind regards

	Rafael Benito Ruz de Villa
	e-business Manager
	Mobile (+34) 617 314 293
	rbenito@satec.es <mailto:rbenito@satec.es> 

	MADRID <http://www.satec.es>   <http://www.satec.es/>  <http://www.satec.es> 
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Received on Tuesday, 25 October 2005 18:36:38 UTC

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