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Re: AJAX vs. Xforms

From: Elliotte Harold <elharo@metalab.unc.edu>
Date: Mon, 31 Oct 2005 02:14:18 -0500
Message-ID: <4365C44A.1040408@metalab.unc.edu>
To: Mark Birbeck <mark.birbeck@x-port.net>
CC: 'Rafael Benito' <rbenito@satec.es>, www-forms@w3.org

Mark Birbeck wrote:
> 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.

Perhaps true but mostly irrelevant. There's only one difference that 
matters: AJAX works in today's browsers and XForms doesn't. Game. Set. 

If and when XForms works in the browsers, then XForms development will 
become practical and people will start using it. This isn't a binary 
proposition. The more browsers XForms works in, and the better it works, 
the more XForms will be used. I'm not sure whether it will be a linear 
takeup or more of a hockey stick curve; but I do believe it will happen 
eventually. It just isn't happening very fast now.

Bad and nonexistent implementations don't just account for the limited 
use of XForms in the real world. They account for the paucity of 
documentation and examples. I've considered writing about XForms but 
I've given up because the implementations are too poor to make it 
worthwhile. When I've talked about XForms at conferences, the demos I've 
been able to do have been so flaky and unreliable that they've convinced 
everyone to wait for next year.

XForms is a classic example of the problems of writing a spec, solid as 
it may be, in advance of actual implementation.

´╗┐Elliotte Rusty Harold  elharo@metalab.unc.edu
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Received on Monday, 31 October 2005 07:14:27 UTC

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