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

Re: AJAX vs. Xforms

From: Jim Ley <jim@jibbering.com>
Date: Mon, 31 Oct 2005 12:46:56 -0000
To: www-forms@w3.org
Message-ID: <dk53o7$im4$1@sea.gmane.org>

"Mark Birbeck" <mark.birbeck@x-port.net> wrote in message 
> But what bugs me about your mail is that you don't feel XForms is ready 
> for
> primetime use. Let's be specific; that take-up may be slow or fast, that
> there may be this or that issue with evangelising, that examples may be
> lacking, or the spec too difficult--all of those things I'd happily 
> discuss.
> But to say that it's simply "not ready"...that's bonkers!

I would have to agree that it's not ready, whilst there are some excellent 
examples of XForms, and some very good renderers, there's not widespread 
take-up.  So even if we can install an XForms processor to our clients, can 
we really pick one which we know will be around in the future, there are 
bugs and limitations in all implementations, we're too early to really know 
what are the likely outcomes of this.

So currently the choice is train developers in XForms, take a bet on a 
platform, roll out that platform to the users, train the users in the 
platform.  If in 6 months that platform is not the dominant one, we have 
retraining costs on the new platform for all the users even if the XForms 
platforms are completely compatible in what they support.

So whilst FormsPlayer is an excellent player, it's a still a bet, the 
problem XForms has is convincing people to take the bet.  The problem is 
there's not a story for people to invest in the training to use them, we 
know our HTML/javascript Web Applications will work in the future. The other 
apps are too important, too numerous and MS, Opera and Mozilla too dedicated 
to legacy rendering to stop that happening, we know our users will 
understand HTML widgets, they're too simple for them not to, and they use 
them on every website.

What does XForms give us, where's the economic benefit in adopting it?
How quickly is an investment in learning them paid off in faster application 
Does XForms reduce future maintenance costs as new UA's arrive on the users 

Are just a few of the questions that I've never seen answered, it's not 
applications that'll sway me, it's simple economics, I need to convince a 
client, that it'll be cheaper to do it in XForms, as yet I've not seen any 
case made for the cost.


Received on Monday, 31 October 2005 12:49:43 UTC

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