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RE: XForms Editor Review

From: <Oskari.Koskimies@nokia.com>
Date: Tue, 28 Feb 2006 15:40:36 +0200
Message-ID: <3D9C818A98ABFF449EB80FFF9D4AADC801D1E998@esebe106.NOE.Nokia.com>
To: <rbraman@bramantax.com>, <www-forms@w3.org>
Hi,
 
Like I said, I'm not affiliated with OO in any way, so I don't know the
persons. They seem to have some mechanism for accepting code
submissions, http://contributing.openoffice.org/programming.html#jca.
Your best bet is probably to post the question to dev@openoffice.org.
 
Currently OO supports only forms created by itself (and those forms only
work in OO), since it does not support XHTML+XForms, it supports
OpenDocument+XForms. If you know XSLT, you might look into making a
style sheet for XHTML export.
 
I'm not saying the OO implementation is particularly good at this point.
But they do have something already in place, so you don't have to start
from scratch. Of course, same logic applies to other open source
implementations, but I didn't see any mention that OnForm xPress would
be open source? Are we talking about the same application?
 
Also, the installed base of OO is in all likelihood going to be much
bigger than any editor you could write. So for the purpose of gaining as
wide an audience as possible, OO has its benefits. On the other hand, if
you have domain-specific needs for the form editor, then OO might not be
the right way to go - or you would need to have some sort of plugin
interface for the domain-specific parts.
 
 
BR,
     --Oskari



________________________________

	From: www-forms-request@w3.org [mailto:www-forms-request@w3.org]
On Behalf Of ext Richard Braman
	Sent: Tuesday, February 28, 2006 11:21 AM
	To: Koskimies Oskari (Nokia-NRC/Helsinki); www-forms@w3.org
	Subject: RE: XForms Editor Review
	
	
	I have read about the OO effort but when I open my forms with
open office it doesn't do #!@3.  I would rather concentrate the effort
in xForms community than in OO (and they can particpate) because the
implementation knowledge exists in this community.  Who heads Xforms dev
in OO?
	 
	If a forms editor doesn't produce froms that  work with the
implementations of XForms, alot of work is in vein.  All editor
developer should be interacting extensively with the community to make
sure their product supports it correctly, which may require plugins for
varying implementations such as Orbeon. 
	 
	 

		-----Original Message-----
		From: www-forms-request@w3.org
[mailto:www-forms-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of
Oskari.Koskimies@nokia.com
		Sent: Tuesday, February 28, 2006 3:44 AM
		To: www-forms@w3.org
		Cc: rbraman@bramantax.com
		Subject: RE: XForms Editor Review
		
		
		Hi,
		 
		If you want to get active in writing an XForms editor,
consider first contributing to the OpenOffice.org 2.0 effort. It
includes an XForms-based form editor, unfortunately the created forms
currently only work with OpenOffice since the export to XHTML is still
missing (an XSLT still missing I guess). A contribution there is far
more likely to create meaningful results than a do-it-yourself effort.
		 
		Disclaimer: I'm not affiliated with OpenOffice in any
way, but I believe in concentration of effort.
		 
		BR,
		     --Oskari


________________________________

			From: www-forms-request@w3.org
[mailto:www-forms-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of ext Richard Braman
			Sent: Tuesday, February 28, 2006 2:04 AM
			To: www-forms@w3.org
			Subject: XForms Editor Review
			
			
			I don't know about you guys, but my eyes are
cross from squinting into my current Xforms editor or worse yet, the
grid view.  I have downloaded XPress (which was a chore, the activation
key page was 500 broken, but the SQL insert gave me the key) and played
around with it, but I couldn't;t get a good feel for it. 
			 
			Here is my review:
			- I imported an instance from a file, all went
well there
			- I drew some various controls on the canvas, no
problems.  IN fact it had some features that would be good for me the
ability to align the controls, make them the same width, etc.
			
			I did like the absolute positioning using XHTML
span, as I use absolute positioning in my taXforms project, (using div
tags though) 
			- I tried to do add a bind, this is where the
functionality was lacking, the 'add bind" pulls up a dialog box asking
for id, node set, calculate, relevance, and required.  The nodeset has a
button to select an element in the instance to bind to.  But the tree
control it pulls up doesn't;t let you select the node you want, it
simply tells you the path and you have to cancel out and type the path
in.  The calculate box has a control that launches an expression
builder, which lacks one obvious feature, the ability to select a node
in a instance as part of your XPath expression.
			-One you have to set up the bind you have to go
back to the control and type in the bind id, you should be able to do
that from a tree, or better yet from the bind dialog, which should
automatically set the control to output if there is a calculate
function.
			- You can also add actions/events to the control
which was nice, but again you have to type in the ref path or bind from
memory, you cannot select it from a tree.
			-I tried to open some Xforms from Chiba/Orbeon,
no go! Throws an error Type Mismatch?  Even the hello world file.  I
think it only opens files created by it
			-You can view the source , but cannot edit from
source.  This wasn't the end of the world.
			- Xplayer is used as the viewer.
			 
			I also trief XFormation from Focus software,  I
haven't dealved into it, as much, but at first glance it isn't mature.
			 
			 
			I am thinking about writing an editor for my
Xforms based tax forms(taXforms).  Ultimately the goal of the project is
to put XForms technology in the hands of CPAs , Enrolled Agents, and tax
attorneys, who will develop the forms.  These people aren't hardcore XML
programmers, and will need a WSIWIG tool to do their job with minimal
fuss.  They can all program spreadhseets, so I do not forsee XPath
formulas being a huge problem. I would like to extend the features of
XPress so that the editor behaves like it should , keep the code open
source so that the editor would be customized for my use case, and
anyone elses for that mater.
			 
			I did some more research and found a draft spec
for an Xforms editor  on the Isreali W3C web site.  
	
http://www.w3c.org.il/XFORMS/documents/xforms_editor_guide.html
			It seems as though XPress may have been based
off of it.    
			 
			I think the major thing I have seen in my last
couple of months learning Xforms, is that many of the Forms
implementations differ in what they support, and in some cases how they
do things.  For example Orebon supports.  I havn;t seen alot fo
compatability.
			 
			 Reconciling those differences, so that Tax Code
is portable is another one of my goals.  
			 
			 
			 

			Richard Braman
			mailto:rbraman@taxcodesoftware.org
			561.748.4002 (voice) 

			http://www.taxcodesoftware.org
<http://www.taxcodesoftware.org/> 
			Free Open Source Tax Software

			 
Received on Tuesday, 28 February 2006 13:41:07 GMT

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