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RE: XForms and Web Forms 2.0

From: Francisco Monteiro <monterro2004@tiscali.co.uk>
Date: Fri, 1 Sep 2006 17:48:34 +0100
To: <mark.birbeck@x-port.net>, "'Dharmesh Mistry'" <Dharmesh.Mistry@edgeipk.com>
Cc: <www-forms@w3.org>
Message-ID: <006d01c6cde6$76e21ce0$0500a8c0@computername>
Mark,
"The debate surrounding XForms and WF2 takes in the standards process, the
difference between HTML and XHTML, whether the W3C is an organisation that
leads or follows (or confuses), and so on. So whilst he's right that arguing
about right and wrong languages is a waste of time, it's not a waste of time
to argue about whether the W3C should be host to two different forms
solutions, or whether convergance should be sought instead."

You hit it just right especially this (or confuses). I think it is not just
confusion but take this WF2 script prototype README

"We have a pure OO solution. If you are interested in looking at the
source code in more detail you can browse it using a SmallTalk-like
interface here:

http://webforms2.org/dev/ide/"

Wow OO solution what should I read into this?

There is a place for us all.

PS
Mark if you do decide to be a politician I will vote for you :-)

Francisco

-----Original Message-----
From: www-forms-request@w3.org [mailto:www-forms-request@w3.org] On Behalf
Of Mark Birbeck
Sent: 01 September 2006 17:14
To: Dharmesh Mistry
Cc: www-forms@w3.org
Subject: Re: XForms and Web Forms 2.0


Dharmesh,

> Is there anywhere a list of Fortune 500 / FTSE 100 etc. companies that 
> use these technologies.
>
> I guess the proof is in the "eating" i.e. people actually deploying 
> these technologies in mission critical applications.
>
> This would be especially helpful to us in pushing Xforms as at the 
> moment it feels like we are "flogging a dead horse".
>
> None of the banks we work with seem to be interested, I would 
> especially keen to hear of Financial services case studies.

We do have global organisations using formsPlayer, but I think in this
Francisco is right when he talks of using the most appropriate tool for the
job; why would you try to sell XForms in and of itself?
Sometimes XForms is the right thing, and sometimes not, but either way,
surely it's a tool in *your* armoury (if you want to use it), not your
customers'.

Without going into too much detail, if you have a system that uses web
services a lot (for example), then a rich client that can handle XForms will
be ideal. I can only speak for formsPlayer, but that's where a lot of our
use cases are coming from. For example, we have built a system for a
customer that involves using the OpenWFE workflow engine and the eXist XML
database, and we've written no code at all on the server! All we've done is
used a few workflow templates, and the REST/XQuery interface to eXist, and
everything else is achieved via the XForms themselves. Maintaining such a
system is very straightforward, it's easy to move to other platforms, or to
swap components in and out (since interfaces such as XQuery, are all
standard).

But unfortunately, at the other end of the spectrum, if you have a system
that uses a server-side scripting language, containing direct querys on a
database to populate list-boxes (that whole nineties
thing!) then you might not find XForms that useful. You'll have a
maintenance nightmare with this, either way. For XForms to be of benefit in
this scenario it would have to dramatically improve the user experience,
rather than being 'as good'.

I'm not differentiating here between using client and server technologies,
but rather between the use of high-level constructs versus painstakingly
creating pages with server-side script. So in this view you will also get
productivity improvements if you can use a pipeline-based system like
Orbeon, since it too uses 'big constructs', even though it delivers HTML to
the user.

As you can probably see, what I'm driving at is that at least in the short
term, the main benefits of XForms will accrue to the developers and not to
the users, so trying to 'sell XForms' is probably not only a waste of time,
but unnecessary.

I would disagree with Francisco on one point, though, in that I don't think
this particular debate can be left at the level of 'take your pick'. The
debate surrounding XForms and WF2 takes in the standards process, the
difference between HTML and XHTML, whether the W3C is an organisation that
leads or follows (or confuses), and so on. So whilst he's right that arguing
about right and wrong languages is a waste of time, it's not a waste of time
to argue about whether the W3C should be host to two different forms
solutions, or whether convergance should be sought instead.

Regards,

Mark

--
Mark Birbeck
CEO
x-port.net Ltd.

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

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

Received on Friday, 1 September 2006 16:51:56 GMT

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