Re: Formal Objection: publication of XForms 1.1 as LCWD

Hi Bjoern,

I will be fishing out technical issues to address from your email for 
discussion by the working group.  I will also discuss the process 
issuesyou raised with our W3C team contact.

However, my own initial reaction to the issues you have raised is that 
they are not process objections to the XForms 1.1 last call.

For example, you expressed concern about the definition of  "QName but not 
NCName" in XForms 1.0.  The terms QName and NCName are as well-known in 
the XML community as are 'but' and 'not' in the normative language in 
which W3C Recommendations are expressed (English).  Moreover, a rigorous 
machine definition is provided in the XForms schema, which is referenced 
by the recommendation.  I agree that there is a 'typo' in the table in 
section 8.1, which will be addressed, but it would be difficult indeed to 
substantiate the argument that this simple error was not easily seen to be 
just that.

This raises a much larger issue in your email, which is that the error you 
raised is symbolic of Forms WG non-responsiveness to produce errata as 
part of maintaining XForms.  Before you use this in any kind of future 
formal objection, I would like to ask you to please examine the 94 pages 
of errata that the Forms WG has produced in the following two locations: (~39 pages) (~55 pages)

The problem I see here is that you are using years-old complaints about 
imperfections about the Forms WG, yet the above resources demonstrate that 
the Forms WG has vigorously striven to improve in this area.  These 
resources are significant and tangible results that contradict your 
assertion of an ongoing problem.

Your email also identified your concerns about the test suite.  Again the 
Forms WG has been working quite vigorously on the test suite, and it has 
been significantly revamped.  Moreover, work on the test suite is ongoing, 
in part because we will need the upgraded version for XForms 1.1. Concerns 
you express about the XForms 1.1 test suite will be taken into account, 
but test suite development is part of the W3C process required for exiting 
candidate recommendation, not entering last call, so again it is unclear 
why this would substantiate an objection to any aspect of XForms 1.1 last 

I believe you have also expressed concern over your want of an additional 
XForms 1.1 requirement for XForms submissions to handle a login password 
forms.  I believe the Forms WG did take this issue under advisement, but 
we did also communicate to you that our focus for 1.1 was improvement over 
the core use cases of XForms 1.0, which is not directly focused on forms 
containing two controls.  A W3C working group is not an infinite resource. 
 This means that focusing on everything is an explosion, not a direction. 
Therefore, features that are not part of the main technical direction do 
not tend to become part of the *committed* requirements even if they are 
good ideas that might be a useful addition to our capabilities.

That being said, this does not mean that suggestions for detail features 
are not taken under advisement.  Interestingly, the thing to which you 
have objected, the XForms 1.1 last call, is precisely the W3C process that 
you *should* be using to perform a review of the actual specification to 
see whether the feature of concern to you is included.  A W3C 
Recommendation may include more features than are committed in the 
requirements document, especially when those features result from creating 
the most generalized solutions for requirements that are committed.  If an 
XForms 1.1 last call comment were to be made to indicate that a feature 
was missing from XForms 1.1, then the Forms WG would consider and respond 
to that comment.  The response might be that it is not included because it 
is not a committed requiement for XForms 1.1, but that is a valid outcome 
of the process.  If your last call comment is not answered, then your W3C 
AC Rep has the opportunity to object to advancement to candidate 
recommendation. If that isn't done, then the issue becomes an element of 
the past. 

However, in the case of your requested feature of submission, I believe 
you may have again put the cart before the horse, so to speak, by 
objecting to the specification on the last day of its last call without 
having read the document.  As you have asked the Forms WG to use the W3C 
process, I would ask the same of you.  In particular, would you please 
consider the new material on submissions and on XPath functions and 
determine whether your requested submission feature can now be satisfied. 
If not, please submit a last call comment explaining what you think is 

At this point you may be concerned that there is insufficient time for you 
to perform a review and provide last call comments given that the last 
call period just expired.  Although the Forms WG has already provided a 
review period that was twice as long as required by W3C process, the 
working group  will be extending the review period to the end of April due 
to requests for extension.  This extension will also give other Forms 
community members such as yourself another chance to review the XForms 1.1 
specification and provide feedback that the Forms WG will address prior to 
advancement to candidate recommendation.

In the meantime, although I will be putting your email and this response 
on the agenda for discussion and review by the Forms WG, I want to be 
clear that I currently do not perceive your objection as being appropriate 
to the XForms 1.1 last call process nor to any current efforts of the 
Forms WG, and as such I will not be speaking to the director about your 
objection unless our W3C team contact finds a specific point of W3C 
process compelling me to do so.  This will also give you some time to 
consider withdrawing the objection based on the voluminous rebuttal 
information provided above.

John M. Boyer, Ph.D.
STSM: Workplace Forms Architect and Researcher
Chair, W3C Forms Working Group
Workplace, Portal and Collaboration Software
IBM Victoria Software Lab


Bjoern Hoehrmann <> 
Sent by:
04/05/2007 10:40 PM


Formal Objection: publication of XForms 1.1 as LCWD

Dear Forms Working Group,

  Please report to The Director my formal objection to the Working
Group's decision to publish XForms 1.1 as Last Call Working Draft.
The group made this decision in violation of the W3C Process, and due
to its shocking history of W3C Process ignorance it would be difficult
to assert that the document has received wide review and, therefore,
advance the document under the rules of the W3C Process.

Since the Forms Working Group has no interest in following the W3C
Recommendation Track Process to develop XForms as demonstrated below,
it is unclear to me that XForms development should continue in form
of a W3C Working Group.

However, if that is to be so, I recommend that instead of advancing
XForms 1.1, the document is returned to the Working Group for further
work and the group does not request publication of it as LCWD until
after the group has, for all comments received since the publication
of XForms 1.0 as LCWD, either formally addressed the comment or pub-
lically documented sound rationale for not doing so, documented the
results of this process, published updated non-LC drafts taking the
results of this process into account, given reviewers sufficient time
to review it, and put the XForms 1.0 errata into a form that satisfies
the requirements of the W3C Process.

It is important to note that this is not asking anything at all, had
the Working Group not ignored the W3C Process for many years, this
would be a zero-effort process. Similarily, the concern is not that
a few things slipped through the cracks: the group has been repeatedly
reminded of its failure the follow the W3C Process, and took little to
no action to improve the situation. To give a few examples of my own
experience with the group:

Pre-REC comments on XForms 1.0 that I have never received a response to:

An XForms 1.1 comment the group produced no meaningful response to:

A reminder to address the comment above (more reminders further down):

Discussions of the group's continued Process ignorance:

A detailed review of how the group systematically ignored 1.0 comments:

Reminders of the W3C Process requirements for errata maintenance:

The group has not provided a response to any of these messages. As I
already concluded in 2004, any attempt to cooperate with the group is
a complete waste of effort. This view is shared, at least in part, by
several other people with first hand experience with the Forms WG I
talked to. As a consequence, many interested parties chose to not
review the XForms 1.1 draft at all, let alone provide comments on it.

Having received wide review is a pre-condition for advancement of the
document to Candidate Recommendation status, and without the group
following the the steps proposed above in full, it would be difficult
to get to a point where interested parties do not actively refuse to
review the document. Hence my recommendation.

Björn Höhrmann · ·
Weinh. Str. 22 · Telefon: +49(0)621/4309674 ·
68309 Mannheim · PGP Pub. KeyID: 0xA4357E78 · 

Received on Tuesday, 10 April 2007 19:04:28 UTC