Re: XForms Simplified Forms Syntax Review Needed

Hi John,

Thanks for letting us know about the XForms simplified syntax idea.  
For reference, here is the Forms Task Force charter that we  
unanimously adopted (unfortunately, I am not sure our staff contact  
has posted it anywhere on W3C space yet):

Our charter scope is to define "a set of guidelines for architectural  
consistency in form technologies". Our deliverables are a W3C Note  
outlining these guidelines, and then reviewing the evaluations of the  
HTML WG and the Forms WG of their technologies with respect to these  

Unfortunately, we have failed to develop these guidelines so far, due  
to inactivity of the TF, so we cannot provide review with these  
guidelines in mind. We can of course still provide general technical  
review as individuals, and I for one would be glad to do so. However,  
I would prefer to do such technical review by email instead of in a  
teleconference, because the phone is not a good medium for considering  
tricky technical issues.

It would also be out of charter for the Forms TF to propose a specific  
forms syntax or semantics to the HTML WG, or to help design such a  
syntax. So, if you want to make such a proposal, or to request design  
help, the proper forum would be the HTML WG.

(Fellow Forms TF members, I think it's time we come up with a draft of  
the guidelines so we can satisfy our obligations to the Forms WG and  

Best Regards,

On Apr 2, 2008, at 10:03 AM, John Boyer wrote:

> Dear Forms Joint Task Force,
> I would like to invite you to have some active dialog regarding  
> XForms simplified syntax.  The goal of this work is to streamline  
> XForms for use by web authors, which is a topic of great interest to  
> both the Forms WG and the HTML WG.
> Based on an understanding of the "on the glass" style of authoring  
> desired for HTML, the Forms WG has been tasked with figuring out a  
> mapping that achieves that style of authorship while also allowing a  
> straightforward mapping to "canonical" XForms.  The rationale for  
> placing this requirement on the Forms WG in its charter was to  
> provide for web form authors a much better "on ramp" to the full  
> power and feature set of XForms while also being able to scale back  
> as far as possible to constructs, ideas and syntax that are familiar  
> to today's HTML forms authors.
> The goal from the Forms WG side is to describe a vocabulary which we  
> might implement using XML but which the HTML WG could adopt into  
> both XHTML and HTML5 to provide maximal interoperability of forms  
> applications across the W3C stack.
> In looking at "canoncial" XForms and what it would imply for a  
> scalable "on the glass" style, we have gone through a number of  
> iterations and come up with a "strawman" view of
> 1) what the simplified syntax could look like
> 2) what changes are needed to the core XForms processing model to  
> better support that view.
> This link provides a good technical explanation of this "strawman"  
> view, and I think it is at the point where it needs more serious  
> consideration, collaboration and discussion by the task force:
> I would actually like to set up a special telecon with the members  
> of the task force to help kickstart the review and elaboration  
> process.  I have a toll free line that can be used in addition to  
> IRC.  I also have a web conference hosting capability that will  
> hopefully work for everyone, but the main issue I have now would be  
> getting a statement of availability from all of you so we can figure  
> out a reasonable time to hold such a call.  Once we have a good  
> time, we might be able to hold the call weekly for a number of  
> months to get some real progress.
> I hope that you will be as excited as I am by the look of the  
> simplified syntax as elaborated so far in the above "strawman" view,  
> and if so then hopefully it will inspire the elaboration work needed  
> to bring the modified XForms vocabulary into line with the full  
> needs of XHTML and HTML5.
> I look forward to hearing from you soon.  Also, could you please  
> consider adding me to the mailing list so that I can more easily see  
> the responses and help with the discussions.
> Thank you,
> John M. Boyer, Ph.D.
> Senior Technical Staff Member
> Lotus Forms Architect and Researcher
> Chair, W3C Forms Working Group
> Workplace, Portal and Collaboration Software
> IBM Victoria Software Lab
> E-Mail:
> Blog:
> Blog RSS feed:

Received on Wednesday, 2 April 2008 19:58:41 UTC