Re: Unfortunate choice of attribute name in XForms 1.1: xforms:submission/@target


You are right that this would be used in combination with  
replace="all", and that technically it is possible to do what you are  
saying (and BTW it would be quite easy to express this with Relax NG).

However in general I think it is bad practice to give an attribute or  
element a different meaning depending on context. At least in my case,  
when learning a vocabulary, associating a specific meaning with a name  
allows me to better remember. Doing otherwise just adds to confusion.

So I would rather rename the attribute to prevent the confusion in the  
first place. This will help form authors.


On Apr 8, 2008, at 9:53 AM, John Boyer wrote:
> Hi Erik,
> It seems that the use of "target" you are describing might be a  
> legitimate use of it in combination with replace="all", so it might  
> not be in conflict with our current use of it for replace="instance"  
> and replace="text".
> The only difference might be the schema datatype for the attribute  
> would change based on the value of another attribute.  Schema  
> doesn't support this, but a limitation there should not get in the  
> way of using the same attribute for analogous operations.  When  
> replacing an instance, the target for where we put the submission  
> result is given by an XPath into the data.  When doing a  
> replace="all", it would be up for debate whether target should give  
> an XPath on the document or be an IDREF.
> What do you think?
> 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:
> Erik Bruchez <>
> Sent by:
> 04/07/2008 05:23 PM
> To
> "Forms WG (new)" <>
> cc
> Subject
> Unfortunate choice of attribute name in XForms 1.1:  
> xforms:submission/@target
> All,
> It just occurred to me that the XForms 1.1 xforms:submission/@target
> attribute [1] is badly chosen.
> The reason is that a "target", in HTML speak, specifies an optional
> target window or frame. This, in particular, applies to <a> and <form>
> in HTML. [2]
> In the future, we may want to officially support such a concept of
> target window or frame in XForms. Purely out of familiarity with HTML,
> the name "target" would be an obvious choice. But if we use "target"
> now to specify the destination for data replacement, we won't be able
> to use that name.
> (Note that in our implementation, we already support an extension
> attribute called xxforms:target on xforms:submission and xforms:load,
> which behaves like its HTML counterpart.)
> For this reason I suggest that we change the name of this attribute in
> XForms 1.1. Suggestions are welcome, but "destination" could work.
> -Erik
> [1]
> [2]
> --
> Orbeon Forms - Web Forms for the Enterprise Done the Right Way

Orbeon Forms - Web Forms for the Enterprise Done the Right Way

Received on Tuesday, 8 April 2008 17:34:54 UTC