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Decision Point on XForms 1.2

From: John Boyer <boyerj@ca.ibm.com>
Date: Thu, 14 Feb 2008 11:26:23 -0800
To: Forms WG (new) <public-forms@w3.org>
Message-ID: <OF14C082B5.317F3877-ON882573EF.0004DF37-882573EF.006AC886@ca.ibm.com>
Further to our telecon discussion about how to decide what's in or out of 
XForms 1.2, there is a decision to be made here.

Right now, I think XForms 1.2 is too big compared to what was really 
mandated by our charter.  This is one reason I put all remaining "possible 
1.2 or high 2.0 features" into 2.0.  But it doesn't seem like that goes 
far enough.  I have a proposal below to cut scope for 1.2, but first let's 
review what's currently listed.

The features currently listed for 1.2 in the wiki 

1) ease-of-authoring patterns that are consistent with the expectations 
set forth in our charter.  As a side note, we have *lots* of other ease of 
authoring ideas, some are listed in 2.0 (like) AVTs and some have crept up 
into 1.2 (like the repeat pattern).   But none of these go into the bucket 
we are calling "ease of authoring" patterns because this bucket is 
targeted at the "transitional" XForms on-ramp concept in our charter for 
1.2.  We need a better name than the one we have, but I think it will be 
used to describe the overall release if the proposal below is acceptable.

2) User interface patterns.  A number of these seek to to capture what 
people are doing with sets of our form controls that interact together 
toward a common purpose. But some (like the wizard pattern), I think we do 
not know well enough to codify something useful, and it will take too long 
for 1.2 to figure it out. 

3) Composition patterns.  This has exciting stuff like nested models and 
external models.  It also has stuff which could be looked at as being 
other than composition, like the function definitions.

4) Modularization. This work seems inevitable in order to do the 
"simplification"/"transitional"/"on-ramp" work.

PROPOSAL: I propose that we drop the 'patterns' theme for XForms 1.2 and 
instead focus on the core charter mandate.  I don't have a great name for 
it yet, and I could use some help in this area.  But it's something more 
like "XForms 1.2: Streamlined for Web Application Authors" .


i) I don't think we need three subthemes.

ii) I think everything in our current "ease-of-authoring" bucket fits into 
this new theme.

iii) I think we have to do the switch/using construct because it is a bug 
fix to the language, and we still need to do some of those.  But the other 
"UI patterns" should be pushed off to 2.0 or later.

iv) I think that the "custom XPath functions" fits this theme, in part 
because the XPath function implementations could be provided by 
Javascript.  But otherwise, the composition patterns really need to be 
deferred to 2.0 (as much as it pains me to say that).

v) We really need to modularize what we have so that it can be made 
incrementally available to authors.  It fits the theme perfectly and will 
streamline our ability to add more to XForms in the future.

Please consider this carefully and provide your feedback as soon as 
possible, esp. those who sent regrets for next week's call.  We need your 
feedback this week if at all possible.

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: boyerj@ca.ibm.com 

Blog: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/blogs/page/JohnBoyer
Blog RSS feed: 
Received on Thursday, 14 February 2008 19:26:41 UTC

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