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RE: A rose by any other name...

From: Rafael Benito <rbenito@satec.es>
Date: Fri, 25 Jan 2008 15:26:01 +0100
To: "'John Boyer'" <boyerj@ca.ibm.com>, "'Forms WG \(new\)'" <public-forms@w3.org>
Message-ID: <002701c85f5e$35a35400$2820a4d5@int.satec.es>
We also were attracted to Xforms because we think that this technology
allows to build UI interfaces for interactive applications with the
advantages of a markup language and without the disadvantages of HTML,
clearly inappropriate for mobile interactive applications.
As you know, our solution -DataMovil- is a standalone solution with a
minimal host language. Xforms is a restrictive name for the technology but,
on the other hand, the convenience to change the name now is not clear to
me. I'd like to keep both, a new name and the current one, but I do not know
whether it is possible to manage such a thing. The problem would be to lose
part of the traction Xforms has today, e.g. Yahoo announcement or others.
Some new names that come to my mind are RXA (Rich XML applications), RXC
(Rich XML Client), XMLA (XML applications) or others...
Best regards,


De: public-forms-request@w3.org [mailto:public-forms-request@w3.org] En
nombre de John Boyer
Enviado el: viernes, 25 de enero de 2008 1:36
Para: Forms WG (new)
Asunto: A rose by any other name...

In some ways it's too bad that the need for dynamic, interactive XML
applications arose first in the web forms space. 

One reason is that we called it XForms, and it has always been a challenge
to get people excited about forms.  They have too many pre-conceived notions
about the uses and limitations of forms technology based on their prior
experiences with older technologies for delivering forms.  Whether purely
instantiated with paper, or whether it's a print and fill or even a fill and
print system, or an old html form, the dynamism of what we do today seems to
me qualitatively different than what is done with those other technologies. 

It's a little like comparing a bicycle and a car on the basis that both
involve the use of wheels to get you from point A to point B.  Bit of a
stretch, don't you think? 

Similarly, calling our dynamic interactive XML applications "XForms" because
forms collect data is also a bit of a stretch.  The word "form" just doesn't
evoke the full measure of business process enablement of which so-called
"XForms" are capable.  Whether you ascribe to the more ephemeral view in
which an XForm serves as the intelligent front-end face of the business
process, or whether you subscribe to the philosophy of the intelligent
document as the fundamental unit of information interchange in a business
process, the simple fact remains that calling our information processing
assets "forms" is about as informative as trying to sell "plants" when you
mean to sell roses.  The rose does smell just as sweet no matter what you
call it, but if you call it a plant, you won't attract as many customers. 

So, isn't it time for the name XForms (plant) to be changed to something
more reflective of what XForms is (a rose)? 

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 Friday, 25 January 2008 14:26:26 UTC

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