Re: Naming the forms/attribute technology [was Re: Discussion points for "Forms-A"]

Hi Mark (and Charlie),

Yes, as soon as your mail arrived, I did the same thing with Google and 
came to the conclusion that the dash has just got to go.

Regarding whether it is called "FormsA" or "XFormsA" or "WebFormsA", I 
won't focus on the XForms part because it seems unnecessary right now 
(though I can expand on the point Charlie made later if needed).

It really does need to be called "WebFormsA" and not just "FormsA" though.

The reason can be found in our charter here:

It's really important to read the thing.  Our *mission* statement says we 
will "develop specifications to cover forms *on the web*".  There is no 
artificial injection of "web" here. 

XForms is a technology that does seek to address the issue of forms on the 
web, though its element-based approach has hampered its adoption into 
non-XML documents.   The new attribute-based approach is taking a page 
from the likes of RDFa to allow us to apply the technological architecture 
and processing model we have developed originally in XForms into a broader 
class of web forms applications. 

It is also a matter of strategic positioning, not a technical issue, that 
drives us here.  The creative destruction engine is alive and well in the 
W3C, and we have to adapt.  There is no W3C process that describes what is 
currently happening in the W3C, but we're stuck with it anyway.  And 
what's happening is that there has been a major rift that we are 
attempting to mend via this approach.  We need this thing to get adopted 
and for progress to be made on it with the HTML WG.  It needs to become 
the new thing that represents the blending or merging of thinking from 
XForms and Web Forms 2.  For this reason, too, it needs to be called 
something like "Web Forms A" or "WebFormsA".

Everyone gets to declare victory on mending the rift at the moment that 
WebFormsA either becomes the new Web Forms 2.0 or becomes the foundation 
upon which the remaining parts of Web Forms 2.0 become based.  At that 
point, we have a forms technology that is architecturally aligned with 
scaling up to the XForms element modules but that is also compatible with 
a softer, easier and more incremental adoption into straight HTML.

John M. Boyer, Ph.D.
STSM, Interactive Documents and Web 2.0 Applications
Chair, W3C Forms Working Group
Workplace, Portal and Collaboration Software
IBM Victoria Software Lab

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"Mark Birbeck" <>
"Charles F Wiecha" <>
John Boyer/CanWest/IBM@IBMCA,,
10/27/2008 09:51 AM
Re: Naming the forms/attribute technology [was Re: Discussion points for 

Hi Charlie,

> Well, we're the Forms WG and I had thought it was kind of a nice 
> that we have two specs which derive from the "Forms" name -- one is the
> XML-centric version (XForms) and the other is the Attribute-centric 
> (Forms-A).

Fair enough...I see that, now. :)

> I'm happy to go either way in terms of the hyphens etc but keeping this
> focused on variations on the term "Forms" seems kind of nice...Charlie

I think the hyphen thing is pretty important. A search for Forms-A in
Google is much the same as a search for "Forms A". I'm hearing phrases
like "encouraging adoption", so it would be quite nice to not make
this any more difficult than it needs to be. ;)



Mark Birbeck, webBackplane

webBackplane is a trading name of Backplane Ltd. (company number
05972288, registered office: 2nd Floor, 69/85 Tabernacle Street,
London, EC2A 4RR)

Received on Monday, 27 October 2008 17:14:34 UTC