Architectural Consistency Requirements for Forms

Last night, I discussed with John Boyer and others the meaning of the  
architectural consistency goal for HTML Forms and XForms. Here was  
John's first cut at a list of requirements. I think these are a fine  
starting point as a set of architectural consistency requirements;  
perhaps the Forms Task Force can refine them further. My expectation  
is that both the next version of HTML Forms and the next version of  
XForms should satisfy a list of requirements along these lines.

I'm quoting him directly, but these probably want wording clean-up if  
they are to be used as a starting point.

It was suggested to me by others that Web Forms 2 (our current  
proposed starting point) may already satisfy some or all of these  
requirements, which would be good news for the possibility of meeting  
our architectural consistency goals. I would appreciate it if a Web  
Forms 2 expert (perhaps Ian or Anne) could address whether Web Forms  
2 satisfies any of these requirements, with examples.

1) I want a tag set that means the same thing whether it is  
serialized as XML or not

2) I want a tag set that maps to data model constructs in the XForms  
architecture where appropriate

3) I can see there is a desire to attach data model properties to UI  
controls; fine, so let the names of the UI controls suggest the data  
model... and let the hierarchic structure of the UI suggest the  
structure of the data... and let the properties defined on those  
controls suggest properties on the data.

4) It should be possible to submit the suggested data as XML, and to  
indicate either receipt of a new replacement document or a new data

5) It should be really easy to grow or shrink "repeated" data (as  
expressed by repeated controls)

6) it should be easy to receive prepop data for things that repeat  
and yet still have a way to add new "rows" that are empty

7) It should be possible to delete until a repeating construct is  
empty and then be able to insert to get an empty one row "Table"

8) It should be possible to express relevance, readonlyness,  
datatype, constraints on value, and calculated value

This is a great set of requirements because it is all about  
functionality, rather than syntax, allowing us to design HTML forms  
to provide features to satisfy these, but using syntax that is  
backwards compatible and degrades gracefully.

John mentioned that these thoughts were off the cuff, and he may have  
forgotten some important points. I would appreciate it if XForms experts


Received on Thursday, 3 May 2007 17:24:55 UTC