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Re: XForms VS HTML 5 forms

From: Saad Mansour <me.smansour@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 3 Feb 2015 11:58:55 +0200
Message-ID: <CAPZTadC=G8OXe7qB_J1J3+YVi=H8S=e+FOy+1Bbg1d4z92W4=Q@mail.gmail.com>
To: Erik Bruchez <erik@bruchez.org>
Cc: "public-xformsusers@w3.org" <public-xformsusers@w3.org>
Dear Erik,

Really appreciate you detailed and fast answer,

I would like to know more about the following:

1- Since web browsers and mobile operating systems don't support XForms
natively, so we have to convert the XForm to HTML 5 or to use an engine to
do that. I wonder that the XForms support more complex forms on the other
hand we have to convert it to HTML, so why don’t start with HTML?

2- Is there are free engine to convert or run XForms in mobile and browser,
but how we will handle the validations and etc (I think it is better to
write our converter)?

3- You said that in HTML we have to use a lot of javascript while in XForms
side there are implementations provide extensions, custom UI components.
Please, can you explain to me how XFroms provides that or give examples?

4- How XFroms provide more submission capabilities than HTML?

Waiting you kindly response,


On Tue, Jan 27, 2015 at 8:12 AM, Erik Bruchez <erik@bruchez.org> wrote:

> Saad,
> > We are planning to build a web forms designer that support building of
> > survey complex forms. We are comparing XFroms and HTML5 Froms. Which is
> the
> > best forms format to use that can support the following:
> I think you are asking a hard question. A few comments:
> 1. There is HTML forms and XForms as abstract specifications, and then
> HTML forms and XForms as available implementations. Clearly, by a very
> long shot, HTML forms implementations are more widespread (any web
> browser supports them). XForms on the other hand has a small number of
> implementations.
> 2. I work on a form runtime and designer (Orbeon Forms / Orbeon Forms
> Builder, see http://www.orbeon.com/), and we chose, years ago, XForms
> as underlying the format to represent the forms. This made sense (and
> still does) because XForms is more rich, declarative, and based on a
> MVC architecture, and representing data as XML made sense for us. HTML
> forms have none of this.
> 3. XForms decidedly works with XML technologies: the markup and data
> model use XML; bindings, validation, and actions use XPath; there is
> support for XML Schema datatypes; and I probably forget some! There is
> support for JSON in XForms 2 though.
> 4. With XForms need a runtime (or processor, or engine), whether
> implemented in JavaScript, as a native mobile app, server-side, or as
> a combination of those, because web browsers and mobile operating
> systems don't support XForms natively.
> 5. HTML forms are rarely used plainly nowadays: programmers implement
> user interfaces with HTML forms but also a large amount of JavaScript,
> custom widgets, and the help of client-side MVC frameworks (see
> http://todomvc.com/ for some fun). Something similar is done on the
> XForms side. Implementations provide extensions, custom UI components,
> you name it. So it is hard to compare plain, raw XForms vs. plain, raw
> HTML. There is much more to forms than this in practice.
> Some answers to your questions:
> > Web and Mobile data entry.
> Hard to say.
> > Design of complex forms.
> I would say that XForms wins here vs. plain HTML forms.
> > In case of HTML5, supports reading XFroms.
> HTML 5 does not support reading XForms. However an XForms
> processor/engine can translate XForms into HTML forms plus a runtime
> (JavaScript or other).
> > Integration with other systems and databases.
> This is covered neither by HTML forms nor by XForms, except that both
> support submitting data one way or the other. HTML forms has limited
> submissions capabilities, XForms has more in this respect (XForms
> submissions), and is closer to what you can do with JavaScript and
> XHR.
> > Less time to develop a web forms designer (not from scratch).
> Very hard to say.
> > Web browsers support.
> No web browser supports XForms natively or probably ever will. But
> implementations like XSLTForms run on the client, and others as hybrid
> client/server runtime.
> > Future support for the technology.
> > Please, be honest, I feel like XForms is lo longer supported and
> everybody
> > is moving to HTML 5 forms.
> Clearly HTML forms will be here for a long time. XForms's future is
> much less clear.
> I don't think people are particularly *moving* to HTML forms: HTML
> forms have always been in massive use. But it is true that the hopes
> one might have had of widespread XForms support on the web have
> dimmed, even as the technologies to implement XForms in web browser
> using JavaScript, Ajax, web components, and more have become
> available.
> -Erik
Received on Tuesday, 3 February 2015 10:04:57 UTC

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