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News Release, Testimonials: World Wide Web Consortium Issues XForms 1.0 as a W3C Recommendation

From: Janet Daly <janet@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 14 Oct 2003 07:13:53 -0700
Message-ID: <3F8C04A1.6060400@w3.org>
To: w3c-news <w3c-news@w3.org>

Today, W3C releases the first open standard for Forms on the Web in more
than 10 years.

"W3C's XForms gives authors more power and flexibility while improving
the user experience," explained Steven Pemberton, Chair of the W3C
XForms Working Group. "The XForms Working Group has provided a model
that makes it easy for implementors to develop and reuse form
components, integrate them into Web services, and deliver functionality
to users and devices previously not possible."

For more information and contacts with XForms implementors, please
contact Janet Daly, W3C, at +1 617 253 5884 <janet@w3.org>.


World Wide Web Consortium Publishes XForms 1.0 as a W3C Recommendation
W3C's Next-Generation Forms Technology Ready to Use

Contact Americas, Australia --
     Janet Daly, <janet@w3.org>, +1.617.253.5884 or +1.617.253.2613
Contact Europe --
     Marie-Claire Forgue, <mcf@w3.org>, +33.492.38.75.94
Contact Asia --
     Yasuyuki Hirakawa <chibao@w3.org>, +81.466.49.1170

Web Resources

This press release
	in English:
	in French:
	in Japanese:

Testimonials from CWI, Cardiff Software, Chibacon, HUT, IBM, Mozquito,
Novell, Origo Services, PureEdge Solutions, SAP, Sun Microsystems, U.S.
CIO Council and x-port.net:

XForms for HTML Authors: A guide

Ten Favorite XForms Engines

http://www.w3.org/ — 14 October 2003 — The World Wide Web Consortium
(W3C) announces the release of the XForms 1.0 Recommendation. XForms 1.0
is the foundation for next-generation Web-based forms, combining the
ability to separate purpose, presentation, and results with the
Extensible Markup Language (XML).

A W3C Recommendation is the equivalent of a Web standard, indicating
that this W3C-developed specification is stable, contributes to Web
interoperability, and has been reviewed by the W3C Membership, who favor
its adoption by the industry.

After 10 Years, It's Time to Upgrade Forms on the Web

When HTML forms were introduced to the Web in 1993, they provided a
means to gather information and perform transactions. The structure of
forms served the needs of many users at that time, as well as the
devices used to access the Web.

Now, 10 years later, the original HTML form design is showing its
limitations. Users now wish to access the Web through cell phones,
handheld devices, and assistive technologies such as screen readers, and
authors need more functionality based on their experience with HTML
forms and non-Web-based forms technologies. Forms authors are looking to
both minimize scripting and maximize reuse of form components, as well
as cleanly separate the purpose, presentation and results of a form. And
of course, companies which have made the move to XML are looking for
ways to integrate forms into their business processes.

"W3C's XForms gives authors more power and flexibility while improving
the user experience," explained Steven Pemberton, Chair of the W3C
XForms Working Group. "The XForms Working Group has provided a model
that makes it easy for implementors to develop and reuse form
components, integrate them into Web services, and deliver functionality
to users and devices previously not possible."

XForms Cleanly Separates Purpose, Presentation, and Results

In contrast to HTML forms, in which functional and presentation markup
are intertwined, XForms lets forms authors distinguish the descriptions
of the purpose of the form; the presentation of the form, and how the
results (the instance data) are written in XML.

By splitting traditional HTML forms into three parts—XForms model,
instance data, and the XForms user interface—XForms cleanly separates
presentation from content. This separation brings new advantages:

     * Reuse: XForms modules can be reused independently of the
information they collect
     * Device independence: user interface controls are abstract—that
is, their generic features are the only thing indicated—so they can
easily be delivered to different devices with different capabilities
     * Accessibility: separation of presentation from content leaves
information more readily available for users of assistive technologies;
in addition, the user interface controls encapsulate all relevant
metadata such as labels, thereby enhancing accessibility of the
application when using different modalities.

Practically speaking, XForms technologies make it possible to deliver
the same form to a PDA, a cell phone, screen reader or conventional
desktop machine—without loss of functionality for the end user.
XForms Aids the Author and Improves the User Experience

XForms allows authors to specify properties of, and relationships
between, values being collected, for instance that a particular field
must be an email address, that the total amount field is the sum of the
individual line items, or that the credit card number isn't required if
payment is by cash. These are specified using simple properties such as
saying a field is 'required', or by giving the type of the field, rather
than using the extensive scripting that was necessary in traditional
HTML forms.

This means that the user experience is greatly improved, since the
browser can always warn the user of any incorrectly filled fields before
the form is submitted.

XForms Delivers the Power of XML to Online Forms

XML is at the core of the XForms model, and delivers key advantages to
the XForms technology:

     * Data received from an XForm is already strongly typed,
well-formed, easy to validate, and process—in other words, it is XML.
     * Using XML 1.0 for the description of results—called 'instance
data'—ensures that the submitted data may be easily internationalized.
     * XForms may be used to 'edit' any XML document.
     * Existing XML schemas from business processes may easily be used
for the validation of instance data.
     * XML schemas may be reused across XForms, helping keep sets of
forms up to date and consistent.
     * XForms can talk to Web services, finally integrating the user
into the Web services process.

Moreover, XForms, while initially designed to be integrated into XHTML,
may be adopted by any suitable markup language, such as Scalable Vector
Graphics (SVG). XForms uses XML Events, another W3C technology being
released today, to define XML-based declarative event handlers that
cover common use cases, so that the majority of XForms documents can be
statically analyzed, reducing the need for complicated scripting for
event handlers.
XForms Already Widely Implemented

No W3C specification has been so widely implemented so early in its life
cycle as XForms. Current implementations can deliver the same form to a
variety of devices, including cell phones, PDAs, voice browsers, PCs,
and even using instant messenger clients. Some large user communities
are emerging, in particular the United Kingdom e-government
interoperability framework says "current guidance is to use the XForms
1.0 standards as defined by W3C" (page 14 of this document).

XForms Basic, the mobile profile of XForms which allows XForms to be
implemented natively on mobile devices, is currently a W3C Candidate
Recommendation. It is expected to become a Recommendation when an mobile
implementation passes the XForms test suite.

XForms Working Group Includes Industry Leaders

In the competitive field of forms technology, it's almost unheard of to
have so many leading participants working together on the development of
a standardized technology to be used by all. The W3C XForms Working
Group serves as the place where these technology and industry leaders
meet to produce results that have immediate use on the Web today. The
XForms Working Group includes W3C Members and invited experts from
Adobe; CWI; Cardiff; Helsinki University of Technology; IBM; Mozquito
Technologies; Novell; Oracle Corporation; Origo Services; PureEdge; SAP;
Sun Microsystems; and x-port.net Ltd.


Testimonials for W3C's XForms 1.0 Recommendation
These testimonials are in support of W3C's XForms 1.0 Recommendation.

CWI | Cardiff Software | Chibacon | HUT | IBM | Mozquito | Novell |
Origo Services | PureEdge Solutions | SAP | Sun Microsystems | U.S. CIO
Council | x-port.net

As the first non-military Internet site in Europe, CWI has always
strived to be at the forefront of Internet technology, and our
involvement with HTML, CSS, XHTML, SMIL and XForms is part of that aim.
We see the release of XForms 1.0 as one of the most important
developments on the Web, offering as it does advantages for both users
and machines, by improving the user experience on the one hand, and by
integrating XML and forms on the other.

-- Jan Karel Lenstra, General Director, CWI (the Dutch National Research
Institute for Mathematics and Informatics)

Cardiff has always been a supporter of open standards, so we're very
pleased to see XForms 1.0 reach the milestone of W3C Recommendation. As
it stands, the specification is an excellent balance of power and
simplicity, and it provides a compelling alternative to less open

-- Micah Dubinko, Chief XML Architect, Cardiff Software Inc.

Chibacon is pleased that the XForms specification has been approved as a
W3C Recommendation and congratulates the Working Group for their
excellent work. It's our belief that XForms has the potential to become
one of the most important XML languages especially for the advancement
of lighweight client technologies and the evolution of the World Wide
Web. The Chiba project offers a free and open source Java implementation
which may be integrated in a variety of architectures. Our server-side
approach allows to use XForms right away without the need of specialized
browsers. Chibacon provides expertise to put XForms/Chiba into practice
and is proud to take part in the development of this exciting new

-- Joern Turner, Chief Executive Officer, Chibacon

XForms 1.0 getting a recommendation status is an extremely important
step for the future of the Web. XForms ties together the XML data, logic
and presentation in a well-defined layered manner. We believe that while
the XForms recommendation will benefit everybody, the end user will
benefit the most from the enhanced form filling experience. HUT has
participated in the XForms working group for more than 2 years and has
produced one of the first full XForms implementations in the X-Smiles
XML browser, and will continue to support XForms also in the future.

-- Professor Petri Vuorimaa, Head of TML laboratory, Helsinki University
of Technology, Finland

XForms --- XML Powered Web Forms --- is key to ensuring that electronic
Web transactions can be carried out in an open, interoperable manner. As
one of the editors of the XForms specification, IBM is very pleased to
see XForms become a W3C Recommendation. XForms brings the power of XML
to HTML forms. It builds on the success of HTML Forms to changed how
companies and individuals do business on the Web. XForms is key to
realizing the vision of a future where people can access information
online on any device--and do everything from shopping and banking to
checking their e-mail or calendar. Using XForms, customers can ensure
increased accessibility of electronic web transactions. The XForms
Recommendation is an important step toward establishing a true
electronic forms standard, which IBM supports as a necessity for
cross-industry interoperability.

-- Rod Smith, IBM Fellow, VP of Emerging Technologies, IBM

As a founding member of the XForms Working Group, Mozquito is pleased to
see the completion of XForms as a W3C Recommendation. We believe that
XForms is the most significant web technology ever since HTML and XML
itself. XForms allows for a truly interactive, bi-directional Web of
Applications, boosting structured interchange of information world-wide.
This infrastructure standard significantly lowers development costs and
total cost of ownership across all vertical, service and
application-oriented web products - from e-commerce to e-goverment,
e-finance to personal web communication. Mozquito is honoured to have
helped the W3C in its development on XForms both thru a series of XForms
implementations at various stages of the specification as well as by
serving as co-chair of the Working Group. Mozquito DENG is Mozquito's
latest, zero-install, browser-based XForms implementation based on
experience from years of XForms deployment in mission-critical web

-- Sebastian Schnitzenbaumer, Founder, Mozquito

The release of the XForms 1.0 Recommendation is a significant milestone
in the development of rich Web applications. XForms is the ideal
front-end technology to Web Services and a crucial part of Novell's
strategy for enabling rapid development and deployment of sophisticated
Services-oriented applications. With Novell exteNd 5, currently in beta,
we deliver drag-and-drop tools based on XForms that dramatically reduce
coding effort and enable developers at all skill levels to visually
create business critical applications. Novell's commitment to XForms is
evident from the use of XForms as a key part of exteNd's architecture
and our active participation in the XForms Working Group in defining
such a landmark Web standard.

-- David Litwack, Senior Vice President, Novell's Web Services platform

To fully implement e-commerce in the financial services marketplace, it
is vital to have open, heavyweight forms technology that supports
complex use cases, such as those we have when applying for financial
products. In anticipation of the widespread adoption of Forms
technology, Origo started to evaluate the available solutions, such as
DHTML+Script and various proprietary solutions, five years ago. None of
these solutions met our most important requirements: separation of
presentation and content, modular development, re-use of existing XML
assets, distributed business rules, write once deploy anywhere; so we
took the step of developing an in-house forms mark-up language. This was
an unusual step for a "user community", but clearly demonstrates the
fundamental need for such a technology in the financial services
industry. Origo's intention has always been to migrate to an open
standard as soon as one became available. Over the years we've watched
XForms develop with interest and have become actively involved over the
last 12 months. We are confident that XForms is the open standard that
we, and many other verticals, have been waiting for.

-- Paul Pettitt, Managing Director, Origo Services Limited

As a founding member of the W3C's XForms Working Group, PureEdge
Solutions is pleased that XForms 1.0 has become a W3C Recommendation,
and we're honored to have co-authored XForms 1.0. PureEdge was the first
to develop a secure and dynamic XML forms language, named XFDL, which
has historically helped to shape open standards related to XML Forms and
Digital Signatures in XML.
XForms 1.0 provides a standard for representing an XML form's baseline
functionality that will become foundational to the delivery of next
generation Web applications and business process automation systems. By
transforming XFDL into a host language for XForms, PureEdge will be able
to combine the interoperability and standardized behaviors of XForms
with the sophisticated processing capabilities and security features of
XFDL. PureEdge looks forward to the widespread adoption of XForms 1.0
and to taking a lead role in future versions of XForms.

-- John M. Boyer, Ph.D., Senior Product Architect/Research Scientist,
PureEdge Solutions Inc.

SAP congratulates the W3C on the maturation of XForms 1.0 as a W3C
Recommendation. SAP welcomes the potential help Xforms will provide the
enterprise developer by designating a clear separation between layout
and content. Reducing the need for traditional scripting will allow a
more modular development of Web applications, resulting in a more
interactive user experience. This is in line with SAP's strategy for
model driven user interface development. SAP continues to actively
collaborate with the W3C membership on the future development of XForms.

-- Franz Josef Fritz, Vice President of Open Standards, SAP

Sun Microsystems welcomes the approval of XForms as a W3C
Recommendation. We believe that W3C XForms will take an important role
in realizing Sun's vision of open XML standards for a heterogeneous web
of devices ranging from cell phones and PDAs to modern desktops. XForms
is an enabling technology for replacing paper-based form work-flows with
open, web-service based electronic forms solutions, and is poised to
become the premier means for structured XML data entry. To continue
Sun's strategy of empowering customers through open desktop and server
solutions, future versions of StarOfficeTM software aim to support
XForms based XML data entry. Supporting XForms will enhance StarOffice
software's lead role in bringing open XML formats to the corporate desktop.

-- Curtis Sasaki, VP of Engineering, Desktop Solutions, Sun
Microsystems, Inc.

In light of the October 2003 deadline for U.S. Federal Agencies to
comply with the mandate of the Government Paperwork Elimination Act
(GPEA) to give citizens the opportunity to provide information online,
the maturation of XForms as a W3C Recommendation comes none too soon. It
has been suggested that XForms provides the 'last mile [in] connecting
users to their data' and it has been observed that 'the document is the
[human] interface' to data. Unless the latter point is understood and
until the former point is realized in working applications, the
challenge to make eGov services 'citizen-centered' simply cannot and
will not be met.

-- Owen Ambur Cofounder & Co-chair XML Working Group, U.S. CIO Council

A small number of far-sighted people have spent over four years working
hard on the XForms standard, and it is great to see their vision come to
fruition. x-port are pleased to have been involved in the standard and
are proud of the contribution that our software, formsPlayer, has made
to the standard's progress. We believe that not only will web forms
never be the same again, but applications too; XForms makes possible a
whole new generation of rich-client applications that will take the
internet to a completely new level.

-- Mark Birbeck, CEO and CTO, x-port.net Ltd.
About the World Wide Web Consortium [W3C]

The W3C was created to lead the Web to its full potential by developing
common protocols that promote its evolution and ensure its
interoperability. It is an international industry consortium jointly run
by MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (MIT
CSAIL) in the USA, the European Research Consortium for Informatics and
Mathematics (ERCIM) headquartered in France, and Keio University in
Japan. Services provided by the Consortium include: a repository of
information about the World Wide Web for developers and users, and
various prototype and sample applications to demonstrate use of new
technology. To date, nearly 400 organizations are Members of the
Consortium. For more information see http://www.w3.org/

Received on Tuesday, 14 October 2003 10:16:33 UTC

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