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forms hope

From: William Loughborough <love26@gorge.net>
Date: Fri, 21 Apr 2000 11:57:58 -0700
Message-ID: <3900A4B6.37BC3BF6@gorge.net>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Dave Raggett gave permission to post this (rather lengthy) quote about
some work that is going on at W3C which could have a salubrious effect
on the rather bleak outlook for accessibility when forms are used on the


The data model captures the essence of a form, separating this
off from the presentation. The aim is to allow the same data
model to be used for widely differing presentations, e.g.
pure voice interaction on a telephone, visual interaction on
a handheld, and on the richer environment of desktop systems.

The captions for form fields vary according to the modality used
to interact with them (e.g. speech or GUI). The captions also vary
according to the human language being used. For these reasons the
captions are part of the presentation and not part of the data
model. As a result, we still need to make sure that the markup
used for the presentation satisfies accessibility requirements.

Work on presentation for XForms is still at a very early stage, but
my feeling is that it should practical to do a much better job than
HTML, greatly reducing the need for scripting and for nested tables
etc. for layout.

I anticipate a staged introduction of support for XForms:

 a) the use of XForms datamodels in Web servers to simplify
    validation of forms and providing the means to map data
    submitted from existing browsers into an XML representation

 b) the use of XForms in browsers to reduce the need for
    scripting, while allowing people to continue to use the
    existing HTML forms markup and submit mechanisms

 c) the introduction of browsers that support the XForms user
    interface to offer richer forms at reduced effort


-- Dave Raggett <dsr@w3.org> http://www.w3.org/People/Raggett
tel/fax: +44 122 578 3011 (or 2521) +44 778 532 0444 (mobile)
World Wide Web Consortium (on assignment from HP Labs)

Received on Friday, 21 April 2000 14:58:53 UTC

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