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Microsoft May Bypass HTML Forms Issues

From: David Woolley <david@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
Date: Thu, 29 May 2003 21:44:18 +0100 (BST)
Message-Id: <200305292044.h4TKiJ806282@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

The MSDN news bulletin that came out today is promoting .NET based
forms, pointing out, with a reference to this, relatively old, paper
<http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=156555>, that HTML and web browsers
are not really suitable tools for creating data entry applications.

I actually agree that they are unsuitable, although there are some people
here who could do with learning that HTML and web browsers aren't a
solution to every problem.  However, the implication will be that
attempts to make web forms accessible will be neatly bypassed if
everyone starts using .NET instead.  There are also vendor lock in
and security issues, of course.  I think the .NET standard is supposed
to be open, but the Microsoft .NET tools have some anti-free software 
clauses in their licence contracts.

The MSDN bulletin and the article make good points about what is one
of the real reasons that, at least for intranet applications, HTML and
browsers are used, although I suspect their world view includes internet
as well as intranet use.  Basically, one of the main reasons for web 
applications is that they can be centrally maintained.  With a Visual
Basic application, someone has to go round and install it on every
machine, and may have to account for differences between the machines,
whereas, with HTML, the browser is centrally installed and scripting
and Java are downloaded on demand.  .NET attempts to address these
issues and therefore remove the justification for using web browsers.
Received on Thursday, 29 May 2003 16:52:53 UTC

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