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Paul Merrell

Fight over 'forms' clouds future of Net applications | Pagalz.com - Blog - 0 views

  • As Net heavyweights vie to define the next generation of Web applications, the Web’s main standards body is facing a revolt within its own ranks over electronic forms, a cornerstone of interactive documents.
  • “The W3C is saying the answer is XForms. Microsoft is saying it’s XAML. Macromedia is saying its Flash MX. And Mozilla is saying it’s XUL.
  • Though the success of one method or another might not seem to make much difference to the person filling out an order form, the fate of open standards in the process could determine whether that form can relay the data it collects to any standards-compliant database or banking system, or whether it can only operate within certain proprietary systems. The fate of a standard could also determine whether the order form could be accessed in any standards-compliant Web browser, or if it would be available only to users of a particular operating system–an outcome that has browser makers and others worried about the role of Microsoft.
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  • browser makers still want a standards-based forms technology to help the Web steer clear of proprietary application platforms. They’re particularly concerned about Microsoft’s sprawling vision for Windows “Longhorn” applications built in the XML-based XAML markup language using Longhorn’s Avalon graphics system. Browsers like Mozilla Firefox, Opera and Apple’s Safari will be useless to access these Internet-based Windows applications.
  • “The WHAT approach works OK for small examples,” Pemberton said. “But actors like the Department of Defense say ‘no scripting.’”
  • HAT approach works OK for small examples,” Pemberton said. “But actors like the Department of Defense say ‘no scripting.’”
  • The evolution versus revolution debate over forms centers on the use of scripting–specifically JavaScript–to perform important tasks in forms-based applications.
  • “I understand where WHAT is coming from, but they are browser makers, not forms experts,” Pemberton said. “It is important to build something that is future-proof and not a Band-Aid solution. Forms (technology) is the basis of the e-commerce revolution and so it is important to do it right.”
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