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Paul Merrell

XForms for HTML: W3C Working Draft 19 December 2008 - 0 views

  • AbstractXForms for HTML provides a set of attributes and script methods that can be used by the tags or elements of an HTML or XHTML web page to simplify the integration of data-intensive interactive processing capabilities from XForms. The semantics of the attributes are mapped to the rich XForms model-view-controller-connector architecture, thereby allowing web application authors a smoother, selective migration path to the higher-order behaviors available from the full element markup available in modules of XForms.
  • This document describes XForms for HTML, which provides a set of attributes and script methods encompassing a useful subset of XForms functionality and mapping that functionality to syntactic constructs that are familiar to authors of HTML and XHTML web pages. The intent of this module is to simplify the means by which web page authors gain access to the rich functionality available from the hybrid execution model of XForms, which combines declarative constructs with event-driven imperative processing. These attributes and script methods increase the initial consumability of XForms by allowing injection of rich semantics directly into the host language markup. In turn, the behaviors of the attributes and script methods are mapped to the XForms model-view-controller-connector architecture so that applications manifest behaviors consistent with having used XForms markup elements. This allows authors to gradually address greater application complexity as it arises in the software lifecycle by opportunistically, i.e. as the need arises, switching from the attributes and script methods of this specification to the corresponding XForms markup elements. This gradual adoption strategy is being further supported by the modularization of XForms into components that can be consumed incrementally by authors and implementers.
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.”
Paul Merrell

Sir Tim Berners-Lee on 'Reinventing HTML' - 0 views

    • Paul Merrell
       
      Berners-Lee gives the obligaotry lip service to participation of "other stakeholders" but the stark reality is that W3C is the captive of the major browser developers. One may still credit W3C staff and Berners-Lee for what they have accomplished despite that reality, but in an organization that sells votes the needs of "other stakeholders" will always be neglected.
  • Some things are clearer with hindsight of several years. It is necessary to evolve HTML incrementally. The attempt to get the world to switch to XML, including quotes around attribute values and slashes in empty tags and namespaces all at once didn't work. The large HTML-generating public did not move, largely because the browsers didn't complain. Some large communities did shift and are enjoying the fruits of well-formed systems, but not all. It is important to maintain HTML incrementally, as well as continuing a transition to well-formed world, and developing more power in that world.
  • The plan is, informed by Webforms, to extend HTML forms. At the same time, there is a work item to look at how HTML forms (existing and extended) can be thought of as XForm equivalents, to allow an easy escalation path. A goal would be to have an HTML forms language which is a superset of the existing HTML language, and a subset of a XForms language wit added HTML compatibility.
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  • There will be no dependency of HTML work on the XHTML2 work.
    • Paul Merrell
       
      He just confirms that that incremental migration from HTML forms to XForms is entirely a pie-in-the-sky aspiration, not a plan.
  • This is going to be a very major collaboration on a very important spec, one of the crown jewels of web technology. Even though hundreds of people will be involved, we are evolving the technology which millions going on billions will use in the future. There won't seem like enough thankyous to go around some days.
    • Paul Merrell
       
      Perhaps a political reality. But I am 62 years old, have had three major heart attacks, and am still smoking cigarettes. I would like to experience interoperable web apps before I die. What does the incremental strategy do for me? I would much prefer to see Berners-Lee raising his considerable voice and stature against the dominance of the browser developers at W3C.
    • Paul Merrell
       
      Bye-bye XForms.
    • Paul Merrell
       
      This is the precise reason the major browser developers must be brought to heel rather than being catered to with a standard that serves only the needs of the browser developers and not the need of users for interoperable web applications. CSS is in the web app page templates, not in the markup that can be exchanged by web apps. Why can't MediaWiki exchange page content with Drupal? It's because HTML really sucks biig time as a data exchange format. All the power is in the CSS site templates, not in what users can stick in HTML forms.
  • The perceived accountability of the HTML group has been an issue. Sometimes this was a departure from the W3C process, sometimes a sticking to it in principle, but not actually providing assurances to commenters. An issue was the formation of the breakaway WHAT WG, which attracted reviewers though it did not have a process or specific accountability measures itself.
  • Some things are very clear. It is really important to have real developers on the ground involved with the development of HTML. It is also really important to have browser makers intimately involved and committed. And also all the other stakeholders, including users and user companies and makers of related products.
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