[whatwg] Web Forms 2.0 submission to W3C

Håkon Wium Lie howcome at opera.com
Tue Apr 12 05:21:28 PDT 2005

Also sprach Olav Junker Kjær:

 > > It is the first step to working with the W3C to move the 
 > > development of the WHATWG specifications into the W3C fold, while keeping 
 > > the open nature of the WHATWG development process.
 > Thats cool, but isn't this going to delay the spec for years?

No. We're in discussions with W3C about how to best organize the work.
The traditional "idea -> workshop -> working group -> WD -> CR -> REC"
model may not be the best way forward. First, the specification is at
a more advanced stage than most submissions, and lots of people have
been reviewing it. Second, a healthy community (mostly consisting of
this mailing list) has already been established. W3C staff understands
these issues and have proposed some ideas for how to move forward that
are being discussed. I'm optimistic.

 > I actually agree with W3C that XForms is much more powerful and elegant 
 > that WF2, I just think that WF2 is interesting because it has a hope of 
 > being practically usable and used on the world wide web in the near 
 > future. Without this possibility, WF2 really hasn't much going for it 
 > compared to XForms. Or am I to pessimistic?

I think you're too pessimistic. There is an immense value in having
universally understood models on the web. HTML/CSS/JS/DOM are good
examples. The models are not perfect (otherwise we wouldn't be here),
but work quite well for an amazing number of use cases. Also, these
specifications offer a gentle learning curve which should not be
underestimated. Shifting to new models at this stage has enormous
costs associated with it.

The other point, which Ian has made repeatedly, is that a new model
also will be tainted by the time it's implemented and deployed,
Partial implementations, bugs, tag abuse -- all of this makes the
world a sub-optimal place and there is no reason to believe the next
model will be any better than what we're currently stuggling with.

Finally, just by looking at the markup of the calculator example, I
don't see WF2 being any less powerful or elegant:


Having said this, I belive WF2 and XForms can and will work together.
XForms will find good use on the server side; the model can capture
form semantics and do all sorts of data magic there. Clients will
continue to be DOM-centric in the future. I also think we will see
products that transform rich XForms into rich HTML forms. There are
some nice opportunities in this space.

              Håkon Wium Lie                          CTO °þe®ª
howcome at opera.com                  http://people.opera.com/howcome

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