[whatwg] WebForms vs XForms

Jon Ferraiolo jon.ferraiolo at adobe.com
Tue Jan 4 13:43:10 PST 2005

I haven't been following WebForms in the past few months, but when my 
colleague Bill McCoy told me that he has participated in this forum, I took 
a look.

I looked at the WebForms 2.0 spec and was surprised at its size. I created 
a PDF out of the WebForms spec and got 101 pages. In comparison, I created 
a PDF out of the XForms 1.0 spec and got 127 pages. Given that WebForms is 
still under development and XForms is approved, one would expect some 
further growth, making the size of the two specs about the same.

When I did a quick survey of features, I see major overlap. My conclusion 
is that WebForms to a large extent is simply just a competitive format with 
XForms. If you are going to add 100+ pages of incremental features to the 
browser world, of which a major portion has already been defined by the 
W3C, why not build from XForms, which is an approved standard (and which is 
going into Mozilla), versus building something similar but different? 
Perhaps Web Forms started out with the goal of doing something small as 
minor increments to existing HTML, but now it seems to have grown into a 
rather large beast of its own. Also, perhaps Web Forms started when XForms 
had little traction and therefore could be discounted, but in 2004 interest 
in XForms has picked up quite a bit.

Jon Ferraiolo
Adobe System, Inc.

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