[whatwg] WebForms vs XForms
ian at hixie.ch
Mon Jan 10 07:02:13 PST 2005
On Tue, 4 Jan 2005, Jon Ferraiolo wrote:
> 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
Web Forms 2 normatively references one appendix from XForms, too, so it's
longer than it looks! ;-) It is also merely an extension of HTML4, so the
whole of HTML4 (and DOM2 HTML) should be included in the calculation as
well. Although I suppose then one might then argue that XPath and XML
Schema should be included in the count for XForms.
Web Forms 2.0 is mostly stable now. I wouldn't expect much change in size
> 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.
There certainly is some level in which Web Forms 2 competes with XForms,
yes. However, they are also quite different in important ways -- WF2 is
focused on backwards compatibility, while XForms is focused on expressing
constraints declaratively. Naturally, this has led to very different
specifications, with different (if overlapping) feature sets.
> 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?
XForms lacks backwards compatibility with existing content. That's the
> 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.
Hopefully XForms will indeed be successful. If anything, maybe Web Forms 2
can help with the migration (as described in WF2, section 1.5 ). Web
Forms 2 merely addresses the demand from authors to improve HTML as a
stopgap measure while WinIE6 is still so prevalent that authors feel they
must write content that works in default installs of that browser.
Ian Hickson U+1047E )\._.,--....,'``. fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/ U+263A /, _.. \ _\ ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer. `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
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