[whatwg] Comparison of XForms-Tiny and WF2

Matthew Raymond mattraymond at earthlink.net
Mon Jan 22 19:03:14 PST 2007

Dave Raggett wrote:
> From your comments, you seem to be very confident of your scripting 
> skills, [...]

   Not really. It may be the case that others could code the same kind
of scripting in a clearer and more compact form.

> [...] and would have no problem in emulating my examples on top of
> WF2. However, having to write and debug a new script for each new 
> page soon gets tedious. Declarative approaches are much easier to 
> write and much better suited as a target for authoring tools.

   It would not surprise me if that was the case. You simply haven't
convinced me that these features can't be part of a superset of WF2 as
opposed to being part of a competing specification. Nor have you
convinced me of the harm of adding a few additional events and improving
the DOM to make the traditional scripting of forms easier. The two
models are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

   Also, it isn't impossible to use simple formulas within scripts:

| <output name="sum" onforminput="value=Calculate('x+y')">0</output>

> The declarative nature 
> of the type, min, max, step, required, relevant, pattern, validate 
> and calculate attributes in XForms-Tiny also makes it practical to 
> automatically generate server side scripts for validating submitted 
> data, which you would otherwise have to write separately from the 
> client side code, with all the risks that that entails.

   I'm not following you here at all. For security purposes, you must
assume that data from the client has been potentially altered as a form
of exploit. Therefore, I fail to see how you can rely on client-side
code or markup to make validation on the server easier. In fact, it's
not uncommon to see people create their own interfaces for a server-side
script (in web pages, plug-ins and even in the user agent UI), so
there's the potential for non-XForms-Lite clients submitting invalid
data even when it's purely unintentional.

> The current implementation of XForms-Tiny is just a snap shot, and I 
> am working on incorporating more of the great ideas in WF2. The 
> specification will be elaborated on the W3C Forms wiki over the next 
> month or so, as a precursor to a W3C Working Draft.

   Explain to me why Web Forms 2.0 shouldn't be "incorporating more of
the great ideas" in XForms-Tiny rather than the other way around. Why is
your approach to cannibalize an existing W3C working draft to enrich a
draft you haven't even finished yet? What, in your opinion, makes WF2

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