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XForms Becomes Proposed Recommendation

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the xml-for-everyone-whether-they-like-it-or-not dept.

The Internet 247

leighklotz writes "The W3C has announced that XForms is now a Proposed Recommendation, after certification of one full implementation (open source Java XSmiles from Finland) and two more implementations of each feature (the Internet Explorer plug-in FormsPlayer and the Java standalone Novell xPlorer). XForms is the next generation of forms for the Web, and uses an XML-based three-layer model: data model, data, and user interface. XForms uses CSS for device independencence and is designed for integration into XHTML 2, SVG, and other XML-based markup languages. A host of other implementations are available or in progress, but my pick for most interesting is DENG, which is an XForms to Flash compiler written in Flash. DENG supports XForms, SVG, RSS, XHTML, and CSS. XForms is in consideration for other standards as diverse as Universal Remote Controls and the UK Government Interoperability Framework, and was developed with the participation of IBM, Oracle, Xerox, Adobe, Novell, SAP, Cardiff, PureEdge, and a host of other companies, universities, and invididuals."

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FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6592452)


I like Cake (-1)

Mr. Balsakon Yurchen (675569) | more than 10 years ago | (#6592455)



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but... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6592456)

does it run the GNU/Debian process?

It Should (2, Interesting)

The Monster (227884) | more than 10 years ago | (#6592869)

does it run the GNU/Debian process?
It should. Seriously....

One of the biggest problems with running Linux for non-geeks is configuration. Every app has its own .appnamerc or appname.conf with its own peculiar syntax and options. Now that we have a standard for filling out forms, we can build the infrastructure for a single front end to them all.

To enable Web content developers to meet these challenges XForms will be designed to cleanly distinguish between form
instance data, form description (called the em>XForms Model), and form presentation (called the XForms User Interface).
So, for each *rc or *conf file, we need an XForms Model that describes the form and how to validate it, and an X-forms-aware UA like Mozilla [] (but you can't get there from here!), or perhaps on the server side through Apache and Cocoon's XMLForm [] to handle the work of getting the input. XForms can become the glue that holds Linux together.

When users can right-click on something, select Properties from the menu, and configure it in a consistent interface, one of the biggest impediments to Linux use by non-techies will be removed.

Re:It Should (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6593230)

So, for each *rc or *conf file, we need an XForms Model that describes the form and how to validate it, and an X-forms-aware UA like Mozilla (but you can't get there from here!), or perhaps on the server side through Apache and Cocoon's XMLForm to handle the work of getting the input. XForms can become the glue that holds Linux together.

Brilliant! In fact, all we need is a standard way for an XML file to indicate which XForm should be used to edit it, in the same way there is a standard way to say which stylesheet should be used to present it, and we're up and running! Great idea!


Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6592458)

Not an FP, not a fancy organization with fancy ASCII art, just an important public service announcement.

Take away all the fluff ( ie: crap ) (0, Offtopic)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 10 years ago | (#6592474)

and we get "New forms standard"

TLA's (1, Offtopic)

mummers (253129) | more than 10 years ago | (#6592485)

I'm sorry, but this late on a Friday, that many TLA's in a /. article just makes me want to lie down and rest my weary head.

Re:TLA's (1)

theNote (319197) | more than 10 years ago | (#6592751)

Its stories like this that remind me never to take /. too seriously.

in a nutshell... (4, Funny)

selderrr (523988) | more than 10 years ago | (#6592487)

xforms is fully buzzword compliant and serves as an excellent tool for dumb managers to wank with.

Re:in a nutshell... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6592547)

Actually, you're thinking of Jforms, the java implementation. That's what dumb managers and 'architect types' really love to wack off to.

bleh. (1)

Telastyn (206146) | more than 10 years ago | (#6592508)

Maybe I'm just becoming old before my time, but I don't see how any of these recommendations, or any advancement to the web in the past 10 years has improved it.

WTF? That name is already taken, try again. (5, Informative)

Dr. Zowie (109983) | more than 10 years ago | (#6592514)

Jesus Christ, doesn't anyone look out for name collisions anymore? XForms is a GUI toolkit for X. [] , in (slow) development since 1995 and still used in many useful apps like GeomView [] and Lyx [] .

Now it's also "the next generation of web forms" [] . Gag me with a buzzword.

It's not as if the original XForms were unknown, either -- it comes up second in a Google search [] for "Xforms". These jokers should have known better.


Re:WTF? That name is already taken, try again. (0, Redundant)

billsf (34378) | more than 10 years ago | (#6592646)

Cool, that was exactly what I was thinking of when i saw this posting. Instead is see some pretty strange programming tools for idiots.

Re:WTF? That name is already taken, try again. (5, Funny)

SpamJunkie (557825) | more than 10 years ago | (#6592666)

Just like Firebird. What really gets me is not the fact that these names have already been taken but that at least two seperate people on earth think these are good names for their projects. Firebird is a bad name and it's only made worse by the Thunderbird project, confusing as hell. One should be called Fire and one Thunder, now that's pretty cool. Except for the fact that Fire is an IM on the Mac.

XForms is a bad name. Sure, it kinda sounds like XHTML. Here's a reality check: XHTML is a bad name. X2 was a bad name for a movie, XP is a bad version number and so is MX. X is a stupid letter. Don't go tacking it onto everything you name just to make it sound cool. A name doesn't make something cool, but it sure can make it sound stupid.

Don't even try to explain that extensible starts with an X instead of an E unless you're speaking in ebonics, and in that case, mad props.

Re:WTF? That name is already taken, try again. (2, Funny)

tarquin_fim_bim (649994) | more than 10 years ago | (#6592748)

Xcellent post.

Re:WTF? That name is already taken, try again. (1)

pizen (178182) | more than 10 years ago | (#6593019)

So I guess you're not fond of satellite radio [] ?

Re:WTF? That name is already taken, try again. (1)

crucini (98210) | more than 10 years ago | (#6592729)

Yes, this is ridiculous. It's as if these head-in-the-clouds corporate types are on a completely different planet. Kind of like Microsoft with ".NET". And the sad thing is that they're running over something that actually works to make space for something that may never work.

Re:WTF? That name is already taken, try again. (1)

DrCode (95839) | more than 10 years ago | (#6593000)

No kidding! When I first read the headline, I couldn't believe that something as dated and ugly as Xforms was being made a standard.

So many links (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6592515)

After all that, I think Bender summed it up best:

"Interesting! No, wait, the other thing. Tedious."

Re:So many links (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6592567)

There should be a -1 tedious mod choice.

Thank god. (3, Interesting)

Duncan3 (10537) | more than 10 years ago | (#6592519)

I was having a ton of trouble teaching people how to use <form> and <input>. It's good to see that they went and solved the complexity problem.

Maybe they think if they make forms complex enough, and break enough browsers, the cheap labor in India won't take their jobs?

Re:Thank god. (1)

ITgrrrl (661718) | more than 10 years ago | (#6592554)

Considering the number of consonants in the acronyms Xforms is likely a plot of slavic coders, 'cause I'm thinking that the next big set-up of off-shore code gerbil cages is Russia


Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6592615)

Form submits you!

Key Feature (4, Funny)

billstr78 (535271) | more than 10 years ago | (#6592521)

Key Goals of XForms

  • Support for handheld, television, and desktop browsers, plus printers and scanners
  • Suspend and Resume support

Suspend and Resume. Oh, that'll be usefull for last minute regret when making large online purchaces.

Click here to submit form to purchase $2000 computer... Wait! I changed my mind. Suspend. Suspend. Hmmm... I can always use another computer, Resume!

Re:Key Feature (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6592560)

You used the wrong button to post. The one you're looking for is marked ON/OFF, just below the floppy drive on your computer. Use it next time ...

Wow, welcome to the future (1, Funny)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 10 years ago | (#6592531)

What next? Motif for the WWW?

Maybe they should have used a different name ...

How will this change things? (1, Interesting)

Erwos (553607) | more than 10 years ago | (#6592543)

I'm interested in how this will change the way things work now. Anybody want to explain?


Re:How will this change things? (1)

jjeffries (17675) | more than 10 years ago | (#6592761)

It's far too late to change the way things work now.

Re:How will this change things? (1)

LarryRiedel (141315) | more than 10 years ago | (#6592830)

What I would want from XForms is that a web site does not need to send a bunch of JavaScript crud along with a page that has a form, or even worse that the user has to submit the form back to the server just to find out that there were simple errors that could have been detected on the client if the form object inside the browser had enough knowledge and intelligence to eliminate relatively simple mistakes.

XForms should make it much easier to just define what the user needs to put in the form, and the browser will take care of displaying it nicely and eliminating simple mistakes. I do not think the idea is to provide a fundamental new feature; it is a way to make it so that something which is commonly needed can be easily provided without the need for a special programming toolkit.


Re:How will this change things? (1)

Captain Large Face (559804) | more than 10 years ago | (#6593150)

I believe it just offers a wider variety of form controls (as well as other features -- can't be arsed to RTFA as it's 0130 here), such as sliders etc... This might enable the deployment of more applications that currently cannot take advantage of the web's benefits...

Not again... (4, Insightful)

JessLeah (625838) | more than 10 years ago | (#6592544)

Jebus. Every time you look around, they're introducing some new technology designed to help us. (And half the time, it's based around XML.) Am I really the only one left on this planet that believes that assembly language, C, BASIC, Cobol, Fortran, Forth, Pascal, HTML, and Perl are "good enough" for anything, and there's no need for another billion languages, "standards", plug-ins, etc.?

I can make "plain old CGIs written in Perl" jump up and do tricks without any fancy new whizbang technology telling me it's time to re-evaluate the whole way I make Web forms. Not to mention the fact that this is going to be a nightmare to integrate into all of the browsers.

When people started talking about Flash as if it were some sort of an IEEE-blessed, completely open standard, and as if it were available in all browsers, (I'm sorry, but "the most common browsers on the most common operating systems" doesn't count), I knew the Web was going downhill fast. Now we're mired in our own complexity, we have a billion plug-ins (Flash, Shockwave, Quicktime, Windows Media Player, etc. etc. etc.)... and now they're telling us that plain old <FORM> isn't good enough. Dammit, I want back to 1995 and Slackware 3.0...

Re:Not again... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6592605)

Honestly, don't complain because it's new. If it sucks feel free to complain away. But some of us don't feel like reinventing the wheel everytime we program something. Lots of people end up writing toolkits to get around limitations in existing technology. This just standardizes it and allows us to drop some of the hacks. Granted, with web standards you have to wait a really long time before the standards are used properly with enough browsers to safely use but it's a step in the right direction most of the time.

If you want to crawl in a hole and pretend that technology will never advance, feel free. Just don't be surprised when the rest of the world leaves you behind.

Re:Not again... (1)

JessLeah (625838) | more than 10 years ago | (#6592739)

I don't consider this "advancing". Nor do I consider it necessary... or desirable. This is simply the tech equivalent of bureaucracy. It's feature-creep on an industry-wide level.

(I'd rather say "field", but no one but me seems to think of computing as anything other than an "industry" nowadays. Or a "business".)

Re:Not again... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6592617)

Am I really the only one left on this planet that believes that assembly language, C, BASIC, Cobol, Fortran, Forth, Pascal, HTML, and Perl are "good enough" for anything, and there's no need for another billion languages, "standards", plug-ins, et

Yes, probably. The web has grown far beyond protocols and standards designed twenty years ago, and Perl/CGI just don't cut it. It would take me 10x as long to write a web application using Perl/CGI as it would using JSP's Servlets or any other modern standards based technology. As the uses for a technology change, so must the technology. It's a fact of life.

IN SOVIET RUSSIA (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6592662)

Giant cocks gobble YOU!

Au Contraire... (1)

xeo_at_thermopylae (585330) | more than 10 years ago | (#6592762)

AFAIK no web (WWW) standards are 20 years old yet; 1991 is the earliest year for an HTTP specification [] .

And Perl works just fine, thank you, with any of the newer standards, so the term "standards based technology" is gratuitous at best.

Perl development is so much quicker than JSP servlet development partially because there are so many well-written and thoroughly debugged CPAN modules written for Perl (and partially because Perl is simply so much quicker for development!-P)

Re:Au Contraire... (1)

psykocrime (61037) | more than 10 years ago | (#6593173)

Perl development is so much quicker than JSP servlet development partially because there are so many well-written and thoroughly debugged CPAN modules written for Perl

Not to burst your bubble, but there's oodles of "well-written and thoroughly debugged" code available for Java (JSP/Servlet) programmers as well. Check out OpenSymphony [] , the Jakarta Project [] , etc.

(and partially because Perl is simply so much quicker for development!-P)

I'd say that's a debatable point. :-)

Re:Not again... (2, Insightful)

ocelotbob (173602) | more than 10 years ago | (#6592635)

standard HTML forms may be Good Enough for most uses on a machine with a relatively large display, etc, but it begins to break down when porting XHTML to embedded platforms, mobile platforms, etc. XForms' separation of content and markup means that it'll be easier and more usable to port to new platforms and areas.

To consider your analogy, Perl, C and company are great for scripting and application building, but at the same time, sometimes you need to roll your own language to perform operations that just weren't needed 10 years ago. Progress is good; sometimes it's beneficial to throw everything out, and start from scratch. See what's broken and fix it permanently. At least, until the next new technology comes around ;3. But such is life in the tech world. Get used to it, or you'll be sweeping floors with all the old PL/I and Flowmatic programmers who didn't want to adapt either.

Re:Not again... (1)

Khomar (529552) | more than 10 years ago | (#6592737)

You make a good point regarding not keeping up with change, however, I think in the world of the Internet, it is a little different. For years, developing applications for the web have been incredibly difficult due to different implementations of standards with the different browsers and proprietary "features". As a web developer, I look at this new standard with dread, and it will probably be many years before I will embrace it due to incompatibility with my user's browsers. Users are notoriously slow to upgrade to the latest and greatest. We are just starting to see some stabilization in the browser market with innovation turning more toward usability features rather than standards support.

I see the new innovations in web development coming in server side tools and development suites. .NET is a good example of a new way to deliver content that is usable by the masses that makes the development of complex web applications easier. My biggest concern with a re-write of the web forms is a huge change in code (and the incompatibilities that will result) with relatively little actual gain. In looking at the list of features, I saw nothing that I cannot live without. If there is a major "must-have" feature in there that I missed, please let me know. Really.

Re:Not again... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6593192)

.NET is gay. It is only supported on windows severs. Who the fuck wants to run a site on a windows server? ps - I know about Mono. Notice I said supported. pss - Ignore everything I said. I'm drunk.

Re:Not again... (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 10 years ago | (#6592817)

XForms' separation of content and markup

Am I the only one thinking about how the <strong> tag died because it was just not rendered the same way from a NS to an IE browser?

The way people design their forms today is a graphic control down to the pixel. That will obviously not accomodate an embedded device and a 1280x1024 desktop. So people will just "sniff" the browser... and the whole point of "separation of content and markup" will die just right there.

Anyways, it's good to see people trying to make things move.

Re:Not again... (1, Flamebait)

KaiserSoze (154044) | more than 10 years ago | (#6592643)

Sorry, I don't normally get drawn into things like this, but I have to comment.

Wow, yes, you are indeed the Master when it comes to making Perl jump and do tricks. And I loved web programming with Perl too, until I started using PHP. It simplified a lot of the "busy work" that goes into Perl CGI creation, and was generally easier to use to prototype a page and such.

The point here is that something came along that made web programming a little easier, which is what I gather XForms is. Who cares about Flash-compilers. All I care about is efficiently creating and maintaining forms code. Yes, it is relatively simple right now. That doesn't mean I won't check out a new way just to see what it's like.

Do you honestly think I'll look up to you if you grumble about how "assembly language is the only true form, new niche languages are for pussys"? Sorry, but statements such as "I can do [blah] without any of that fancy whizbang technology!" do nothing to endear me to your argument.

So, go ahead and code with pure HTML and your CGI forms, I'm sure it will look and function fairly well. But don't take it out on others if you feel time creeping up on you.

Dammit, I want back to 1995 and Slackware 3.0...

By all means, go ahead. I won't miss you.

Re:Not again... (2, Insightful)

JessLeah (625838) | more than 10 years ago | (#6592796)

Oh, come off it. First of all, I would never call anyone a "pussy" or not a "real man", since (among other, more important reasons) I'm a girl. Secondly, it has nothing to do with "niche" versus "non-niche". I'm just freaking sick of people MAKING our field more and more and more and more and more complex, year after wretched year. There is no Law Of Physics which states that computing will get more and more complex, changing year after year. This is something which we as techies have brought upon ourselves.

If, instead of continually reinventing the wheel, we would focus on refining EXISTING technologies, we would be so much further down the road now. Imagine a 4GHz Pentium 4 (or, as I'd prefer, a dual 2GHz Power Macintosh G5) running some beautifully written, hand-optimized C or assembly code, tuned and tweaked and whittled into glistening sleek perfection over the past 20 years. The OS would boot in under 1MB of RAM, including the TCP/IP stack, the Web browsing environment, the sound server, the firewall and the file browser. "System Requirements" sections on software boxes would be a thing of the past, since the software would work on virtually any computer released in the past 15 years. The whole system would include beautifully refined and trimmed APIs, perfected over a decade or more, for all programmers to write to.

But no, at some point along the line, the emphasis in the computing field went from efficiency and quality to "OOH! LOOK! SHINY!". That is where we started to go downhill.

Here is an exercise for you, Mr. New-School Thinker. Go buy a Commodore 64. (or use an emulator...) Install Contiki on it. There you have a complete GUI system that runs in 64 kilobytes of RAM. That's KILOBYTES, not megabytes! The sort of devil-may-care, newer-is-better school of thought you advocate is what has prevented this sort of thing from being a marketable reality. An ounce of restraint on the part of coders would have done so much 10 to 20 years ago, when code bloat started on its eternal downward cycle. I should have seen something bad coming down the pike the instant when I bought Windows 3.0 (this was "back in the day" when it was new) and it brought my '286 to a crawl. Meanwhile, Appleworks, arguably a more complex software system than the entirity of Windows 3.0, ran beautifully on piddly little Apple IIs with 32KB or so of RAM.

And people like you keep advocating newer, bloatier, more "complexified" (to borrow a word from Star Control 3) solutions to fundamentally simple problems.

Some day, I hope to get off my rear end, and prove all of you wrong, by making an OS the right way-- that is, optimize, optimize, optimize, and optimize some more, and DAMN the shiny new tech!

Re:Not again... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6592934)

The fact that you said "perl cgi" tells me everything I need to know about your supposed Perl knowledge that you had before you moved to PHP: absolutely none.

You might want to look up things like mod_perl, and HTML::Mason, and Template::Toolkit one of these days.

As for PHP... call me when they fix all of the bugs with references, which still don't work right.

Of course, I doubt you know what a reference is to begin with.

Re:Not again... (2, Informative)

porter235 (413926) | more than 10 years ago | (#6593030)

Man... RTFM... this isn't to replace perl. It's to make development of web apps in languages like perl EASIER.

And as for w3c "standards" these are not plug-ins and are not called standards because they are supported by everything.. hell, they don't even call 'em standards, they call them recomendations.

These are layed out so that people creating the browsers of tomorrow can work together to prevent any more messed-up-browser-detection-required-scripting-shi t that happend during the browser wars and is a fact of life still today for most web developers.

Don't worry, now that it is a W3C Proposed Recommendation, browsers like mozilla will start to work towards it, and then someone talented will write a perl module so that you too can start using Xforms with even more ease of use in your favourite language, than you currently have using plain old s!

Browsers..? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6592571)

Most important question: what browsers will allow me to use XForms? Anyone got an answer?

Re:Browsers..? (3, Interesting)

jnana (519059) | more than 10 years ago | (#6592637)

See the following bugzilla item for XForms support in Mozilla: [] . There are also plugins available for some present browsers. See the implementations section [] of for more info.

Slashdot clearly doesn't care what the W3C thinks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6592596)

Just take a look at the W3C validation results [] .

I gotta stop going out nights... (1)

FosterKanig (645454) | more than 10 years ago | (#6592601)

...that "summary" made my head hurt.
That's a whole lotta crap jammed in a very small space.

Re:I gotta stop going out nights... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6592612)

Your head or the summary?

Re:I gotta stop going out nights... (1)

FosterKanig (645454) | more than 10 years ago | (#6592649)


an open letter to w3c (5, Insightful)

joe_bruin (266648) | more than 10 years ago | (#6592611)

dear world wide web consortium,

thank you for your recommendation of yet another over-complicated standard for the world wide web. while we do appreciate the time and effort it takes to keep coming up with esoteric standards that involve the letter 'x', we currently are not searching to implement any additional layers of abstraction into our website viewing experience. we currently have xml backends that are interpreted by xslt's to generate style sheets that are controlled by dhtml, and feel that adding another abstraction layer to what was originally a simple way to serve a formatted text page would take us into the realm of meta-meta-meta-meta-programming, and that's probably two meta's too many for us. we have decided that we would rather spend our time creating interesting content, than debugging at what level our standards-based fancy pants websites are breaking on each browser.

so, while you guys are doing good job there in lotus-eating land, we on the real web will be passing on this standard.

the world wide web

Re:an open letter to w3c (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6592641)

PS: Please force browser makers to implement a spell/grammar check.

Re:an open letter to w3c (3, Insightful)

Khomar (529552) | more than 10 years ago | (#6592681)

Amen to that. I don't really see anything in the standard that cannot be done with the current technology (except the suspend/resume... but as another poster noted, WHY?!). While this argument is often a bad one in that it can cause one to be stuck in the past forever, in the case of web development, stability is better than progress. The web is finally starting to reach a point (after many, many years of frustration) where everyone is using the same standard and most users have capable web browsers. Yet, just when the job of the web developer is looking to become almost managable, they want to add an entirely new mess that will involve a whole new generation of browser incompatibility and proprietary "features". There just aren't enough compelling reasons to face the compatibility nightmare. Yet another worthless standard...

BTW, what is up with this whole "separate the logic from the interface" kick about. While it is an interesting programming model, I do not see why an entirely new standard is required to support it. This kind of thing is already possible given existing server-side technology. Just wondering.

Re:an open letter to w3c (2, Interesting)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 10 years ago | (#6592760)

It's more of seperating the content from the presentation.

The idea is you can write a document once, then you can run it through one doohicky and make a PDF that looks nice for printing, run it through another doohicky and make a website that looks nice (and isn't linear like the printed version), run it through a special doohicky and it makes a web site that works for blind people, etc...

Basically, once you write the content, you never have to worry about formatting, that's not your concern.

A side effect is that the semantic markup makes it really easy to do things like smart search engines, that know that "python" could either mean a snake or a programming language, and let you clearly specify which you mean.

Re:an open letter to w3c (1)

Eros (6631) | more than 10 years ago | (#6592683)

Preach preacher.

Right on!

Mod parent up - Sad, but true *and* funny! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6592684)

The subject line says it all.

Re:an open letter to w3c (1)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 10 years ago | (#6592702)


Your use of as many possible acronyms is becoming, quite frankly, disturbing. Seek professional help. Immediately.

Re:an open letter to w3c (3, Interesting)

irritating environme (529534) | more than 10 years ago | (#6592704)

Dude, you forgot the five layers of abstraction on the back-end:

XML-based Web services, connecting to your Application Server layer, which communicates with the Enterprise Application Integration Messaging/Queuing Layers, JDBC abstraction layers, CORBA, DCOM, interpreted/JIT-compiled ByteCode, plus all the TCP/IP messaging it all runs on across the eight servers.

Re:an open letter to w3c (0)

lennert (597820) | more than 10 years ago | (#6592721)

You speak for all of us! Plain text rules.

two meta's too many? (1)

devphil (51341) | more than 10 years ago | (#6592819)

Isn't that carrying alliteration a little too far?

(Hint: say it aloud.)

Okay, I'm sorry. I've just always liked that one.

Re:an open letter to w3c (1)

hey (83763) | more than 10 years ago | (#6592892)

I agree. What is it about XML that brings out the anti-KISS [] in people? There won't be any web if HTML was so complicated!

Wha? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6592618)

I really shouldn't have smoked that joint before reading this topic.


Slow? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6592623)

"XForms is the next generation of forms for the Web, and uses an XML-based three-layer model: data model, data, and user interface."

Sounds slow to me.

Minor correction (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6592624)

Two implementations, not one, passed the test suite for XForms: X-Smiles [] , and FormsPlayer []

Xforms cool but I'll wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6592647)

Being able to describe a form with validations, presentation and calculations all in a single language is cool. This promises to let me do this with XML.

As I read all the cool features, I realize that I already get a lot of this in the NET webforms. With the postback model and code behind pages, I get presentation separation, I can write validations and event handling in a consistent language (or choice of languages) and I get all this with regular old forms on standard browsers.

With XFORMs you have the same old endless battle to have your standard consistently implemented on all these different clients. Not going to happen soon enough for me to target XFORMS just yet. If it gets adopted and the flash people don't try to kill it, I might reconsider.

CSS for device independence? (2, Funny)

irritating environme (529534) | more than 10 years ago | (#6592677)


As someone who once wrote a cross-device content delivery platform for PDAs, WML/HDML phones, and browsers, I repeat:



Re:CSS for device independence? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6593115)

I believe you meant to say "craptacular". In the future, please endeavour to embiggen your cromulence before posting.

DOA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6592680)

I don't see Microsoft in the list of companies. If so, this technology will never go anywhere. If your answer is an "internet explorer plugin", then SO LONG, better luck next time.

Re:DOA (1)

blowdart (31458) | more than 10 years ago | (#6592900)

Then you didn't read the link. They're there, in the same parts of the committee structure as Oracle. But you didn't seriously expect Microsoft to get listed on a slashdot article did you? Turn in your userID to Timothy please.

Re:DOA (2, Informative)

Zaiff Urgulbunger (591514) | more than 10 years ago | (#6593089)

Been there, done that, produced the inferior proprietary clone!

See Info Path [] .

NB: It might not be inferior. I just said that 'cos this is /. !

HTML, Tables, and CGI (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6592687)

All this happy horseshit is interesting and exciting to work with and is a welcome relief from the boring world of straight HTML and a few tables, but sites that stick with the basics can still look great, be fast, be much less expensive to implement, and work with far more browsers than those that wander off into the realm of whiz-bang.

Anyone know about a program like this? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6592706)

Does anyone know of a program that lets another computer "draw" in a window on my computer? Maybe we could start a "network" of these programs, like the www, only with these awesomely new programs; the servers could use whatever programming language they want to construct their input/output system...hmm...I see the letter "x" a lot in that summmarry...maybe we could call this newfangled program "X"?

independencence? (4, Funny)

renard (94190) | more than 10 years ago | (#6592712)

XForms uses CSS for device independencence...

Here at /. we have human editors for spelling independencence... not to mention English grammar transcendencence... or (my favorite) just plain incoherencence...

Re:independencence? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6592775)

Don't sulk. This story will be re-posted soon and with different spelling errors.

I propose this system: (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6592718)

*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_* []
s______/_/\|___C_____)__WITH |__(___>_/__\______s
e_____|___(____C_____)__A MAC/__//__/_/_____\___e

It was 7:00 AM, and I was in the middle of eating breakfast. Four strips of bacon, and some rather ugly looking eggs. My glance went to my frying pan. I used it for many normal things, of course. I had even used it to cook the breakfast I was eating. But there was also another thing, that I wanted to use the frying pan for.

I had dreamed of that pan, for many years now. It had such rounded curves, such a smooth handle. Every day, seeing the grease drip on it's lubricated body. Every day, feeling it, touching it. I could almost hear it calling for me. I was getting a chubby, just thinking about it. Then, I knew, today was the day. I had to make my move.

I got up from my chair, and walked over to it. I could see it was still dripping with grease, and bacon fat. It was so utterly greasy. I hoisted it up, then started moving my tongue all about it. Moving it up the front, up the back. Running it over the handle. The pan started going over my body. It was rubbing it's greasy body all over, begging me for more.

I began to unbutton my shirt, as I erotically mouth fucked it. I removed my shirt, as it started teasing my chest. It suddenly went lower, gliding over my pants, making the fabric between it, and my throbbing manhood wet with white, creamy grease. I lowered my pants, kicking them off, my stone hard cock begging to be released. But, I wanted to pleasure the pan first.

I then began to rub my pink tongue around the pans handle, tongue tickling it. I started moving my mouth over it, sliding the pan in and out, Making it wet with my saliva, motioning my tongue in circles around it. I slid it deeper in, consuming every bit I could, faster and deeper. Sucking so hard, as my head bobbed back and forth. I could feel it rumble with excitment. If pans have orgasms, it was having one. I mouth fucked it 'till it finished its massive orgasm.

I knew it wanted to please me. I managed my underwear over my huge unit. It went directly to my anus, smoothing it's saliva ridden handle over it, lubing it up for penetration. It went in gently at first, a little bit at a time, a little further each shove. I started lightly moaning. It kept shoving, moving with more force, and speed. I started groaning a bit, I wanted all of it in me. It started getting quite powerful, and my anus finally gave way, and swallowed it whole. I rode it out, groaning louder, with each push. It felt so good, I knew I was close to orgasm, I could feel my balls tremble with delight. But, without notice, it pulled out. I groaned, trying to pull it back in, still wanting to feel the pleasure. But it insisted on going around front.

It smoothed itself around my massive manhood, bouncing it up and down. It was rubbing the cock head now, soaking it with its' juices. Jerking me at a wonderfully slow pace, that made me cringe with sensation. It was now Jerking me faster, up and down, left and right, all around. Moving me so fast, my balls ached as they bounced against the pan. I moved with it's speedy motion, groaning loudly, and moving my head back, in sexual glory. I was ready to blow, and then it happened. As I let out one loud grunt, streams of cum shot out, dripping down the pan. It jerked me until every hot, creamy shot, was out. It was over, I had lived my fantasy.

[ Reply to This [] ]

  • Sorry about this [] by Michael (Score:4) Tuesday Jul 08, @03:02AM
185 replies [] beneath your current threshold.

whoo hooo (1)

Zebra_X (13249) | more than 10 years ago | (#6592736)

and yet another half assed, more complicated "standard" that not everyone will implement correctly and that will partially work but need to be fully supported. >:O

Just one simple question: (2, Interesting)

RoLi (141856) | more than 10 years ago | (#6592745)

Do they support combo-boxes?

(Combo boxes are those in which you can both enter a text and choose from a list - for example the "location" bar in most browsers.)

Re:Just one simple question: (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6592878)

Yes, XForms supports combo-boxes

Hrm... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6592781)

So all I see right now are people who (probably) don't understand the standard complaining about it existing, and claiming it's not needed.

The thing is, a clearer specification and better flow for form-handling most definitely is needed. Any webdesigner who's ever spent time working on "webbased applications" has quite probably experienced going completely stir crazy with building up stupid forms element by element and javascript functions for interaction between these. Even something as trivial as giving focus to an element requires a quite lengthy string: document.formname.elementname.focus();
XForms has built-in events to deal with all those far too common tasks and make webbased applications for the first time ever actually work like applications. You'll be able actually pay attention to stuff like workflow.

Sure, the XForms syntax sucks, and I'd hate to have to hand-code applications using it almost as much as I hate trying to do the same with current forms. Unfortunately given the W3C's chosen route of XML, and the need to make XForms integrate with the next "HTML" standard (XHTML 2.0), this was inevitable.
However, at the same time there's the major benefit of it being XML and thus far more likely to be computer-generatable.

XForms is not perfect. But four or five years from now when IE has finally caught up and is handling XForms without the need for any plugins, developers creating webbased applications will be giving silent prayers for the people who created the standard.

hmm... (1)

Yaa 101 (664725) | more than 10 years ago | (#6592783)

Is there a commit and rollback system into this standard?

This yanks the rug out from under Office 2003! (2, Insightful)

Tsu Dho Nimh (663417) | more than 10 years ago | (#6592805)

The current design of Web forms doesn't separate the purpose from the presentation of a form. XForms, in contrast, are comprised of separate sections that describe what the form does, and how the form looks. ... These form controls are directly usable inside XHTML and other XML documents, like SVG.

You might not appreciate this, but decoupling data, logic and presentation is a good thing for us all. If I can have a form control that pulls the applicable bits out of an OpenOffice (also XML) file and displays it appropriately for the web or the PDA, or sends it to a database that needs is ... I'm one happy dataslinger.

The ability to do this sort of thing is what Microsoft has been touting as the next best thing coming soon to an expensive proprietary desktop near you as soon as they get a handle on that security stuff. But from what I have seen of the Microsoftian version of XML (totally bastardized by the Beast of Redmond), and what little I have done with Java IDEs ... this will be much easier and cleaner to implement.

Re:This yanks the rug out from under Office 2003! (1)

Chokolad (35911) | more than 10 years ago | (#6593133)

>> But from what I have seen of the Microsoftian version of XML (totally bastardized by the Beast of Redmond), and what little I have done with Java IDEs ... this will be much easier and cleaner to implement.

Can you elaborate on how exactly Beast of Redmond totally bastardized XML ? Just curious...

We don't need no backwards compatibility (4, Interesting)

Simon Brooke (45012) | more than 10 years ago | (#6592814)

Way back in 2000 I had a hard look at how you'd deliver an XForms form to a legacy device, and concluded that it was in the general case virtually impossible using standard tools. So I said so [] . As far as I know, there's still no way, and no one has produced any sensible response to this problem.

Re:We don't need no backwards compatibility (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6593110)

Your original complaint seems to be about not being able to use XSLT to do the job. Correct me if I'm wrong, but XSLT is turing-complete, so if it is possible at all, it is definitely possible with XSLT (though possibly hard).

The fact that there are already commercial implementations doing what you want (delivering XForms to legacy devices) seems to imply that it is possible :-)

features (1)

Pflipp (130638) | more than 10 years ago | (#6592816)

Well the majority of the comments here is containing just question marks, so I guess it doesn't do any harm if I post some myself, and even put a question before them.

Thing is, I happen to get annoyed with Web development as soon as I either want a user to input formatted text (just yer basic bold, italic, etc.) or I want to enable them to create an ordering in the list of objects they own. The latter currently involves a multiple selection box and a small-print A4 full of JavaScript garble.

So I guess anything should be O.K. when it solves the above problems. But does it? (Honestly: idunno, and I'm not sure if I want to read a W3 document right now ;-)

Doesn't anyone care about efficiency? (2, Insightful)

sedrik (691490) | more than 10 years ago | (#6592836)

XML is inefficient enough in terms of processing power. Every derivative of XML like XSL, XForms, and any other derived "language" of XML is exponentially more inefficient. I do use XML for some things - the things it does well (config files, multi-lingual sites, etc.). However, I would argue that no matter how many acronyms with an "X" in the name you use, there is more straight forward, more maintainable, and MUCH more efficient code out there.

Re:Doesn't anyone care about efficiency? (0)

shaklee (631847) | more than 10 years ago | (#6593212)

I agree. When I first ran into XML as a method for transporting data, I asked two very fundamental questions: How does markup get applied to a database table, and why would you pay the price of 40 bytes of XML markup to deliver four bytes of integer data? The problem with XML is that it assumes the markup and data are intertwined (thus the word "markup.") Also, it encourages the use of a general XML parser. Why write an optimized parser when you can grab a working general parser? Writing parsers is hard and expensive work. However, a general XML parser is hugely inefficient beyond the point where anyone caring about performance even begins to think about using a general parser. XML to deliver terabytes of data, by either marking up the data in the database itself or dynamically applying the markup on delivery of terabytes of data, is so inefficient it defies discussion. Why would anyone of any sanity even consider it? It blows my mind. Time and time again, when I bring these points up to my colleagues, they have no answer, or they are not systems programmers and say really, really uninformed systems programming things like "CPU cycles are free" or "disk space is free."

Re:Doesn't anyone care about efficiency? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6593234)

Sure, it's no way near as efficient as a properly structured binary format.
On this subject, XForms, we are dealing with standards from W3. So you want a binary protocol for web content? Or want to give some strange story about HTML being more efficient than XML?? Because we all know how well structured HTML is, and we also all know how easy it is to parse HTML compared to XML....

- straigth forward : I don't know. I think an XML file i usually nearly self-documenting. Whereas if I had a binary file I'd have to go through a bunch of docs just to get started.
- more maintainable : again, personal preference, etc. I'd say that with proper utilization of the XML related standards, especially namespaces and versioning thereof leads to excellent maintainability.
- more efficient code : efficient in what way. Runtime execution - without doubt. In development time, I think XML is excellent. If you have to worry about performance (cpu or memory) use SAX. If not go-ahead and use a tool to create code based on your XSD.

-1 Redundant. (1)

Randolpho (628485) | more than 10 years ago | (#6592867)

Looks like the prevailing opinion is that this sucks. I'm afraid I have to agree, after a cursory glance. Looks like they overthought the problem.

Personally, I'd much prefer a simple extention of the current sytem to support other gui input controls, like, say, combo boxes.

Microsoft InfoPath? (4, Insightful)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 10 years ago | (#6592898)

While Xforms is great and all M$ already (almost) has a production-ready implementation of their own new form standard in InfoPath [] , which is part of the yet-to-be-released Office 2003.

I got to test InfoPath myself this week, and found it to be a tool which was intuitive, powerful, easy to use, and standards-compliant.

Yes. The M$ product complied to every widely accepted standard possible. It uses XML almost exclusively, seems to have an extensive API, and uses syntactically correct XHTML wherever it can.

Xforms isn't even a standard yet. Don't bash M$ for not complying to it. In fact, it's quite different than Xforms in that it's designed for MUCH MORE than the web (in fact, I find that it's not really geared twoard the web at all)

So, for now, Microsoft seems to have produced a working next-generation form solution before any of the open groups or competitors. (Note: Windows is by no means my primary OS. I use Linux extensively, as well as Mac OS X, and am typing this from my Mac)

Re:Microsoft InfoPath? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6593016)

To Uli's moose: you've succeeded at failing at whatever it is you failed at. Do I get a prize?

Is the Forms interface limited? (1)

pfafrich (647460) | more than 10 years ago | (#6592921)

I've long suspected that there was something not quite right about the forms interface. Its always seemed a bit ugly. Not particullarly clever, and much worse than input choices you can get on standalone apps and games.

These are really just niggling fealing, somehow it could be better.

One particular niggle is the text box input. I want to do a web forum and I want to make it really easy to input quite rich text. I'm like the user to create rich content with italics, paragraphs, links, embedded pictures and tables. But my uses are a non technical crowd so html markup will not do!

I want an interface as easy as Word, no I want an interface as easy as a computer games six year olds can play.

But I don't want Flash, not easilly indexable. I have big misgiving about XML, somehow the XML stuff, XLink, XPath, XCSS, Xtc seems too complicated. HTML had a nice simplicity to it, XML just seems to have lost the elegance.

I also want a spell check button on the slashdot post comment page!

just my 10 beer's (1)

azorka (694470) | more than 10 years ago | (#6592972)

What's wrong with content-style-logic?
If /.' folk's cant get it perhaps you should leave the forum?

I wonder how long it takes... (1)

AntiOrganic (650691) | more than 10 years ago | (#6592990)

...for Internet Explorer to not implement it, and no one uses it.

This is big. (5, Informative)

CYwo1f (166549) | more than 10 years ago | (#6593029)

I, personally, can't wait until XForms is supported by all the major browsers. I've been planning for it in my web development framework for a few reasons. The benefits of having the browser construct an XML document and submit it back the server are tremendous:
  • You get hierarchical data, as opposed to the flat list of query parameters you have today. This makes a huge difference in the expressibility of a form. In fact, the XForms spec outlines some support for, for instance, dynamically adding controls to a form. No more re-submitting because those 3 file upload controls weren't enough for you, extend the form offline via javascript!
  • You get to reuse your form handling code to service SOAP requests, too. Instantly.
  • Form data can be serialized by the browser or by a more specialized client, and submitted later on (this is the Suspend and Resume another poster mentioned). How about being able to disconnect from the internet, copy that article submission form to your laptop, and fixing all those typos while you wait for that call from your editor? Or even submitting the form via an alternate method, SOAP or even email if your server supports it.
  • Accessibility. This isn't something I worry about on a daily basis, but there are many people who do. XForms controls are fairly platform-agnostic, and cater better to those with visual or other disabilities. Plus they're more easily adapted to novel input devices, like a cellphone.
If you're a frustrated web developer itching for a simpler way of living, this may be your ticket. Even today, you should consider supporting XForms on your back end, while translating to the simpler HTML forms for today's web clients. I am.

So much noise, so little signal (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6593058)

I usually only come to /. for the news content, so reading this whole thread has depressed me, seeing as how it purports to come from knowledgeable, savvy technical people.

Having followed the development of XForms for the last couple of years, I have to say I'm pretty impressed. For instance, I've seen a stunning demo of an implementation by Oracle, where the same form has been filled in over a PC screen, a mobile phone screen, a regular phone by speaking and being spoken to, and even over an Instant Messenger buddy. The same form not different forms that do the same thing, or different forms generated from a central hybrid. People, you cannot do that with HTML forms. Until you understand the power of having a live XML instance in your form, you haven't understood the power of XForms.

Go and look at the Google search example on and tell me that's not cool; or the live map search with XSmiles.

I know it's tough, just when you've got your head round HTML, Javascript, the DOM and all that stuff, to be told that there is something new coming that also has to be learnt, but please don't go judging it because of its name, TLA's, the fact that the spec is hard to read, or that it's new until you've actually seen it in action and tried it out.

I've been told that no other W3C spec has had so many implementations before it was even a recommendation. I think that that fact alone means we should take it seriously and try to evaluate it rationally.

This is really a good thing (5, Informative)

duncanFrance (140184) | more than 10 years ago | (#6593066)

I'm surprised at the number of negative posts I've seen already.

This is actually a good thing. HTML forms are badly broken at every level, as anyone who has actually tried to build a decent UI with them will know.

I have been using the draft specification for a while to produce forms in my software and it is useful because it lets me write code (PHP) which produces XFORMS XML, without worrying about how it will look. I then pass the XML through a transform and end up with good old html. Because the actual layout is produced by a transform, I can let my designers choose which transform they want to use to get the kind of prettiness they like. I can get complex layout, with sexy results, without having to write hideous html or wrangle with the cruft that is CSS each time.

That's just the layout side of things. The three-level model give me much more control over adding scripting behaviours (Javascript), abstracting the form control out into PHP classes etc. etc.

If you don't understand why html forms are broken, I suggest you start playing with Xforms. Once you grok it you won't look back. When I first came across Xforms, I thought "great, loads of complexity for no good reason" too.

Woohoo! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6593073)

More bloat! More redundancy! More broken web pages! More non-content! What's not to like about this?
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