Archive for the 'XForms' Category

Friday, September 7th, 2007

Time to update the XForms Validator (XFV)?

In the last couple of days, I’ve had three completely separate instances of people freshly interested in XForms coming to ask me about Stuff.

A declarative model is pretty much irresistible compared to the alternatives. But nobody can directly use an abstract declarative sculpture–sombody needs to put some solid vocabulary and processing meat on the skeleton. And, of course, a good example of that is XForms.

Around the time the book came out, I put together a modest XForms Validator, modeled after the W3C validator of the time. It later went open source, and is available online. But compared to the latest in online validator technology, it feels more than a little dated.

Hypothetically speaking, if I actually had free time, would it make sense to update the XForms Validator? What would you use it for? Would you be willing to help?

Comments below. Thanks, -m

Thursday, August 16th, 2007

XForms Essentials at…Target?

Yeah, it’s for real. You save 27%! Sure, it’s powered by Amazon, but it’s still a little weird to see this come up in search results… -m

Tuesday, February 13th, 2007

changes the architecture of the house, not just the color of the paint

ERH’s comments on XForms, as part of his predictions for 2007. Worth a read. -m

Friday, January 26th, 2007

UBL Swinger

An easy to use UBL Editor. Has anyone tried it? -m

Wednesday, January 3rd, 2007

XForms for UBL

Here’s a great new project on Sourceforge: XForms for UBL. In my book, I started in on something like this. Here is a more complete, more up-to-date, fleshed out solution. -m

Monday, December 4th, 2006

UC Berkeley – what I talked about

Last week, I visited Erik Wilde, Bob Glushko, and students up at Cal. No major announcements, just some sharpening of discussion points.

Since this was my first visit to Berkeley, I finally got to tell the joke “thank you for your OS”. Maybe you had to be there.

The intentional web is a formalism for describing “why the font tag is evil”. I often work with 3rd party integration languages, and the markup design is, without exception, crap. I hypothesize that the reason for this is jumping into solution-space before fully understanding problem-space. This seems to apply to lots more than just font tags; I lumped in WML and about half the world’s ajax sites for good measure.

Microformats are a formalism for describing “why creating a new markup language for my CD collection” is evil. Could XForms have been done as a microformat? No, microformats require a strong intentional foundation language, and HTML forms ain’t it. Is the proposed W3C approach an instance of “a deadly two-pronged attack”, a la Yahoo! Photos + Flickr? We’ll see. It does seem like that road leads to a namespace apocalypse, highlighting the fundamental difficulty namespaces hoists on attempts to usably extend HTML and XHTML at the same time. A namespace apocalypse may not be a bad thing.

On namespaces, I went over most of the points from my recent article. I won’t rehash that here.

What are some practical and implementation issues around XForms or the lack thereof? Focusing on mobile, as reason #1 I gave the lack of commercial-grade java browsers, discussed here previously. The state of mobile browsers is appalling, other than Opera and S60. Terms like “model” and “field” are troublesome, because the confuse the problem domain (the real world) and the solution domain (the computer). Browser vendors have been too inwardly-focused, both now and during the first attempt at salvaging HTML forms, leading to a premature jump into solution-space. But perhaps XForms dwelled for too long in the problem space…

Maybe I’ve mellowed some, but increasingly I’m able to look at both sides of issues. A useful skill for Information School students, wouldn’t you agree? -m

Sunday, November 26th, 2006

Micah visiting UC Berkeley

This Wednesday, I’m visiting Berkeley to speak with visiting professor Erik Wilde and his School of Information students. It’s an open-ended discussion, but will almost certainly center on XForms, the intentional web, and related information flow technologies. If you’re in Berkeley this Wednesday, drop me a line. -m

Wednesday, October 11th, 2006

Whoops, the feedback email address for the XForms Validator was down after my last round of changes. Fixed. -m

Wednesday, September 6th, 2006

Mark Birbeck: ‘Ajax makes browser choice irrelevant’

A must-read posting from Mark Birbeck, who knows a few things about XForms and Web Forms 2.0.

He talks about the respective approaches embodied in XForms and Web Forms 2.0, and concludes that the primary difference between them has little to do with simplicity. He goes on to analyze differences in how developers and users view browsers. Go read it, it’s worth it. -m

Wednesday, September 6th, 2006

Concentré XML Tools

I’ve written before about the xslt2xforms project by Sébastien Cramatte. The project is not only still alive, but expanded into an entire utility kit including a PHP5 framework and forming “a complete xforms/xml toolbox based only on w3c standards”. Check it out on sourceforge. -m

Friday, August 4th, 2006

XHTML 2.0 and XForms: element counts

First off, counting the number of elements isn’t a useful metric for serious discussion  about vocabularies–but it is fun. :)  Eric van der Vlist reports on the latest XHTML and related specs. -m

Thursday, July 20th, 2006

Rich Web Application Backplane

Yes, the devastating two-pronged attack is in full swing. Link. -m

Tuesday, July 18th, 2006

XForms 1.1 and mobileOK

Word on the street is that some of the new stuff in XForms 1.1 is fantastic. Also on my to-carefully-read list, the mobileOK Scheme. As always, any thoughts welcome here. -m

Saturday, June 10th, 2006

XForms on Swing?

A reader named Jeff asks:

are you aware of any way to render an XForm as Swing
widgets (or heck, AWT for that matter) from within a Java thick app?

Anyone have pointers? Comment here. -m

Wednesday, June 7th, 2006

The devastating two-pronged attack

It’s no secret that Yahoo! has two different photo sites. And two different social bookmarking sites. Until pretty recently I thought this was craziness. But gradually I’ve realized the power of this approach.

You take a smaller, hipper embodiment of an idea alongside a mainstream site. The resulting double-threat can’t easily be matched be either fresh startups or entrenched players. The smaller site can keep innovating and experimenting away, while the larger site adopts the best ideas and keeps improving without freaking out their base. It’s effective. Car companies have known this for years.

Now, my second realization: The W3C is doing the exact same thing with XHTML 1.x and XHTML 2.x+XForms. -m

Friday, May 26th, 2006

XHTML2 and XForms presentations

Steven Pemberton has done several recent talks on XForms,

XForms tutorial at XTech and WWW

The Power of Declarative Thinking – same slides for the talks at XTech and WWW

I attended at least parts of both of the WWW talks, and I can report that they were well-attended and well-received. -m

Tuesday, May 9th, 2006

More Mozilla Foundation movement on XForms

By way of Alan Beaufour and Frank Hecker, more great news. -m