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From the Frontiers of Research to the Heart of the Enterprise
O'Reilly Open Source Convention
Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina
July 22-26, 2002 -- San Diego, CA



XForms: The Future of Web Forms
Micah Dubinko, Cardiff Software

Track: XML
Date: Wednesday, July 24
Time: 2:30pm - 3:15pm
Location: Marina II

Web forms were invented in 1993, but haven't changed much since then. Web developers have developed an array of techniques to work around the limitations of HTML forms, but the results have been uneven, not to mention expensive to develop and maintain. Today, standards-based form development suffers from a blurry blending of "purpose" and "presentation", resulting in solutions that fall short of accessibility guidelines and seldom work outside of conventional desktop browsers. More advanced features, such as XML delivery, workflow and routing are almost unheard of in a pure standards development process.

The W3C recognized these limitations, launching the XForms Working Group with a charter to develop "The Next Generation of Web Forms". The XForms specification is a ground-up rewrite of the familiar HTML forms, with a focus on device independence, accessibility, and XML. A key design factor in XForms is strict separation of the form purpose, embodied in the "XForms Model", and the presentation, expressed as "XForms User Interface". Calculations, validations, and other business logic can be expressed without writing script. XForms clients can use static data or Web Services to both accept and submit XML, "instance data", which represents active form data.

Will XForms usher in a new era in dynamic distributed applications for anybody, anywhere, on any device? When should your organization start developing with XForms? What tools are available today to get started? For answers to these questions and more, be sure to attend this session.

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