World Wide Web Consortium Publishes XForms 1.0 as a W3C Candidate Recommendation

W3C's Next-generation Forms Technology Ready for Implementors

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http://www.w3.org/ -- 12 November 2002 -- The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) announces the release of the XForms 1.0 Candidate Recommendation. XForms 1.0 is the foundation for next-generation Web-based forms, by combining the ability to separate purpose, presentation, and results with the Extensible Markup Language (XML).

Advancement of this document to Candidate Recommendation is a statement that the specification is stable. The W3C XForms Working Group invites the Web development community at large to implement the specification and demonstrate interoperability.

After Nearly 10 Years, It's Time to Upgrade Forms on the Web

When HTML Forms were introduced to the Web in 1993, they provided a means to gather information and perform transactions. The structure of forms served the needs of many users at that time, as well as the devices used to access the Web.

Now, nearly 10 years later, the original HTML Form design is showing its limitations. Users now wish to access the Web through cell phones, handheld devices, and assistive technologies such as screen readers. Forms Authors are looking to both minimize scripting and maximize reuse of form components, as well as cleanly separate the purpose, presentation and results of a form. And of course, companies which have made the move to XML are looking for ways to bring forms along with the rest of the enterprise.

"W3C's XForms allow authors to use their choice of markup language - XHTML, SVG, XML - with minimal scripting and maximum usability," explained Steven Pemberton, co-chair of the W3C XForms Working Group. "The XForms Working Group has provided a model that makes it easy for implementors to develop and reuse form components, delivering functionality to users and devices previously not possible."

XForms Cleanly Separates Purpose, Presentation, and Results

In contrast to HTML Forms, with functional and presentation markup intertwined, XForms lets forms authors distinguish the descriptions of the purpose of the form; the presentation of the form, and how the results (the instance data) are written in XML.

By splitting traditional HTML forms into three parts—XForms model, instance data, and the XForms user interface—it cleanly separates presentation from content. This separation brings new advantages:

Practically speaking, XForms technologies make it possible to use forms from a PDA, a cell phone, screen reader or conventional desktop machine - without loss of functionality for the end user.

XForms delivers the power of XML to online forms

XML is at the core of the XForms model, and delivers key advantages to the XForms technology:

Moreover, XForms, while initially designed to be integrated into XHTML, may be adopted by any suitable markup language, such as Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG). By defining XML-based declarative event handlers that cover common use cases, the majority of XForms documents can be statically analyzed, reducing the need for imperative scripts for event handlers.

XForms Working Group Includes Industry Leaders, Seeks Implementations

In the competitive field of forms technology, it's almost unheard of to have so many leading participants working together on the development of a standardized technology to be used by all. The W3C XForms Working Group serves as the place where these technology and industry leaders meet to produce results that have immediate use on the Web today. The XForms Working Group includes: Adobe; AOL/Netscape; Cardiff; Computer Associates; CWI; Electricité de France R&D; Helsinki University of Technology; IBM; Novell; NTT DoCoMo, Inc.; Openwave; Oracle; PureEdge Solutions; SAP/Mozquito Technologies; Sony/Ericsson; and Xerox. Many companies have announced support for XForms in current and future software.

The XForms Working Group encourages developers to work with the new specification, and to send feedback about implementations to the XForms Working Group mailing list.

About the World Wide Web Consortium [W3C]

The W3C was created to lead the Web to its full potential by developing common protocols that promote its evolution and ensure its interoperability. It is an international industry consortium jointly run by the MIT Laboratory for Computer Science (MIT LCS) in the USA, the National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control (INRIA) in France and Keio University in Japan. Services provided by the Consortium include: a repository of information about the World Wide Web for developers and users, and various prototype and sample applications to demonstrate use of new technology. To date, over 450 organizations are Members of the Consortium. For more information see http://www.w3.org/