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Comment on XML Forms Architecture Submission

W3C is pleased to receive the XML Forms Architecture submission from JetForm Corporation.

The submission describes an XML tagset for electronic forms with support for graphics, templates, calculations, validation, scripting, picture clauses, sequencing, and digital signatures.

Some aspects of the submission duplicate existing work by W3C: the box model (W3C's style sheet activity), graphics (W3C's work on scalable vector graphics), linking (W3C's work on XML Linking). The details for signed forms relate to new work at W3C on signed XML. Work on data types for XML Schemas may be relevant to the canonical representation of form values such as dates.

Next Steps

The proposal is related to current work on defining the next generation of forms in W3C's HTML Activity. The specification will be brought to the attention of the HTML Working Group for consideration, first in work on requirements, and subsequently as a potential source of ideas for work on solutions.

W3C's work on forms is expected to support a wide range of platforms and capabilities. This is likely to require the separation of presentation from the underlying structure of forms. W3C's work on style sheets and vector graphics offer the promise of rich control over presentation. The challenge will be to find a way to support the features identified in XFA that can be leveraged across a wide range of device capabilities, e.g. desktop browsers, television, handhelds, cell phones and voice browsers.

Signed forms are expected to be important as a basis for electronic commerce, and as a basis for workflow where forms are signed off by one person before being passed to another as part of a predefined process. Understanding the requirements and providing an effective solution will necessitate coordination between the HTML working group and work on signed XML.

Disclaimer: Placing a Submission on a Working Group agenda does not imply endorsement by either the W3C Staff or the participants of the Working Group, nor does it guarantee that the Working Group will agree to take any specific action on a Submission.

Dave Raggett, W3C lead for HTML <dsr@w3.org>
$Date: 2014-02-24 23:12:32 $