XForms 1.0 (Second Edition)

W3C Proposed Edited Recommendation 6 October 2005

This version:
Latest version:
Previous version:
John M. Boyer, IBM
David Landwehr, Novell
Roland Merrick, IBM
T. V. Raman, Google

This document is also available in these non-normative formats: single HTML file diff-marked HTML Zip archive .

The English version of this specification is the only normative version. See also translations.


XForms is an XML application that represents the next generation of forms for the Web. By splitting traditional XHTML forms into three parts—XForms model, instance data, and user interface—it separates presentation from content, allows reuse, gives strong typing—reducing the number of round-trips to the server, as well as offering device independence and a reduced need for scripting.

XForms is not a free-standing document type, but is intended to be integrated into other markup languages, such as XHTML or SVG.

Status of this Document

This section describes the status of this document at the time of its publication. Other documents may supersede this document. A list of current W3C publications and the latest revision of this technical report can be found in the W3C technical reports index at http://www.w3.org/TR/.

This document is a W3C Proposed Edited Recommendation, a revised edition of XForms 1.0. It reflects clarifications and corrections as a result of nearly two years of use by the community. The list of errata and a diff-marked version against the 14 October 2003 version of the XForms 1.0 Recommendation are available.

There is one correction that affects conformance. Erratum E69a adds instance to the list of attributes for submission. Without this correction, the intended use of instance replacement is typically not achievable in practice. Furthermore, implementations already support this attribute. So this correction was added to align specification with implementations.

The W3C XForms Working Group has released a public test suite for XForms 1.0 along with an implementation report. A list of known XForms Implementations is available.

W3C Advisory Committee Representatives are invited to submit their formal review per the instructions in the Call for Review (see Advisory Committee questionnaires). Members of the public are also invited to send comments on this Proposed Edited Recommendation to www-forms-editor@w3.org (archive). The review period ends on 3 November 2005.

Publication as a Proposed Edited Recommendation does not imply endorsement by the W3C Membership. This is a draft document and may be updated, replaced or obsoleted by other documents at any time. It is inappropriate to cite this document as other than work in progress.

This document has been produced by the W3C XForms Working Group as part of the XForms Activity within the W3C Interaction Domain.

This document was produced under the 24 January 2002 CPP as amended by the W3C Patent Policy Transition Procedure. The Working Group maintains a public list of patent disclosures relevant to this document; that page also includes instructions for disclosing a patent. An individual who has actual knowledge of a patent which the individual believes contains Essential Claim(s) with respect to this specification should disclose the information in accordance with section 6 of the W3C Patent Policy.

Table of Contents

1 About the XForms 1.0 Specification
    1.1 Background
    1.2 Reading the Specification
    1.3 How the Specification is Organized
    1.4 Documentation Conventions
2 Introduction to XForms
    2.1 An Example
    2.2 Providing XML Instance Data
    2.3 Constraining Values
    2.4 Multiple Forms per Document
3 Document Structure
    3.1 The XForms Namespace
    3.2 XForms Core Attribute Collections
        3.2.1 Common Attributes
        3.2.2 Linking Attributes
        3.2.3 Single-Node Binding Attributes
        3.2.4 Node-Set Binding Attributes
        3.2.5 Model Item Property Attributes
    3.3 The XForms Core Module
        3.3.1 The model Element
        3.3.2 The instance Element
        3.3.3 The submission Element
        3.3.4 The bind Element
    3.4 The XForms MustUnderstand Module
    3.5 The XForms Extension Module
        3.5.1 The extension Element
4 Processing Model
    4.1 Events Overview
    4.2 Initialization Events
        4.2.1 The xforms-model-construct Event
        4.2.2 The xforms-model-construct-done Event
        4.2.3 The xforms-ready Event
        4.2.4 The xforms-model-destruct Event
    4.3 Interaction Events
        4.3.1 The xforms-next and xforms-previous Events
        4.3.2 The xforms-focus Event
        4.3.3 The xforms-help and xforms-hint Events
        4.3.4 The xforms-refresh Event
        4.3.5 The xforms-revalidate Event
        4.3.6 The xforms-recalculate Event
        4.3.7 The xforms-rebuild Event
        4.3.8 The xforms-reset Event
        4.3.9 The xforms-submit Event
    4.4 Notification Events
        4.4.1 The DOMActivate Event
        4.4.2 The xforms-value-changed Event
        4.4.3 The xforms-select and xforms-deselect Events
        4.4.4 The xforms-scroll-first and xforms-scroll-last Events
        4.4.5 The xforms-insert and xforms-delete Events
        4.4.6 The xforms-valid Event
        4.4.7 The xforms-invalid Event
        4.4.8 The DOMFocusIn Event
        4.4.9 The DOMFocusOut Event
        4.4.10 The xforms-readonly Event
        4.4.11 The xforms-readwrite Event
        4.4.12 The xforms-required Event
        4.4.13 The xforms-optional Event
        4.4.14 The xforms-enabled Event
        4.4.15 The xforms-disabled Event
        4.4.16 The xforms-in-range Event
        4.4.17 The xforms-out-of-range Event
        4.4.18 The xforms-submit-done Event
        4.4.19 The xforms-submit-error Event
    4.5 Error Indications
        4.5.1 The xforms-binding-exception Event
        4.5.2 The xforms-link-exception Event
        4.5.3 The xforms-link-error Event
        4.5.4 The xforms-compute-exception Event
    4.6 Event Sequencing
        4.6.1 For input, secret, textarea, range, or upload Controls
        4.6.2 For output Controls
        4.6.3 For select or select1 Controls
        4.6.4 For trigger Controls
        4.6.5 For submit Controls
        4.6.6 Sequence: Selection Without Value Change
        4.6.7 Sequence: Value Change
        4.6.8 Sequence: Activating a Trigger
        4.6.9 Sequence: Submission
5 Datatypes
    5.1 XML Schema Built-in Datatypes
    5.2 XForms Datatypes
        5.2.1 xforms:listItem
        5.2.2 xforms:listItems
        5.2.3 xforms:dayTimeDuration
        5.2.4 xforms:yearMonthDuration
6 Model Item Properties
    6.1 Model Item Property Definitions
        6.1.1 The type Property
        6.1.2 The readonly Property
        6.1.3 The required Property
        6.1.4 The relevant Property
        6.1.5 The calculate Property
        6.1.6 The constraint Property
        6.1.7 The p3ptype Property
    6.2 Schema Constraints
        6.2.1 Atomic Datatype
7 XPath Expressions in XForms
    7.1 XPath Datatypes
    7.2 Feature string for the hasFeature method call
    7.3 Instance Data
        7.3.1 The getInstanceDocument() Method
        7.3.2 The rebuild() Method
        7.3.3 The recalculate() Method
        7.3.4 The revalidate() Method
        7.3.5 The refresh() Method
    7.4 Evaluation Context
    7.5 Binding Expressions
        7.5.1 Dynamic Dependencies
        7.5.2 Model Binding Expressions
        7.5.3 UI Binding Expressions
        7.5.4 UI Binding in other XML vocabularies
        7.5.5 Binding Examples
    7.6 XForms Core Function Library
    7.7 Boolean Functions
        7.7.1 The boolean-from-string() Function
        7.7.2 The if() Function
    7.8 Number Functions
        7.8.1 The avg() Function
        7.8.2 The min() Function
        7.8.3 The max() Function
        7.8.4 The count-non-empty() Function
        7.8.5 The index() Function
    7.9 String Functions
        7.9.1 The property() Function
    7.10 Date and Time Functions
        7.10.1 The now() Function
        7.10.2 The days-from-date() Function
        7.10.3 The seconds-from-dateTime() Function
        7.10.4 The seconds() Function
        7.10.5 The months() Function
    7.11 Node-set Functions
        7.11.1 The instance() Function
    7.12 Extension Functions
8 Form Controls
    8.1 The XForms Form Controls Module
        8.1.1 Implementation Requirements Common to All Form Controls
        8.1.2 The input Element
        8.1.3 The secret Element
        8.1.4 The textarea Element
        8.1.5 The output Element
        8.1.6 The upload Element
        8.1.7 The range Element
        8.1.8 The trigger Element
        8.1.9 The submit Element
        8.1.10 The select Element
        8.1.11 The select1 Element
    8.2 Common Markup for Selection Controls
        8.2.1 The choices Element
        8.2.2 The item Element
        8.2.3 The value Element
    8.3 Additional Elements
        8.3.1 The filename Element
        8.3.2 The mediatype Element
        8.3.3 The label Element
        8.3.4 The help Element
        8.3.5 The hint Element
        8.3.6 The alert Element
9 XForms User Interface
    9.1 The XForms Group Module
        9.1.1 The group Element
    9.2 The XForms Switch Module
        9.2.1 The switch Element
        9.2.2 The case Element
        9.2.3 The toggle Element
    9.3 The XForms Repeat Module
        9.3.1 The repeat Element
        9.3.2 Creating Repeating Structures Via Attributes
        9.3.3 The itemset Element
        9.3.4 The copy Element
        9.3.5 The insert Element
        9.3.6 The delete Element
        9.3.7 The setindex Element
        9.3.8 Repeat Processing
        9.3.9 Nested Repeats
        9.3.10 User Interface Interaction
10 XForms Actions
    10.1 The XForms Action Module
        10.1.1 The action Element
        10.1.2 The dispatch Element
        10.1.3 The rebuild Element
        10.1.4 The recalculate Element
        10.1.5 The revalidate Element
        10.1.6 The refresh Element
        10.1.7 The setfocus Element
        10.1.8 The load Element
        10.1.9 The setvalue Element
        10.1.10 The send Element
        10.1.11 The reset Element
        10.1.12 The message Element
        10.1.13 Actions insert, delete and setindex
11 Submit
    11.1 The xforms-submit Event
    11.2 Submission Options
    11.3 Serialization as application/xml
    11.4 Serialization as multipart/related
    11.5 Serialization as multipart/form-data
    11.6 Serialization as application/x-www-form-urlencoded
    11.7 The post, multipart-post, form-data-post, and urlencoded-post Submit Methods
    11.8 The put Submit Method
    11.9 The get Submit Method
12 Conformance
    12.1 Conformance Levels
        12.1.1 XForms Full
    12.2 Conformance Description
        12.2.1 Conforming XForms Processors
        12.2.2 Conforming XForms Documents
        12.2.3 Conforming XForms Generators
13 Glossary Of Terms


A Schema for XForms
    A.1 Schema for XML Events
B References
    B.1 Normative References
    B.2 Informative References
C Privacy Considerations
    C.1 Using P3P with XForms
D Recalculation Sequence Algorithm
    D.1 Details on Creating the Master Dependency Directed Graph
    D.2 Details on Creating the Pertinent Dependency Subgraph
    D.3 Details on Computing Individual Vertices
    D.4 Example of Calculation Processing
E Input Modes
    E.1 inputmode Attribute Value Syntax
    E.2 User Agent Behavior
    E.3 List of Tokens
        E.3.1 Script Tokens
        E.3.2 Modifier Tokens
    E.4 Relationship to XML Schema pattern facets
    E.5 Examples
F XForms and Styling (Non-Normative)
    F.1 Pseudo-classes
    F.2 Pseudo-elements
    F.3 Examples
G Complete XForms Examples (Non-Normative)
    G.1 XForms in XHTML
    G.2 Editing Hierarchical Bookmarks Using XForms
    G.3 Survey Using XForms and SVG
H Changelog (Non-Normative)
I Acknowledgments (Non-Normative)
J Production Notes (Non-Normative)