XML for forms

Marcus Carr mrc at allette.com.au
Thu Jul 1 03:09:04 BST 1999

Trevor Croll wrote:

> To me it appears that XML offers the programmer a much more
> sophisicated data structure than any previously imagined. A well
> structered symble table of variables seems to offer the programmer a
> much better easier applications building approach BUT there is a
> tangle of data and screen markup like <font "size = 10"> and form
> details like the letter head etc.. which is not data and not
> interesting to the applications programmer, only of interest to the
> viewer. How would one keep real data separate from display markups and
> screen text words like "INVOICE" etc????

One way would be to use something like Acrobat Forms from Adobe. They
allow you to define value pairs, which are a named field and a value.
You can create a PDF form with blank spaces for entering data.
Submitting the form allows you to obtain the value pairs alone, without
making you sort through the extras you would have to deal with in an
HTML form. The opposite is also possible - you can merge a PDF form with
value pairs, making it possible to display the data as you deem

Although this isn't yet an XML solution, my understanding is that XML
support is planned for Acrobat. Also, the conversion between the syntax
used for value pairs and XML is trivial, so it could be considered to be
a delivery mechanism at the back end of an XML system.


Marcus Carr                      email:  mrc at allette.com.au
Allette Systems (Australia)      www:    http://www.allette.com.au
"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler."
       - Einstein

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