XML for forms

David Megginson david at megginson.com
Mon Jul 5 14:42:37 BST 1999

Don Park writes:

 > > I haven't detected any real overwhelming momentum at W3C to launch
 > > an ambitious e-forms standardization project, although I seem to
 > > recall that some WG or other has the mandate to enrich & extend
 > > HTML forms... -T.
 > Perhaps the three groups (XFA, XFDL, and HTML forms) should get
 > together outside W3C to create an XHTML module for rich form
 > support.  It is my opinion that there is no clear winner in this
 > area and there are many other e-form companies preparing to jump
 > in.  Either that or another round of catfight is needed to clear up
 > the air.

I have not more than glanced at either of the XML submissions, but I
am hesitant about anything that tries to reproduce paper forms on the

I understand that during the 80's and 90's there has been a smallish
niche market for that sort of thing (because of legacy regulations,
especially in government and the military), but just as good, usable
HTML pages don't look anything like magazine articles or ads, good,
genuinely usable electronic forms don't look anything like paper

A good XML forms language should be fairly simple; any hairy stuff can 
be offloaded to stylesheets for people who think they need it.

All the best,


David Megginson                 david at megginson.com

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