HTML forms Next Generation

Posted in Conferences, Companies, Development, Web Technologies on March 09, 2007

HTML forms Next Generation
Google Tech Talks
March 5, 2007


Web-based replacements for spreadsheets and simple forms

By Dave Raggett, W3C Fellow and Principal Researcher at Volantis Systems.

The ability to collect data from users and to submit it to servers has become a very important part of the Web. Forms are often supplemented by Web page scripts that enable the data to be checked as the user is filling out the form and before sending it to the server. These scripts can get quite complicated to develop and to maintain, making it interesting to explore ideas for replacing such scripts by equivalent declarative approaches.

XForms-Tiny is an incremental extension of HTML4 forms that can be deployed on today's Web browsers using an open source cross-browser JavaScript library that works on Internet Explorer 6 and 7, Firefox 1.5 and 2, Opera 9, Konqueror 3.5, and Safari, When delivered via HTTP as a compressed file, the download size is only 6 Kilo Bytes.

XForms-Tiny provides authors with the means to use simple JavaScript expressions for validating field values and spreadsheet-like formulae for computed fields, but also the means to describe repeating groups of fields, e.g. for line items in a purchase order. XForms-Tiny further provides for suppression of irrelevant parts of forms and context dependent control over which fields must be filled out. All this is possible without the page author needing to write any lines of client-side script.

This talk will present XForms-Tiny and place it in the context of related work (Web Forms 2.0, XForms-Basic, and XForms full) as well as the challenges for dealing with the small displays on mobile devices.

You will also learn about new approaches for browser-based editors that avoid the pitfalls of designMode and which are paving the way for a replacement for spreadsheets, browser-based editing of slide presentations and much more.

If people are interested and there is time available, I could also give a brief summary of the impending W3C Ubiquitous Web Applications working group that applies markup and eventing to simplify the development of distributed applications across a wide variety of network appliances including desktop computers, office equipment, home media appliances, mobile devices (phones), physical sensors and effectors.

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Tags: Techtalks, Google, Conferences, Technologies, Javascript, w3c, HTML, Lectures, XForms, Broadcasting, Development, Companies