Members of the W3C XForms Working Group have released a revised working draft of the XForms 1.0 specification. Designed to be "more flexible than previous HTML and XHTML form technologies, the new generation of Web forms called XForms separates purpose, presentation, and data. The current design of Web forms doesn't separate the purpose from the presentation of a form. XForms, in contrast, are comprised of separate sections that describe what the form does, and how the form is to be presented. This allows for flexible presentation options, making it possible for classic XHTML form controls, as well as other form control sets such as WML, to be leveraged. W3C XForms are the response to the public demand for better web forms with richer interactions, and the new design represents the creation of a new platform-independent markup language for online interaction between an XForms Processor and a remote entity. XForms are thus the successor to XHTML forms, and benefit from the lessons learned in the years of HTML forms implementation experience." The current WD is expected to be the last before the publication of a 'last call' Working Draft; it supercedes the previous working draft of 2001-06-08 and "incorporates new material agreed upon at the Amsterdam face to face meeting and ongoing feedback from the general public." Appendix A of the specification contains the W3C XML Schema for XForms.
XForms design features (illustrated): "(1) The user interface is not hard-coded to use radio buttons. Different devices (such as a voice browser) can render the concept of 'selectOne' as appropriate. (2) Form controls always have captions directly associated with them, as child elements. (3) There is no need for an enclosing form element. (4) Markup for specifying form controls has been simplified: <xform:input> rather than <input type="text">; and <xform:selectOne> instead of <html:select multiple="multiple>. (5) Data entered through the form controls ends up submitted as XML. With these changes, the XForms Processor will be able to directly submit XML instance data. The XML is constructed by creating a root element with child elements reflecting the names given to each form control... XForms processing keeps track of the state of the partially filled form through instance data, which provides an outline of the desired XML data, including namespace information. The instance data starts off with the initial values for the form, is updated as the user fills the form, and eventually is serialized and submitted..."
Bibliographic information: XForms 1.0. W3C Working Draft 28-August-2001 Version URL: http://www.w3.org/TR/2001/WD-xforms-20010828. Latest version URL: http://www.w3.org/TR/xforms/. Previous version URL: http://www.w3.org/TR/2001/WD-xforms-20010608. Edited by Micah Dubinko (Cardiff), Josef Dietl (Mozquito Technologies), Roland Merrick (IBM), Dave Raggett (W3C/Openwave), T. V. Raman (IBM), and Linda Bucsay Welsh (Intel). See also the diff-marked HTML version.