One of the newest specifications coming out of the World Wide Web Consortium is that of the XForms. This specification is an XML format for the processing of form data. While it is considered to be designed for the next generation in forms used in both HTML and XHTML languages, it is still able to be very generic in that it can be used on its own without the use of HTML at all. Furthermore, it can also be integrated with a number of potential development languages assuming that language recognises and can interact with the XML file.
It was back in 2003 when XForms first received its W3C specification with the third edition being the first full-blown release of the language. Since this edition was released back in 2007, version 1.1 was then released a short time later on in the year but to date, XForms 2.0 is still currently under development as it is being developed along with the XHTML 2.0 specification.
Rather than the standard HTML form used today, the XForms were developed as a model-view-controller type of form in which the model is what describes and sets the constraints and submission data for the form and the view is the form’s finished appearance. While it is possible to write an XForm directly into the HTML file, it is also possible to call it through a number of possible ways today. For starters, you can use an XmlHttpRequest to call the form or if you are developing a site which already has AJAX integrated in it you may also call it through the AKAX itself. Due to its close relationship with XML, if you are able to call an XML file, you will most likely be able to call the XForms as well.
Some of the newest additions to the development of XForms include the ability to submit the actual XML data right to a database and it is also possible to use XML files to pre-fill data which will be sent to the database. Because of its dependence upon the XML file, this means that one is capable of doing a number of things with XForms without ever having to write a single line of scripting to make it work because of the cross-browser compatibility associated with XML.
Today there are already a number of top named websites making use of the XForms including Google and Yahoo! At this rate, it will just be a matter of time before the XForms completely replace the need for HTML or XHTML type forms.
Original Authors: Nick
Edit Update Authors: M.A.Harris
Updated On: 05/03/2009