Sunday, 2 March 2008

Understanding the Benefits of XForms

XForms is something of an odd duck. Originally intended simply as a modularization of the HTML components so that they could better work in a more XML oriented environment, the XForms specification very quickly morphed into the foundation for a considerably more sophisticated application, albeit one that had a few ... idiosyncrasies.

What emerged after XML, on the other hand, has bordered on the surreal. XSLT took a template matching approach to transformations and XML processing that was powerful but hardly intuitive (especially if you tended to be dubious about the power of recursion). XPath provided an odd notation for referencing the various parts of a given XML structure, while the recent completion of XQuery did the same thing for whole collections of XML documents.

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