[FoRK] Why AJAX?

Ken Meltsner meltsner
Tue Oct 11 13:12:35 PDT 2005

On 11 Oct 2005 12:50:28 -0700, Reza B'Far <reza at voicegenesis.com> wrote:
> Hi Gavin:
> You're right... There was a time that I thought XForms was going to change
> everything... The spec certainly is very promising... but, without support
> in IE and Mozilla, XForms is not getting far.

Nice to know others share my ability at technology prognostication....

> 1)  Most people who're called "Software Engineers" not really being
> Engineers at all.  They want some cook-book way of doing things... doesn't
> have to be proven in a true engineering rigorous manner... just has to have
> a buzz.

Most engineering is about cookbook application of techniques. 
Admittedly, the cookbooks are often huge and the engineer gets to
decide which cookbook to use.  I think the missing element is the
duality of requirements and testing -- we rarely understand exactly
what the end user needs and have trouble showing that our work
products will satisfy those needs.

> ...
> Finally, does anyone on the list know why XForms lost momentum?

My guess is that it failed the 80/20 test -- a lightweight
implementation broadly available that would provide most of the
capabilities without the effort required for full implementations.

That said, it's not a total failure -- there are implementations in
use out there, although they may not be visible.  One of our products
embeds an XForms implementation.  We use it in our workflow system as
the representation of (surprise) form designs.  One of the nice
aspects is that the XML format supports a number of interesting
capabilities, giving our product room for future extensions without
upwards compatibility issues, e.g. addition of other client types,
improved support for multilingual forms, richer interfaces.


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