HTML forms get face-lift

"HTML forms is way behind where today's Web browsers are," said David Manning, chief technology officer at California-based PureEdge Solutions, a creator of legally binding transactions for e-commerce and a member of the working group that is meeting next week.

"The summit is about updating HTML forms to more modern technology," Manning added.

Randy Souza, associate analyst at Forrester Research, said there is a need to improve the interface beyond just raw, standards-compliant HTML.

"The obvious difference between today and seven years ago is that people are accessing more types of information from more types of devices," Souza said. "As we move toward more complex business-to-business transactions, the interface in HTML doesn't scale."

HTML, for instance, is capable of putting five or six fields in a form, but it cannot handle more complex business documents such as purchase orders.

The specification for XForms separates the user interface from the data and logic, enabling different presentations to be used with the same back-end, according to officials. In doing so, the same form can be filled out via a PC, a handheld, or a cellular phone and then can exchange data into the same back-end system.

Additionally, developers can write forms onto which users can drag and drop their personal information - such as credit card number, name, phone number, and address - and the form will know to put each piece of data into the corresponding field.

"This needs to happen in order for Web and e-commerce to take the next jump," PureEdge's Manning said.

Forrester's Souza said that other benefits of XForms include the capability of passing data between Web pages, bringing the industry beyond the limitations of HTTP, which is stateless and able to pass only one page at a time.

XForms consists of three specifications: the Data Model; pending specifications on the user interface; and pending specifications on protocols. The W3C published a draft for the Data Model in April and expects it to be recommended as a standard by year's end, officials said. No dates have been set for the other two specifications.

"The Data Model just out of the gate can be a very useful thing," Manning said. "Each of the three specs has tremendous value in its own right."

Manning said that PureEdge will implement the Data Model into its Internet Forms Commerce System as soon as the specification is recommended as a standard.

This is the first meeting of this particular group, which consists of representatives from 21 companies, but the technology has been in development for approximately a year as a subgroup of the W3C's HTML working group.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Tom Sullivan

PC World
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?