Sunday, February 20, 2005
Essentially there are two standards that various members of the W3C are proposing for the new web forms standard. One, XForms, is not compatible with current browsers. The other, Web Forms 2.0, is compatible with current browsers although it is not as feature rich or advanced as the XForms standard.

In addition to those two standards, there are other proprietary "standards" out there made by different proprietary makers. Microsoft has XAML, Macromedia has Flash MX, and Mozilla has XUL.

The splinter faction is composed of browser makers such as Opera Software, Mozilla, and Apple Computer (which has its own browser).

Essentially the splinter faction is concerned about the lack of backward compatibility in XForms, i.e., it wouldn't be supported by their browsers (nor by IE) and would probably require a plug-in.

Sense no current browser supports Xforms, this group figures that Microsoft won't implement it and instead use its proprietary XAML form specification. And since IE has over 90% of the market, that would make Xforms essentially irrelevant. XAML would become the defacto standard, and the spliter group's products (alternative browsers to IE) would not be able to implement the proprietary XAML standard. This would effectively lock their products out of any corporate market that utilized form technology.

So it is a pretty big deal, and it makes sense that the splinter group members are concerned enough to take this action. Hopefully their concerns are taken seriously by the W3C.
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I am an attorney in Chicago. Politically speaking, I am an indepedent that tends to lean conservative on fiscal issues and progressive on social issues. I try to remain as unbiased and open-minded as possible. Please email or post any comments, and especially criticisms. If something I say is wrong, or you disagree - let me know about it!

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