XForms Essentials

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"O'Reilly Media, Inc.", 2003 - Computers - 215 pages

The use of forms on the web is so commonplace that most user interactions involve some type of form. XForms--a combination of XML and forms--offers a powerful alternative to HTML-based forms. By providing excellent XML integration, including XML Schema, XForms allows developers to create flexible, web-based user-input forms for a wide variety of platforms, including desktop computers, handhelds, information appliances, and more.XForms Essentials is an introduction and practical guide to the new XForms specification. Written by Micah Dubinko, a member of the W3C XForms working group and an editor of the specification, the book explains the how and why of XForms, showing readers how to take advantage of them without having to write their own code. You'll learn how to integrate XForms with both HTML and XML vocabularies, and how XForms can simplify the connection between client-based user input and server-based processing.XForms Essentials begins with a general introduction to web forms, including information on history and basic construction of forms. The second part of the book serves as a reference manual to the XForms specification. The third section offers additional hints, guidelines, and techniques for working with XForms. Topics covered in the book include:

  • creating XForms files in a text or XML editor
  • converting existing forms (electronic or paper) to XForms
  • collecting XML data from users in a user-friendly way
  • reducing the amount of JavaScript needed within browser interfaces
  • increasing the security and reliability of your current forms system by combining client-side and server-side checks into a common code base
  • creating interactive websites using the latest standard technology
XForms Essentials focuses on the practical application of XForms technology. If you work with forms, HTML, or XML information, XForms Essentials will provide you with a much simpler route to more sophisticated interactions with users.
 

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Contents

Introduction to Web Forms
1
The Past Present and Future of Web Forms
2
A Brief Review of HTML Forms
3
Limitations of HTML Forms Advantages of XForms
12
The History of XForms
14
The Revenge of the Simple Syntax
17
XForms Building Blocks
19
A RealWorld Example
20
The XForms User Interface
91
Interaction with Instance Data
107
Grouping
108
Dynamic Presentation
109
Repeating Line Items
110
Actions and Events
114
XForms Actions
119
XForms Events
126

Host Language Issues
32
Linking Attributes
33
XPath in XForms
35
Getting Up to Speed with XPath
36
The XPath Data Model
37
Location Paths
40
Computed Expressions
44
How XPath is Used in XForms
60
XML Schema in XForms
64
Useful Datatypes
69
Other Datatypes
76
An Email Datatype for XForms
77
Complex Types
78
xsiitype
79
The XForms Model
80
Structural Elements
81
Common Attributes
83
Model Item Properties
84
Making the ConnectionBinding
88
Submit
137
What to Submit
138
Where and How to Submit
140
What Happens After Submit?
148
Submission Options
150
Security and Privacy Concerns
151
Styling XForms
152
Form Accessibility Design and Troubleshooting
162
Basics of Accessibility
163
Form Design Patterns
164
XFormsspecific Design Hints
169
Troubleshooting Stubborn Readonly Controls
174
Making the Switch to XForms
176
Extending XForms
178
Ways to Extend
179
Examining Microsoft InfoPath
185
The GNU Free Documentation License
194
Index
203
Copyright

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About the author (2003)

Micah Dubinko serves as an editor and author of the XForms 1.0 W3C specification, where he has participated in the XForms effort since September 1999, nine months before the official Working Group was chartered. He's on WC3's XForms committee, knows XForms inside and out, and often acts as a spokesperson on XForms within the W3C and at conferences. He works in San Diego at Cardiff Software, Inc., as a Senior Software Engineer and Chief XML Architect. Over the last four years he has helped determine Cardiff's technical XML strategy and designed and implemented key XML support across several product lines, as well as worked in Product Management. Micah Dubinko was awarded CompTIA CDIA (Certified Document Imaging Architech) certification in January 2001. Micah is the author of XForms Essentials.

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