Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group Launches Mailing List

Friday June 4th, 2004

Ian Hickson writes: "Some of you may be interested to hear that people from Opera and Mozilla have set up an open mailing list for discussing Web Forms 2 and other new specs that have been discussed in various places over the last few months."

The list is the public forum of the newly-formed Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group, an organisation made of contributors from several major Web browser development teams. Current invited members are Brendan Eich, David Baron, David Hyatt, Håkon Wium Lie, Ian Hickson, Johnny Stenback and Maciej Stachowiak.

The group is working on specifications for Web Forms 2.0, Web Apps 1.0, Web Controls 1.0 and a CSS object rendering model. This work will be largely done outside of the World Wide Web Consortium, though finalised versions of the specs are expected to be submitted for formal standardisation. While the decision to operate independently of the W3C may be seen as controversial, many feel that formal standards bodies move too slowly to react to proprietary technologies such as Microsoft's forthcoming XAML. In addition, many in the W3C are pushing for Web applications standards based on technologies such as XForms and Scalable Vector Graphics, whereas the members of the WHATWG favour backwards-compatible HTML-based solutions, which they believe would be easier to implement and more likely to be adopted by Web developers.

#10 standards shmandards...

by buff

Saturday June 5th, 2004 8:31 AM

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The standard of XForms appears cool but in my mind I have the bad memory of this thing called CSS that the W3C devised. Sure, you can do all kinds of wacky things with overriding tags and absolute positioning of DIV's and such but I still like to point out how difficult it is to make a simple column layout in CSS that does what a user would expect it to do. Sometimes these standards appear to have been created in a vaccuum. One of the most common patterns a web designer uses: laying out columns for a web page. With all the time and effort that went into CSS you would think at least a <COLUMN> tag could have been added that would allow text to flow from one container to another using an index attribute. It just makes me shake my head in disbelief sometimes at looking at the current schemes designers have to use to get DIV's to remain side by side by using large margin sizes that force the columns to resize correctly. How did something that could have been so simply spelled out turn out to be so long-winded, unintuitive, and not layout friendly such as CSS. I can only imagine what will happen to XForms once it becomes a 'standard'.