Steven Pemberton, CWI, Netherlands
XForms was first introduced in 2002. As the name suggests, it was originally designed as a mark-up language to describe electronic forms for the Web, offering major advantages over traditional HTML forms, such as typed data that could be automatically checked by the browser before submission, structured data, easy initialisation, automatically calculated values, device independence and much more.
However, initial experience with the language showed that since it had input, output, and a calculation engine, with relatively small amounts of generalisation XForms could be used not only for forms, but for applications in general. And so was born XForms 1.1, which since then has been implemented and applied in a large number of diverse applications and environments, by major companies including IBM, EMC, Xerox, the US Navy, several governments, and it is an integral part of ODF, the open office document format.
This year XForms 2.0 is planned to be released, increasing the power and generality of the language. This tutorial will describe this new version of the language and how to build applications using it. Interesting applications will include a generalised mapping application as well as database access, and the possibilities of system programming.