Friday, March 24, 2006

W3C Tech Plenary, Part II

Backplane Panel

I already posted about the W3C Technical plenary in Mandelieu and talked about the work we are doing in the XML Processing ("XProc") working group. It's now time to talk a little bit about XForms-related work done during that week.

On Wednesday, XForms working group members John Boyer, Steven Pemberton and Mark Birbek, along with Al Gilman from the Protocols and Formats and Hypertext Coordination groups (from right to left on the picture) participated in a panel about the "Rich Web Application Backplane". The idea comes down to looking at how we could standardize on a backplane providing cross-markup services in compound documents so as to reduce duplication in functionality between languages. The thinking is that since XForms already provides a model for its own use which has been the subject of a lot of efforts, XForms is well positioned to inspire such a cross-language backplane.

The last two days of the week were dedicated to the meetings of XForms working group. With a few exceptions, I hadn't met the members of this group face to face, but I have to say that this turns out to be a great team.

Now that XForms 1.0 Second Edition is a recommendation, the working group is progressing towards XForms 1.1 and trying to get it out of the door as soon as possible, hopefully this year. Public working drafts are already available online. This work does not preclude great post-XForms 1.1 ideas to float around and be discussed.

The meeting was also the opportunity for interesting "show and tell" sessions, where members presented their latest and greatest stuff. Besides Orbeon PresentationServer and XSmiles, of which we can of course talk about openly since they are open source, we had demos of Mark Birbek's Sidewinder, of an application built by Sebastian Schnitzenbaumer, and demos by IBM's John Boyer (Workplace) and Jan Kratky (IBM Emerging Software Standards). I hope I am not forgetting anyone who showed running software.

It's good to see that XForms is not only progressing on the front of implementations, but that the working group of which we are a member is also constantly looking at the future of the XForms technology.

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