A lot has been going on since the last "The state of Orbeon Forms" post! This means that this new installment, covering improvements since Orbeon Forms 3.9, is in two parts. Here we focus on everything besides Form Builder and Form Runner:
- Security, performance and reliability
- External XML DTDs. For security reasons, processing and loading of external DTDs when XML validation is turned off (which is in most cases) is disabled by default.
- Better XForms error handling. Some runtime errors are now handled better and allow the XForms engine to continue processing. See also More resilient error handling in XForms.
- Native iPhone/iPad date and time widgets. This is pretty cool. See the blog post.
- Input "placeholder". This causes either the label or the hint to appear on the background of the field when it is empty. The native HTML 5 implementation is used when possible. See the documentation.
- Improved autocomplete. The autocomplete control is now simpler for end-users and easier for form authors. See Improved Autocomplete.
- Improved xxf:valid() XPath function. This function has been updated to handle relevant nodes in the same way that xf:submission does. See the documentation.
- New xxf:custom-mip() function. This function allows you to retrieve the value of a custom Model Item Property (MIP). See the documentation.
- Multiple XSLT outputs. You can now use xsl:result-document and the output: scheme in an XSLT transform placed in a pipeline. This allows an XSLT transform to produce multiple resulting documents for further processing in the pipeline.
- Scala and CoffeeScript. Most of the new server-side code is now written in Scala (using 2.9.1) and most of the new client-side code is written in CoffeeScript.
- Refactoring. Major refactoring of the XForms engine so-called static state has taken place to support dynamic XForms, a feature required for Form Builder "next". And more refactoring is on its way!
- XForms editorial meetings. Sub-groups in the XForms Working Group have met a few time to progress on XForms 2.0. In particular, we had a three-day meeting in Palo Alto, where good progress was made towards the XForms 2.0 spec.
This is for the important stuff, not counting numerous bug-fixes and other smaller improvements. If you are interested in the details, please follow the commits on github.
Part 2 will focus on Form Builder and Form Runner.
-The Orbeon Team