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Mozilla And Opera Team Up For Web Forms Standard 50

Posted by timothy
from the wonder-non-twins dept.
darthcamaro writes "According to an article running on Internetnews.com today, Mozilla and Opera have teamed up on a web standards proposal for Web Forms 2.0 to be presented at a W3C working group this week. One of the proposal's authors is quoted in the article as saying '... that if a backwards-compatible open-standards alternative isn't created first, then 10 years from now the de facto Web application standard will be Microsoft's Avalon and the .NET framework.'
Are Opera and Mozilla the new 'rebel alliance' in the fight against the Microsoft Empire? Should we call this chapter 'A New Hope'?"
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Mozilla And Opera Team Up For Web Forms Standard

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  • Well... no (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rice_web (604109) on Tuesday June 01, 2004 @08:59AM (#9302375)
    Microsoft isn't the worst thing that's ever happened. In fact, simply creating a new web form system should be evidence that Microsoft is progressing, albeit slowly. Yes, developers should do all that is possible to prevent yet another Microsoft-dominated technology, but if Microsoft can put together a better product sooner, then take it and embrace it until a new technology comes along.
    • Well if microsoft continues along their current trackrecord their new "standard" is unlikely to be available to any competitors and will probably include so much technology lock-in that it would rule out any competition.

      This is turn would hurt the customers of any company when the web turns even less standardised than it is today.

      This webpage can only be viewed with microsoft technology is coming to a site near you!
      • by rice_web (604109) on Tuesday June 01, 2004 @09:13AM (#9302434)
        I seem to remember a few antitrust lawsuits a few years ago, which never went very well for Microsoft. If Microsoft overextends itself again, I believe that judges around the nation will be more inclined to levy the same charges. Further, judges are growing, if slowly, more computer literate, and they therefore have a greater understanding of technologies and the implications of monopolies in the marketplace (or so we should hope, after years in the courtroom).

        if Microsoft's legal machine is able to fend off liberal judges, then we have a real problem. However, Microsoft is being torn to pieces by the courts, picked off bit by bit. Like a hydra, it just won't die unless it loses all its heads, but I believe it's injured to a degree that it can't venture into new technologies, dominate them, and evade the law.
    • Re:Well... no (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Ender Ryan (79406) on Tuesday June 01, 2004 @09:08AM (#9302405) Journal
      Are you daft, man? Microsoft "standards" may not be implementable by others, due to patents, Windows hooks in the "standard," and etc. Ever heard of ActiveX?

      Microsoft's goal is to lock everyone else out, and if there's anything they're good it, it's that.

      Anyway, Moz and Opera working together can only be good. It would be even better if they could work with Apple and the kHTML guys too.

      • Re:Well... no (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Are you daft, man? Microsoft "standards" may not be implementable by others, due to patents, Windows hooks in the "standard," and etc. Ever heard of ActiveX?

        What is patented about ActiveX? Or are you referring to Eolas' patent?

        • Re:Well... no (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Ender Ryan (79406)
          I didn't say ActiveX was patented... Re-read my post and make sure you comprehend it before responding :P

          ActiveX requires the Windows API and AFAIK i386 architecture as well, as ActiveX runs native Windows code on the client machine.

    • Re:Well... no (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Finuvir (596566) <rparleNO@SPAMsoylentred.net> on Tuesday June 01, 2004 @09:11AM (#9302424) Homepage
      The reason Opera and Mozilla want to create this quickly is so that developers don't get started with whatever Microsoft comes up with. If they start with a proprietary Microsft tecnology they won't switch to an open standard when it becomes available because Microsoft will have enough reason not to support the new standard ("Why support that? We have this; this is what everyone uses.") Then we have a whole new round of vendor lock-in. If Microsoft was unilaterally developing an open specification it would be different (though I'd prefer to see input from many organisation), but I can't see that happening any time this century.
  • by Kick the Donkey (681009) <kickthedonkey AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday June 01, 2004 @09:11AM (#9302425) Homepage Journal
    When ever I hear a story like this, it always comes back to MSN for me. MSN was not created by Microsoft as an application for the Internet. It was created as compitition (or replacement) for the Internet. They couldn't stand the fact that people would be using something they couldn't control.
    Anything you let Microsoft own will be to the detriment of the society as a whole.
    • MSN was not created by Microsoft as an application for the Internet. It was created as compitition (or replacement) for the Internet. They couldn't stand the fact that people would be using something they couldn't control.

      Nonsense. On the "evil" scale, the MSN story barely ranks above Microsoft Bob.

      If you look at the context of the time when MSN was first created, you'll find that most people were using other proprietary networks like Compuserve and AOL. That's what MSN was mimicking and trying to comp
  • A New Hope (Score:5, Funny)

    by Finuvir (596566) <rparleNO@SPAMsoylentred.net> on Tuesday June 01, 2004 @09:15AM (#9302440) Homepage
    Surely if this chapter is A New Hope the next would be Microsoft Strikes Back and then The Return of Netscape 4? I don't think any of us want that.
  • Episode (Netscape) IV. This is Eps. 1-3. The Phantom Menace is Longhorn (since no one knows what it is yet), The Attack of the Clones is Mozilla/Firebird/Firefox/Camino, and Episode Three? We'll just have to see.
  • Yeah, right (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Fished (574624) <amphigory.gmail@com> on Tuesday June 01, 2004 @09:40AM (#9302599)
    At this point, all Microsoft has to do to keep things proprietary is not implement the new standard. Why should they want to implement it when they can do some crazy com/.net solution that nobody can use except on a Windows PC?
    • Re:Yeah, right (Score:5, Insightful)

      by endx7 (706884) on Tuesday June 01, 2004 @10:13AM (#9302820) Homepage Journal

      At this point, all Microsoft has to do to keep things proprietary is not implement the new standard. Why should they want to implement it when they can do some crazy com/.net solution that nobody can use except on a Windows PC?

      That's where the competition comes in. A site may say, oh, you need a newer browser to view this properly. Well, Microsoft doesn't have it, so, um, sorry, use Mozilla/Firefox or Opera. As soon as people discover that IE is "broken", they become a lot more willing to switch away.

      And then you have to get developers and whatnot to use your standard. An open standard has an advantage there, since -anyone- can do it without paying Microsoft.

      On the other hand, IE -does- hold the upperhand, and web developers are always needing to maintain as much compatibility between browsers as possible (or, at least IE), so they might not use something most of the people can't use easily. So you definately have a point. It's not going to be easy to keep microsoft from exerting its market dominance

      • >On the other hand, IE -does- hold the upperhand, and web developers are always needing to maintain as much compatibility between browsers as possible...

        Yes, to a point. The way I look at it is that designers and developers will aim for Moz/Opera paltform, and essentially backport to IE. This means some sites will look better in Moz/Opera (which they do already) than in IE.

        In droves, IE users are discovering that.
    • Re:Yeah, right (Score:5, Interesting)

      by elbobo (28495) on Tuesday June 01, 2004 @10:24AM (#9302914)
      If Mozilla, Opera, and Apple get in on the act, that will be enough.

      This new standard isn't the same as the rest of the web. In most cases it will be targeted and used largely for web applications, not web sites.

      If you build a web site you have commercial pressure to ensure that it will be viewable in as many browsers and on as many platforms as possible. You can't have system requirements on a brochure.

      If you build an application, people don't by default expect it to function on all platforms and browsers. People develop applications largely for single platforms, so that sort of focus can carry over reasonably smoothly to web applications.

      Having said that, if it's implemented by all the above mentioned companies/browsers, then your application will gain immediate cross platform support, with users even having a choice of browser platform within their chosen OS platform.

      I'm not talking about the current generation of web applications here, the likes of web mail (Hotmail, GMail, etc). I'm talking about the next generation, where the application looks and feels much closer to what we traditionally consider to be an application. That's where these standards are going. They won't feel like the web we know now, and won't be treated in the same manner.

      So Microsoft can go off and do their own thing, and that's fine. As long as the other platforms have their equivalent technology, web application developers won't be left out in the cold if they want to build cross platform applications.
      • >> If Mozilla, Opera, and Apple get in on the act, that will be enough.

        You seem a little confused about who's side Apple is on.

        Apple is allowed to fight MS in digital media, but when it comes to OSX they toe the line. If they don't then MS threatens to stop making Office for the Mac. When the time comes, assuming Apple is still behaving, MS will license Avalon to Apple.

        I'm happy to stake my personal credibility on the prediction that Apple will behave and MS will license Avalon to them.

        OSX is o
        • That's a fancy fairy tale you've concocted there.

          I'm happy to stake my personal credibility on the prediction that Apple will behave and MS will license Avalon to them.

          If I were a cruel man, I'd note that down and remind you of it in a few years time. Although you may get your chance to feel a fool sooner than that, with Apple's WWDC coming up later this month, and the potential for announcements along these lines at that event.

          What rendering engine is Apple's web browser based on? KHTML, from the KDE
          • The people you mentioned at Apple don't get to decide strategic direction. The techies recommend one thing, the bean counters recommend something else, and management listens to the bean counters.

            I think that Apple WILL implement any new standards based web technologies that Mozilla and Opera develop. And they will do so quite loudly. MS won't mind because if you add Safari market share to Mozilla and Opera it is still tiny. But then Apple will later license Avalon.

            When I said that Apple wasn't allowe
            • Malcolmson?
            • Backpeddler.

              I never even brought up XAML in relation to Apple. So after attacking me and saying I didn't have a grasp on Apple, you've now come out and agreed with me that Apple will implement the new standards, then tried to twist it into a "but they will *also* license Avalon later on!".

              So what? who cares if they license Avalon? As long as they're supporting the standards, which is the issue which you originally attacked me on, but now agree with.

              Having said that, I still say you're living in fairy lan
              • Hum. You might want to read my post a little more closely.

                What I said was that you misunderstood who's side Apple is really on.

                What I mean is that, regardless of what they do at their conferences and in their ads, they will do what benefits MS where it counts. I'm not suggesting anything sinister: those moves will also benefit themselves and they are a business, but they sure won't benefit the OSS movement.

                In particular, they will license the technologies that allow them to support MS's direction on th
    • MS recent plans for .net domination put them squarely in Apple-land. It's better at this point to let MS do it's own thing 100% then to try to "compete" with them.

      It would be better to keep applications like Mozilla and Opera on the table running on windows AND anything else exactly the same way. Right now in terms of number of options, the "pure" MS environment is a lame duck. It will take time for businesses to see that, but that's where the OSS alternatives can offer to "fix" those deficencies while

    • The so-called "browser wars" are over. IE won... and lost.

      Microsoft was not interested in "winning", per se. They just didn't want anyone *else* to win. It never was about who had the better product - only about Microsoft not losing the war. A war it misunderstood for years, joined late, and then used terrorist tactics to "win". They produced a technologically-incompatible product, disgourged massive amounts of marketing FUD about the incompatibilities that they, themselves, invented, and, finally, ga
  • by Garg (35772) on Tuesday June 01, 2004 @11:32AM (#9303757) Homepage
    How would this Web Forms be different from the already-standardized, but not implemented by Mozilla or Opera, XForms [w3.org]? (Note: not the GUI toolkit for X [std.com] by the same name.) After all, the W3C page says XForms is "the next generation of Web Forms"...

    The "Web Forms" name is so generic that Googling it is basically useless.

    Garg
    • by t482 (193197) on Tuesday June 01, 2004 @01:14PM (#9304964) Homepage
      The specification [hixie.ch]

      1.3. Relationship to XForms [hixie.ch]

      This specification is in no way aimed at replacing XForms 1.0 [XForms], nor is it a subset of XForms 1.0.

      XForms 1.0 is well suited for describing business logic and data constraints. Unfortunately, due to its requirements on technologies not widely supported by Web browsers, it has not been widely implemented by those browsers itself. This specification aims to simplify the task of transforming XForms 1.0 systems into documents that can be rendered on every day Web browsers.

      • It's not aimed at replacing XForms, but it is their cop out so they don't have to implement XForms, which would require them to implement several other XMLish specs like XPath, Schema, and XML events which they see as hard. You are right that these have "not been widely implemented by those browsers".

        I don't understand how adding an extra spec to learn in addition to XForms can be called a simplification. For whom? Browser implementors and presentation layer programmers. Not for businesses who have to hire
        • Hi bwt, a couple of observations:

          Technical details:

          XPath is in Mozilla, has been for years. The XPath extensions needed by XForms look easy enough, although no one has signed up to do them yet.

          Schema-based node validation is not in Mozilla. No one has come up with a plan yet to integrate an existing validator. T. V. Raman has suggested using Xerces wholesale, but the footprint hit seems big (1MB was a guesstimate). This is the big ticket item in the work to be done. Volunteers who know their way

  • No one will use it if their customers are not using Opera or Mozilla. And since the majority of standards that are eventually decided on are decided by the fact that majority of people use one browser over another. This is a meaningless move which will just complicate things more, and not really help anyone at all.

    well, at least that is mho.
    • While it's true that people won't generally develop for a platform that isn't used, the usage of platforms isn't frozen in time. More importantly, if a developer's client happens to hear all about the new, cross-platform, next-generation Web standard that's all the rage in the technology press (like WIRED), he may just ask his CTO, "hey, how come we don't have that?" And suddenly, there's a market for this snazzy new technology. The key word (well, phrase) here is 'media coverage'.

  • In all honesty, this all just sounds like Microsoft's implementation of Flash Remoting. If you don't want to work in Avalon / .Net; what we need to do is to get a hook into Flash and start working with that for forms etc.

    Either way, this seems to me like it's going to be "Browser wars, round 2, FIGHT!"

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