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XForms is a W3C standard for electronic forms for data acquisition, that is, interactive questionnaires, especially on the World Wide Web . XForms is platform-independent and can operate a wide variety of devices, from computers to cell phones to interactive television.

XForms was designed to replace the support for forms in HTML or the XML- based successor XHTML and to combine it with the rest of XML technology. But XForms is not bound to XHTML. XForms would have been part of the XHTML 2.0 standard, the development of which was discontinued.


XForms 1.0 became a W3C standard in October 2003. In October 2007, a corrected version of the standard appeared with XForms 1.0 (Third Edition) . A “Working Draft” for XForms 1.1 has existed since November 2004 ; it was last updated in November 2007 and became a recommendation on October 20, 2009.


XForms adheres to the MVC - architecture patterns . The model is described separately as XML before the display and control information is given.

The representation is described very loosely and largely depends on the implementation and the description language in which XForms were embedded. The elements of the model are linked with different widget types, which contain further information about the display ( e.g. reduced size etc.), importance and XML schema data types . The latter is particularly important, since the implementation can provide the user with information about the data to be entered without having to first validate the data. This saves the use of JavaScript in web applications, for example . This function is particularly important for smaller devices such as cell phones, as a lot of resources can be saved.

However, this does not save the need to validate the data on the server before it is processed further. It is possible to ignore the validation information in the XForms and to import any data into the data channel.


Currently only the rarely used Java web browser X-Smiles supports the specification. For the popular large browsers, parts of the program must be installed afterwards: The Mozilla XForms extension for Mozilla Firefox and the formsPlayer plug- in for Internet Explorer exist . Mozilla XForms has not been further developed since 2010 and is no longer supported since browser version 19. There are some JavaScript solutions that convert XForms to HTML or XHTML on the client side and some frameworks, such as Chiba , its free further development, betterFORM or Orbeon , that do this on the server side.

Another implementation of XForms is provided by Mozquito DENG . OpenOffice.org supports and uses XForms as of version 2.0. The XHTML to XForms Converter offers web authors an easy way to transform their web forms into valid XForms documents via XSLT.


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. XHTML 2 is discontinued. heise online , July 3, 2009, accessed on July 7, 2009 .
  2. "Mozilla XForms is not actively maintained any more since about 2010!" (English)
  3. “Support for XForms has been removed in Firefox 19…” (English)
  4. XSLTForms
  5. betterFORM ( Memento from September 28, 2013 in the Internet Archive )
  6. OpenOffice.org 2.0 Announcement. October 20, 2005, accessed July 7, 2009 .