Introduction to betterFORM
betterFORM is based on the W3C XForms 1.1 standard which is aligned with all of the other standards that make up the web (most prominently (X)HTML). XForms defines itself as „the next generation of forms technology for the world wide web“ (cite from W3C XForms homepage) and is supported and developed by major companies. betterFORM is a full implementation of XForms 1.1 plus additional functionalities to cover the last mile to a full web application toolkit.
betterFORM takes the server-side approach for good reasons:
- there are no major browsers that implement XForms natively
- to provide a consistent user experience across a broad range of devices the generation of user interface code is much more flexible and can take full advantage of the respective capabilities of a device may it be a desktop browser, a smartphone or a tablet computer
- for sensitive applications it is not always desirable to expose your XForms model on the client. With betterFORM the model always stays on the server and there’s no way to access it. This has advantages when it comes to security and the protection of your development efforts.
- pure client-side implementations always have to address the double-validation problem (see here)
While XForms has a powerful abstract Model-View-Controller architecture to build complex logic in forms it is by intend ignorant of layout. betterFORM offers some default layouts to ease the job of creating consistent layouts.