HTML Forms sparked life into otherwise dull and static web pages. Now another version of Forms is in the offing: XForms.
By splitting traditional XHTML forms into three parts – data model, instance data, and user interface – XForms separates presentation from content, allows reuse, gives strong typing (reducing the number of round-trips to the server) as well as offering device independence and a reduced need for scripting. XForms 1.0 is now a W3C recommendation.
XForm promises a lot. Due to it, browser can check the values as they are typed in the form. This will shed away the need to have extensive client side scripting or the cumbersome server logic. XML is truly becoming a lingua franca of the web. XForm is tightly integrated into XML, the data which XForm collects is XML and the data sent by it is in XML. It also utilizes existing XML technologies, so there is no need to write the XML technologies from the scratch in order to use the XForm.
The same form can be delivered without change to a traditional browser, a PDA, a mobile phone, a voice browser or to an instant messenger. Due to the support of XML, it is internationalized. All the web servers and major browsers have their support now, so you can start playing with them from this very moment.