by Micah Dubinko

Related link: http://examploforms.org

Schematron and Examplotron meet XForms. The result: a useful open source tool for data-driven form modeling and design. Kind of the antithesis of GUI forms tools, but that's what makes it attractive.

What motivates the development of a tool like this? You can think of Examploforms as the antithesis of graphical drag and drop designers. There are two ends to the spectrum: really complicated, data-intensive forms can be painful to work with in a touchy-feely WYSIWYG tool. On the other side, sometimes in really simple forms modeling and getting the back-end integration is the bigger job; actually designing the form is essentially trivial. In both of those cases, Examploforms can help.

This initial release focuses on ideas and technology, not on optimization or making the output look beautiful. (By the way, any stylesheet designers out there who would like to contribute some CSS to make the generated forms look nicer--I'm happy to accept contributions) It includes an XSLT stylesheet that transforms an Examploforms document into XHTML+XForms.

In includes a few useful datatype libraries/naming conventions that prove highly useful for form design, and will look familiar to regular readers of my regular blog.

I've set up a mailing list for questions and comments. Details within the specification document.

How do you handle data-intensive form design and integration?