XML News from Monday, April 10, 2006

IBM's alphaWorks has updated the XML Forms Generator, a data-driven Eclipse plug-in that "generates forms that adhere to the XForms 1.0 standard, using as a starting point either Web Service Description Language (WSDL) documents or XML instance documents having optional XML Schema backing models. The generated forms adhere to the XHTML and XForms 1.0 standards and can be viewed in popular XHTML and XForms renderers." This release adds schematron support, can externalize text strings for localization, can place instance data inline, and runs with Java 5.

IBM has also released the Visual XForms Designer, an Eclipse plug-in for graphicaly editing XForms. This product sits on top of the Eclipse Modeling Framework (EMF), Graphical Editing Framework (GEF), and Eclipse Web Tools Platform (WTP) which gives me very little hope that it will actually work. WTP in particular is truly hideous, buggy piece of software, not up to the standards of rest of the Eclipse platform. I'm not sure whether that's because WTP is bad software or because it's built on top of the shaky foundations of GEF and EMF. (I suspect a little of both.)

Both the XML Forms Generator and the Visual Forms Designer are part of the Emerging Technologies Toolkit (ETTK), which is a nice way of saying they're closed source and more than likely IBM will eventually abandon them without ever making them available for production use; either as closed or open source.