Ian Bicking: the old part of his blog

Re: On form libraries

What's your take on WYSIWYG form builders and related libraries in Java and ASP.NET?

Comment on On form libraries
by Scott Tsai

Comments:

I've never tried them or even seen them. It seems reasonable, I suppose, though any framework integration would set off a warning bells. Insofar as you are adding custom attribute to the form elements, it's reasonable. At least what I've seen in ASP.NET seems to do this. What I don't like in the examples I've seen is that it seems to also do control flow through the form itself. That's awful. Templates are good, but they aren't good for control flow. And putting control flow in form libraries is the kiss of death IMHO.

I think form generators aren't all bad, and potentially something less general than a full templating language could be called for when generating large forms (though of course any templating language can be used to programmatically create forms -- there's doesn't need to be any dichotomy between generated and hand-written forms if other tools work on the markup and not any underlying models).

# Ian Bicking

I was just contemplating writing a set of HTMLish widgets for Glade as I read this. They would produce HTML or Mako or something like that. My personal view is that if there were decent UI form designers for HTML, people wouldn't become obsessed with building this particular magic bullet.

# Ali