Web Form Methodologies

Methodologies, patterns, and techniques for handling web-based CrudScreens.

Some notes and philosophies on web forms:


It basically gives some tips for emulating client/server-like GUI systems with HTML-based forms.

I suggest avoiding having a navigation panel on the left side of the screen as forms or listings tend to get wide at times. Perhaps have a pull-down list of "go to's" instead. True, not all forms or listings will be wide, but if some are, then you have an inconsistent look-and-feel of you remove the nav bar for only the wider ones. IOW, width is precious screen real-estate when data forms and listings are involved.

[Cannot agree more. Vertical scrolling is natural and follows the movement of the eye, and moreover is optimized in all sorts of ways when it comes to user interaction, like the scroll wheels on mice. Horizontal scrolling is much more awkward and distracts much more from flow.]

I think HTML is crappy for web data forms. We need a new standard. RemoteGuiProtocols

Agreed, HTML is not an ideal mechanism for complex data management. Sadly, it has marketplace acceptance at this stage and it will be very difficult -- if not impossible -- to bring in something new.

XForms? http://www.w3.org/MarkUp/Forms/

[XForms looks great, but it still doesn't address the UI issues for data-entry heavy applications. It'll be an incremental step, not a SilverBullet. That's if it ever passes vaporware status, of course - we're at least 3 or 4 years from it making it into the mainstream. Also, W3 tends to bloat up standards to put something in for everybody. While in theory this is a good thing, in practice semi-DomainSpecificLanguages seem to fair better as far as actual acceptance. HTML was great for its original use, for example, but trying to stretch it for every usage has made the newer standards bloated.]

See Also: WebForms, WebsitePatterns, RemoteGuiProtocols, WhatIsWrongWithTheGeneralVisualBasicApproach
CategoryWebDesign, CategoryUserInterface

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