Yahoo! uses XForms for 'write once, run anywhere' mobile applications

08 Jan 2008

[Yahoo! recently announced their entry into the mobile web applications space] (http://yhoo.client.shareholder.com/press/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=284835), with a service that allows applications to be built and hosted using Blueprint, a purpose-built mark-up language based on XForms.

The Blueprint roadmap describes the underlying philosophy:

Much of Blueprint's philosophy and syntax comes from XForms. We opted for a full declarative language because it was the only way we could effectively run on the wide range of devices out there, some of which have no scripting at all. By using declarative syntax, we can encapsulate and hide the scripting specifics. In some cases, the code could run on the phone, in other case, such as XHTML, we can put the logic on our servers. It's the perfect way to deal with the various environments and their capabilities.

At the moment Blueprint is simply converted to XHTML plus JavaScript for delivery to devices, but the mention of XForms gives a clear indication of where they are heading. And given that Google did something similar with the launch of its Google Mashup Language, it all bodes well for a new wave of web applications that won't be built using JavaScript (or even Java and GWT) but will use straightforward, device- independent, mark-up.

Write once, run anywhere, anybody?

For more on why XForms is Ajax on steroids, see: