Extensible Forms Description Language
Extensible Forms Description Language (XFDL) is a high-level computer language that facilitates defining a form as a single, stand-alone object using elements and attributes from the Extensible Markup Language (XML). Technically, it is a class of XML originally specified in a World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Note. See Specifications below for links to the current versions of XFDL. XFDL It offers precise control over form layout, permitting replacement of existing business/government forms with electronic documents in a human-readable, open standard.
|Internet media type|
|Uniform Type Identifier (UTI)||public.xml|
|Developed by||World Wide Web Consortium|
|Type of format||Markup language|
In addition to precision layout control, XFDL provides multiple page capabilities, step-by-step guided user experiences, and digital signatures. XFDL also provides a syntax for in-line mathematical and conditional expressions and data validation constraints as well as custom items, options, and external code functions. Current versions of XFDL (see Specifications below) are capable of providing these interactive features via open standard markup languages including XForms, XPath, XML Schema and XML Signatures.
XFDL not only supports multiple digital signatures, but the signatures can apply to specific sections of a form and prevent changes to signed content.
These advantages to XFDL led large organizations such as the United States Army and Air Force to migrate to XFDL from using forms in other formats. Later, though, the lack of portable software capable of creating XFDL led them to investigate moving away from it. The Army migrated to Adobe fillable PDFs in 2014.
- Extensible Forms Description Language (XFDL) 4.0, W3C Note, 2 SEP 1998.
- XForms 1.1, W3C Recommendation, 20 OCT 2009.
- XML Path Language (XPath) Version 1.0, W3C Recommendation, 16 NOV 1999.
- XML Schema Part 1: Structures Second Edition, W3C Recommendation, 28 OCT 2004; XML Schema Part 2: Datatypes Second Edition, W3C Recommendation, 28 OCT 2004.
- XML Signature Syntax and Processing (Second Edition), W3C Recommendation, 10 JUN 2008.
- Extensible Markup Language (XML) 1.0 (Fifth Edition), W3C Recommendation, 26 NOV 2008.
- XML Coverpages
- Boyer, John: "XFDL: The Extensible Forms Description Language - An XML-based forms language for e-commerce." July 22, 2001.
- United States Army Publishing Directorate
- USAF webpage with public downloadable XFDL reader: see "items of interest" link on right side of page for viewer download.
- See also XML Paper Specification (XPS)