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XForms User Interfaces for Small Arcane Nontrivial Datasets



Joshua Lubell


Small Arcane Nontrivial Datasets (SANDs) are frequently complex enough to warrant custom software for access and editing, yet too small or specialized to justify a fullblown server-based database application. Such data is typically presented in tabular form within documents or as editable spreadsheets. To test the alternative of using XForms as a user interface for SANDs, an application was built for browsing a conformance test suite for Product and Manufacturing Information, a formal specification of a product's functional and behavioral requirements as they apply to production. XForms proved a much better match than tabulations for the underlying data model. To further test the concept, XForms was evaluated for use with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Special Publication 800-53 security control catalog, which is a comprehensive catalog of security controls for managing cyber-risk, many parts of which are already available in extensible markup language (XML) form. The modelview-controller (MVC) software pattern of XForms seems well-suited for creating specialized applications for tailoring and navigating this catalog.
Proceedings Title
Balisage Series on Markup Technologies
Conference Dates
August 5-8, 2014
Conference Location
Washington, DC
Conference Title
Balisage: The Markup Conference


XForms, Product and Manufacturing Information, security control, Special Publication 800-53, Small Arcane Nontrivial Dataset, test suite, reference data


Lubell, J. (2014), XForms User Interfaces for Small Arcane Nontrivial Datasets, Balisage Series on Markup Technologies, Washington, DC, [online], (Accessed May 20, 2024)


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Created August 11, 2014, Updated February 19, 2017