PIH has been using InfoPath (horrible) and moving as quickly as possible away from that.
Here are some impressions from 2 hours of fiddling around with the XForms module:
The things I love about the XForms module: converts an xsn file, handles multiple languages for the form (although it’s not clear if this is fully designed/implemented), it’s not InfoPath and proprietary, provides a simple option for the non-programmer, provides a wysiwyg interface AND communicates with mobile devices and provides an “offline” mode
This is my wish list of improvements:
graphical “view” of form from patient dashboard (XForms tab), not list of fields
layout the form with tables, images, and other html tags
css instead or in addition to Layout xml
undo / redo buttons
Here are some areas that require documentation, clarification or tweaking:
Save as… doesn’t appear to work in the designer
Edit of form/encounter on patient dashboard (XForms tab) produces NPE.
What is the process for creating a new form? Here’s my guess, but it should be clearly documented:
CREATE NEW FORM: Admin -> Xforms -> Patient Xform design? (design form and then Save as…) NOTE: I assume that you need to save on the local pc, but it doesn’t allow save for me
ADD FORM: Admin -> Form -> Manage form? (upload Xform, but see previous problem)
ADD PATIENT DATA: Form appears in patient dashboard (Xform tab). Asks about “Add an encounter”, but this is really a dropdown of forms, not encounters.
Too many options to do the same thing (toolbar, right click, and menu pulldowns)
Administration -> Xforms -> Medical history field? How should this work? No documentation
Difference between “XForms Designer” and “Patient XForm Design”?
By default, the Xforms designer should not replace the browser window. I would have expected it to open a new tab or browser or window.
Xforms designer issues
o Absolute positioning of “widgets” allows for overlapping items. Should be method to permit relative position.
o Same width / same height make 2 items the same, but not necessarily in the direction you’d want. For example, select 2 items with different width, select “same width” and the 1st one becomes the width of the 2nd.
o File -> Save as… saves things where? Same for Save and Save as XHTML
o View -> Shows only “Refresh”. What is that?
o Help -> “AboutOpenMRS XForms Designer” doesn’t help
o Model Xml - What is this for?
Overall I am very impressed with XForms module. Kudos to Daniel and team for the hard work.
Full disclosure: PIH has been using htmlforms for the past 4 months. This was developed by Darius. I find it easy to modify the html and specialty tags. It is simple to find/modify everything in one file. It would be great if the best of Xforms and htmlforms were merged into one amazing module.
Partners In Health
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From: Ellen Ball email@example.com
Date: Wed, Oct 21, 2009 at 8:07 PM
Subject: [OPENMRS-DEV] XForms module review
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