Some of the recent talk on the Mozilla XForms Project's mailing list (dev-tech-xforms) has been about the winding-down in effort on the Mozilla XForms plug-in. There has been praise for the efforts of those developers involved in the project, and quite rightly so. However, some people may be seeing this as a bad sign for XForms in general. Well, not so I say and the reasons for this are three-fold.
Firstly, as an open source project there is plenty of opportunity for other developers to step-up to the plate and carry on the good work. The old development team have stated that they are willing and able to mentor new-comers to the project.
Secondly, one browser's plug-in does not make (or break) a technology. There are other implementations out there, both client and server-side. The demise of the Adobe SVG View (ASV) plug-in hasn't stopped the progress of the embedded implementations in Safari/Chrome/Webkit, Firefox and Opera.
Ultimately XForms needs to go the way of SVG and become embedded into browsers. The ASV plug-in was a flagship for SVG which provided a reference for other implementations; it showed that SVG was worth having and must have undoubtedly driven the desire to embedded this functionality in all but one of the modern browsers. The Mozilla XForms plug-in, and for that matter FormsPlayer too, has been at the vanguard of XForms development, performing the same role as the ASV plug-in of getting a technology out there for people to play with.
Although, at the time of writing, the Mozilla plug-in is not a 100% complete implementation of the XForms 1.1, recommendation it is as good a reference as there is, due to its excellent integration with the host page and browser.
I believe we're entering a transition phase where XForms plug-ins give way to other, more universal, implementations and in the fullness of time the functionality becomes embedded. This change of emphasis is good for the future of XForms and good for the future of the web too.