Data Bindings and Form Elements

Developing slick interfaces for web applications is all very well and good. However, rather than developing the next shiny web 2.0 application, often what’s really needed is an application that allows users to perform large-scale day-to-day data processing. Although much less enthralling to programmers, this kind of application is the meat and potatoes of web development.

Working with a large amounts of data is one of the areas in which the web browser is weakest, in terms of both the development platform offered and the ability of the browser to store and manipulate data sets. The challenge of working in this area involves bringing browsers up to the standard desktop applications set, while addressing the unique problems faced operating on the web.

One-way bindings onto form views

Desktop application developers are familiar with the concept of a binding. Binding brings together a data model sitting in the background—perhaps a simple data structure or some more complicated object—and a user interface designed to somehow represent all or part of that structure. It breathes life into the user interface by injecting the data in all the right places.

To some extent, web developers will be familiar with one-way bindings already. When an HTML form is created on a page, it’s generally submitted back to the server. The browser comes with a binding built in, which takes the data out of the user interface controls and turns them into the body ...

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