Linear transcoding of a random access web form document.
Original Publication Date: 2004-Apr-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Apr-01
Currently, human interaction with web based forms-centric systems is handled in the browser using the well known HTML forms model, whereby the browser renders a page of controls for the user to fill out and submit to the server for processing. These pages are known as random access, that is to say that generally speaking the user is not bound to fill in the fields in a specific order and mechanism itself does not provide a guided path through the form filling process. This article describes a mechanism that allows random access forms documents to be delivered in a linear rendering scheme. A linear rendering scheme is one whereby the user is guided through the process (i.e. fills in the form) in a simple step by step, interactive fashion. The system prompts the user for a piece of information and then waits for the user to submit their response to the prompt. Having received the response, the system determines what should be its next prompt based on what it has gathered so far and then prompts the user for the next piece of information, and so on.