XFDL Viewer

The scope of the “Apps 4 the Army” competition that I am making my XFDL Viewer for is to use web apps.  So I did a quick change to PHP and read up and got a framework setup.  The idea is to be able to import the XFDL file and then parse the resulting XML to input values, either on a single form or by batch through an uploaded database.

The framework is complete and I’m pretty happy with the results as I’ve done much more application programming than web development, but PHP isn’t too bad.  After getting the frame work together, I started to work on parsing.  I mistakenly uploaded a XFDL file rather than the decompressed XML and I found something remarkable.  PHP’s SimpleXML apparently can decompress the XFDL file!! This takes out a very complicated step of my project!!!  I’m still working to figure out why the recompression does not produce the same output but that may not be a problem with the web interface.  Stay tuned for more updates.

6 thoughts on “XFDL Viewer”

  1. Glad to see someone working this issue, I’ve been doing the VirtualBox thing with Win2K for a bit now for PureEdge and certain Army sites that need IE.

    Does the A4A competition include a NDA, or will you GPL the finished product?

    1. Have you tried Wine? Should work for IE just fine, but I don’t know about PureEdge. (Which is being replaced by its modern incarnation as IBM Lotus Forms Viewer 3.5)

      1. Yes sir, PureEdge works great in WINE. Here’s the problem, I cannot sign anything that way. It’ll display, edit and save, but when I go to sign it doesn’t work. It needs Silinas ApproveIt for that function, which I have not been able to successfully install to WINE. Even if I cannot use the CAC Reader, a soft certificate would work in place with Silinas ApproveIt.

  2. Yeah, a lot of DOD sites are configured to IE, which begins to be a pain for Linux and Mac users, which is a growing number! You’ll need to un-acronymize NDA but the project is totally open and accessible. I can send you the source code if interested.

    1. NDA: Non-Disclosure Agreement. I would love to help, but my coding skills are limited to DOS and a little bit of BASH. I’ll bug you for it if I can ever get the time to read Python for Dummies (purchased 2 years ago).

  3. simplexml WTF! No way. I’m actually writing a web application to replace the Air Force’s current EPR “Enlisted Performance Report” drafting and review process. I have been looking at coding my own decoder/extractor for xfdl files. Many thanks for this post. I’ll have to take a look at the simplexml function. If I can get that part to work with php, I can start on the re-encoding and compression part which it looks like your familiar with.

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