Formhub Blog
Project updates and user experiences from around the world
A new xlsform engine, new documentation, and more!

We have been developing on formhub continuously over the past few months, and a couple of weeks ago upgraded the xlsform engine that formhub uses. Along with the new engine, we have also updated formhub documentation and have established a formhub account called formhub University where you can learn how to make xlsforms to do the kind of data collection you need!

XLSform Upgrade

formhub’s xlsform engine has been upgraded. Exciting new features include:

  • Upgraded Syntax We have made the syntax for authoring xlsforms simpler. Instead of bind:constraint, you will be writing constraint, and instead of select one from options, you can simply write select_one options. For a preview of the new simplified language, look at our newly updated  syntax page or view the  XLSform standard document.
  • New Features Along with simplification, we have added some language features that were previously missing, such as the ability to do calculations with xlsforms. See the “Tip Calculator” on formhub_u, for example.
  • Widgets All ODK 1.1.7 widgets can now be created using the xlsform language. See the “ODK 1.1.7 Widgets” form on formhub_u for an example of widgets, and make sure to follow the instructions listed within the description.

The library (which is currently named pyxform and pending rename to xlsform) is at if you want to browse the source, fork, etc.

More Documentation

As referenced above, we have updated the formhub syntax page.

We have also added a formhub_u account on formhub, where there are surveys that teach you how to write many different kinds of forms:

And the features… they keep coming!

We have also been constantly adding new features. We will cover a few of these in future blog posts, but a quick list for anyone who has been waiting are below:

  • Media storage in S3 and photo viewing through a galleria plug-in

  • ODK Collect authentication support

  • Licensing options for forms and shared data

  • Support for webforms (preview your survey or do collection on the web)

  • Deployment scripts to make the deployment of your own formhub server easier.