Re: XSL and entities

Subject: Re: XSL and entities
From: "G. Ken Holman" <gkholman@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 19 Sep 1998 14:31:39 -0700
At 98/09/19 16:04 -0400, Elliotte Rusty Harold wrote:
>At 10:40 AM -0500 9/19/98, Paul Prescod wrote:
>are you using? This does not look right.
>>Nevertheless, you should know that you are probably doomed to failure
>>using XSL out-of-the-box as a generic XML->foo conversion tool. That's not
>>what it is meant to do and XSL processors do not support it well. Half of
>>the messages in this fora are from people trying to do that and finding it
>>difficult or impossible.
>Which begs the question: should there be some other technology which does
>allow fairly arbitrary conversions from XML->foo? 

Paul said "out-of-the-box" ... he didn't restrict a solution to not using
XSL at all.

>Something easier than
>writing a Java program on top of SAX?  What would such a thing look like?

If you are willing to express the "concepts" (dare I say semantics?) of foo
in XML, say FooML, and then write a translator from FooML to foo, you would
be able to then use XSL to do your arbitrary conversions from XML->foo as

  XML ---XSL--> FooML ---FooXlate--> foo

This does, however, require the FooXlate program to be written, say on top
of SAX, but written *only once* for all the semantics of whatever makes
sense for Foo and *without regard* for the transformations necessary from
other markup languages.

>I have a suspicion the pattern matching might look a lot like XSL, but the
>output flow objects would be very different.

The transformation would then, in fact, be XSL.  There wouldn't be any
changes to FooXlate for all of your different XSL transformations for
arbitrary XML inputs.

Consider the parallel already existing in XSL.  When one wishes to print
from XML, they think:

   XML ---XSL--> print

... but what is really happening is:

   XML ---XSL--> FormattingObjectMarkupLanguage


   FormattingObjectMarkupLanguage ---BackEndFormatter---> print

Vendors will have already written BackEndFormatter for your commonly
supported print technology (say PDF), so you don't have to write that
(unless you perhaps have a custom print technology).

I hope this helps.

........ Ken

G. Ken Holman               mailto:gkholman@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Crane Softwrights Ltd.
Box 266,                                V: +1(613)489-0999
Kars, Ontario CANADA K0A-2E0            F: +1(613)489-0995

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