Re: XML/XSL on the client for dynamic UI

Subject: Re: XML/XSL on the client for dynamic UI
From: "Steve Muench" <smuench@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 26 Oct 1999 07:59:52 -0700
| Since XSLT authoring tools are lacking
| you will have a hard time getting "content
| people" to switch to this new world view.
| The HTML they produce will for
| most purposes just be an "example".
| You'll have to reverse-engineer the
| examples into stylesheets.  Not a lot
| of fun.

We've had a lot of success with the "literal result element"
kind of stylesheets. This is a stylesheet that looks like:

  <html xmlns:xsl=""; xsl:version="1.0">
    <title>Your Accounts with InterBank</title>
      <xsl:for-each select="/rowset/row">
      <tr><td><xsl:value-of select="accountNumber"/></td>
          <td><xsl:value-of select="balance"/></td>

Notice a few things about this:

  -> It's legal XSLT  (See Section 2.3 in the PR)
  -> It can be edited by HTML editors like FrontPage, DreamWeaver, etc.
  -> Web Page designers can literally just hand over
     the <HTML> page to the web master who:

     -> Adds the xmlns:xsl namespace delclaration
     -> Uses <xsl:for-each> and <xsl:value-of> to plug data in

Typically the page designers hand back pages with
"123456" and "Xxxxx Yxxxx" in the places where the
data goes.

These just get replaced by appropriate <xsl:value-of> elements
or attribute-value templates (for attributes) by the webmaster
(or in some cases, by the more technical designers, too).

For those whose only experience is formatting an XML document
(like one using the DocBook stylesheet, for example) obviously
this one-pass, top-down, simpler kind of stylesheet is inadequate.

However, we've found for many folks using XSLT to dynamically
render content from a database (which is what many e-Commerce
sites are doing to give you that *personalized* experience)
that the simpler kind of stylesheet means:

  -> We've not had to teach the designers anything new
     (except rules about "well-formedness" and their <p> tags)

  -> For the webmasters, it's a plug-in-the data excercise.

When they "bump into" a need which the top-down, simple
stylesheet can't handle, then they are motivated by
their current problem to understand why they might
need to learn other aspects of XSLT like
<xsl:import> and templates, and other things.

Steve Muench, BC4J Development Team & XML Evangelist

 XSL-List info and archive:

Current Thread