Re: [xsl] xsl:sort in old MSXML

Subject: Re: [xsl] xsl:sort in old MSXML
From: David Carlisle <davidc@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 2 Jul 2003 14:17:03 +0100
> Sorry, but when you mean "to convert", do you mean "to transform"?


> But if the answer is "to convert", why should I convert to HTML and
> place the output in my pages? Why not to use the "on-the-fly"
> processing of XSLT to get the "output=HTML"? 

Because you said you didn't have access to the server to do on the fly
transformation as the request is made (as for instance is done with
cocoon and several other systems that let you run xslt as part of the
web server) and you were concerned about Netscape 4 and similar browsers
that can't do XSLT at all.

It is _very_ common to have all your data in XML (or a database with an
XML view), convert to HTML using XSLT as a batch process to generate an
entire web site (or at least directory) full of html (or pdf) etc files
and then put those HTML files on your server.
That way you get the benefits of XMl to control and automate document
production, but the end user just needs any old html browser.

This is what the W3C do for example.

The specifications for (at least) XML, MathML, XSL, XSLT, Xpath, Xquery,
XML Namespaces, are all authored in XML, converted to various formats
via XSLT ( formats generated include HTML, XHTML, FO (for pdf) LaTeX
(for pdf) and then these formats are placed on the W3C website. You can
read the XSLT spec without needing a browser that implements XSLT,
as it is just HTML.

In the case of MathML for instance we have one XML source document
(spread over a few files) and a set of XSLT transformations generates
from that 160 HTML files 80 XHTML+MathML files, two TeX files (for the
pdf versions of the spec) and the TeX source to generate 200 images that
are included into the HTML documents. We could just serve the XML file
and expect the clients to generate all these files on the fly, but we
don't. (We do though make the entire set of transformations available
in a source .zip file linked from the spec, should anyone want to try,
or is interested in looking at how it is all put together).


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