Re: [xsl] Empty object

Subject: Re: [xsl] Empty object
From: Wendell Piez <wapiez@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 28 Jan 2004 15:07:47 -0500

Your output <OBJECT> </OBJECT> does *not* contain a plain space (unless something is going on you aren't telling us about): it contains a non-breaking space. You shouldn't be too surprised if a non-breaking space looks like " " (heh).

Since a non-breaking space is the character represented by "& nbsp;" (once you have declared this entity to resolve to "& #160;", a numeric character reference for the same character), you are getting the character you want.

This may and should be enough for you: in particular, this character will be just as good as the entity reference "& nbsp;" in any (modern, conformant) browser. Unless you're having trouble with character encodings, which is a different issue and will affect many characters besides this one, it will display just fine (try it and see).

It does occasionally happen that a developer is not happy with the actual character, and wants instead the entity reference for it, particularly in HTML. Since you are generating XHTML, however, and using the method="xml" output method, the serializer that writes the output of your transformation to a file is not making this substitution for you. Actually, this substitution can't be done in pure XSLT, which doesn't concern itself with how characters are represented in the output, but must be done either by configuring a serializer, or using a post-process external to the transform, or by using techniques such as the disable-output-escaping trick -- which is a poor way to do it outside of carefully controlled circumstances (mainly for reasons having to do with long-term maintenance/portability).

But you haven't informed us as to why you need the entity reference, and aren't happy with the non-breaking space character itself. Without knowing more about your particular circumstances, it's impossible to guide you -- especially since the clearest answer at the moment seems to be that you're already getting the character you want.

At 12:56 PM 1/28/2004, you wrote:
I have attached my xml input file and my stylesheet I am still getting in my output <OBJECT> </OBJECT> instead of <OBJECT>&nbsp;</OBJECT>. Obvisouly my OBJECT template is not properly copying my element and character contents over properly.

Once you have understood and internalized that & nbsp; is a non-breaking space -- a character that looks like " " when expressed literally -- it's not so obvious that your template isn't doing just what it is supposed to.

I hope this helps,

====================================================================== Wendell Piez mailto:wapiez@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Mulberry Technologies, Inc. 17 West Jefferson Street Direct Phone: 301/315-9635 Suite 207 Phone: 301/315-9631 Rockville, MD 20850 Fax: 301/315-8285 ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Mulberry Technologies: A Consultancy Specializing in SGML and XML ======================================================================

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