Re: [xsl] Arguments for XSL

Subject: Re: [xsl] Arguments for XSL
From: Jeni Tennison <jeni@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 17 Oct 2002 14:40:21 +0100
Hi Mark,

> I've spent considerable time setting up an architecture using XML
> and XSL in order to produce a help-system for one of our software
> products. I feel using this system is much better than using a
> WYSIWYG editor because it allows the writer to concentrate on
> content and not on formatting. Formatting can be done by a different
> person or at a different time via XSL style-sheets.
> I've pitched this idea to my manager and he likes it but when we
> sent the whole package of to our head-office abroad for translation
> into different languages, they didn't like it. They prefer using a
> WYSIWYG editor (specifically ROBOHELP).
> My gut feel is XML is better even tho a WYSIWYG editor allows you to
> see results immediately without compiling or anything.

Aside from the reasons you've already stated, XML (with XSLT) is a
good idea because:

  1. If the XML is structured well, you can perform automated checks
     on the content of the help, for example to make sure that every
     page has a link on it.

  2. You can convert the same content to many formats -- HTML,
     PDF printed materials (via XSL-FO), eBook format and so on --
     fairly easily.

On the WYSIWYG side, I've recently been converted to XMetaL as a way
of editing XML documents in a WYSIWYG fashion. Just because you're
using XML doesn't necessarily mean you can't edit the documents
easily and see what they're going to eventually look like.


Jeni Tennison

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