RE: [xsl] Role of XSLT?

Subject: RE: [xsl] Role of XSLT?
From: "Michael Kay" <michael.h.kay@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 28 Oct 2002 09:12:05 -0000
> I have an XML-based web site.  I have a collection of 
> stylesheets which convert my Web site's internal XML data 
> into various client-customized-HTML.  For example, for my 
> premier clients I have a stylesheet which applies a 5% 
> discount.  For clients with handicaps I have another 
> stylesheet which displays a select product list.  For 
> international clients I have still another stylesheet which 
> converts prices to the appropriate currency.

Lovely example of the American use of "international" to mean

 And so forth.  
> Further, as a relationship is developed with a new type of 
> client I simply drop in a new stylesheet.  The new client is 
> thus seamlessly integrated.
> Is this a good use of XSLT?  I don't think so.  The problem 
> is that I am dispersing my business rules across the 
> stylesheets, e.g., premier clients get a 5% discount.  
> Maintaining such a system becomes a nightmare.

I have seen excellent examples of applications which used XSLT for this
kind of calculation. But they did not disperse the business rules across
the stylesheets: they were centralized in a single place (actually a
meta-stylesheet), and the data driving the rules (e.g. the mapping of
customer categories to discounts) was held as "business parameters" in
separate XML documents.

Of course you can write badly-structured code in XSLT, just as you can
in other languages. The language that seems to encourage really bad
practice in this respect is ASP. But you can also write good code in any

Michael Kay
Software AG
home: Michael.H.Kay@xxxxxxxxxxxx
work: Michael.Kay@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx 

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