RE: [xsl] Translating XSD into an XSLT, experts approach needed

Subject: RE: [xsl] Translating XSD into an XSLT, experts approach needed
From: "Daniel Bryant" <dan.bryant@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 25 Feb 2004 22:45:22 -0000
Many Thanks for all the excellent feedback. To address some of the issues
raised I would like to clarify the scenario I have been given:

At university we use Altova's StyleSheet Designer to design an XSLT. In
order to generate the XSLT, an XSD is loaded into the program. One window
displays the Schema in a tree structure where elements from the Schema can
be dragged and dropped onto a page design window and positioned to create
the desired HTML page layout. My project was conceived to provide the user
with a facility to quickly create an XSLT stylesheet that displays the all
of the data in an XML document in a simple format, using a potentially large
XSD as a reference (and where the manual creation of an XSLT could be too
time consuming). Specifically:

- I am attempting to automatically generate an XSLT style sheet that will
render all the elements in an XML document as HTML (The XML instance
document has already been created and does not have to be generated by the
system). The visual display format is not pre-defined, and the output does
not have to look good, just display all the data in the XML document as
- Rather than automatically generating the XSLT from an XML instance
document (which could potentially not contain every element defined in the
schema i.e. if an element is optional) instead use the XSD as a reference to
ensure every possible element has a template associated with it.
- The generated XSLT can then be applied to any instance document to display
the data contained within as HTML.

The main question I have is if you had to preform this task (generate an
XSLT to display all elements, using the schema as a reference), how what
technique would you use? Would you systematically work your way through the
XSD creating a template for each element, or would you first extract certain

I was also looking for any comments on the viability of such a project, or
general XSLT construction techniques or problems that you think would prove
tricky for such a system.

Many thanks to Michael and Andrew for clarifying the design of an XSLT
should be driven by the output desired. This is a something I had overlooked
in my previous email.

Once again many thanks for all the help.

Daniel Bryant

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