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

Subject: RE: [xsl] Translating XSD into an XSLT, experts approach needed
From: "Andrew Welch" <AWelch@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2004 09:23:05 -0000
> - 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 HTML.

...but saying 'just display all the data in the xml as html' doesn't
mean anything.  You could just wrap any text content in a <div>:

<xsl:template match="text()">
    <xsl:value-of select="."/>

Or just wrap the entire text content in one <div>

<xsl:template match="/">
    <xsl:value-of select="."/>

Both will meet your requirements (as they stand) but both aren't really
what you mean, I think.

> - 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.

Yes, but you need to know how to *style* each element as well.  You need
both the XSD and a style guide to create a stylesheet.

> - The generated XSLT can then be applied to any instance 
> document to display the data contained within as HTML.

You don't need a schema/dtd to write a stylesheet that will do that.

> 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 
> elements?

Well that depends on the output required / styleguide requirements.
Whether you 'push' or 'pull' depends on the structure of your input
*and* on the structure of your output, you can't decide these things on
the schema alone.

> 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.

Double click an xml file in windows and you will see a generic display
for xml.  Type 'res://msxml3.dll/DEFAULTSS.xsl' into your browser to
view this stylesheet, its probably what you are after.  This is a wd-xsl
stylesheet, someone has done an xslt version which of course is better


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