Re: [xsl] Is there a tool for auto-generating XSLT scripts for converting XML docs -> HTML ?

Subject: Re: [xsl] Is there a tool for auto-generating XSLT scripts for converting XML docs -> HTML ?
From: Abel Braaksma <>
Date: Sat, 29 Dec 2007 15:24:10 +0100
Ben Stover wrote:
Assume I have a "normal" XML docs. I want to display the content of this XML doc on a HTML page
well formatted in tables, columns, rows and with headers.

I'd be very interested in seeing a "normal" XML document. XML being a meta language, there does not exist such a thing as a normal XML document, let alone a document that would natively translate into neat tables, columns and the like (note that XML is by nature hierarchical, which rules out the common table layout for most XML documents).

I could start now to write an appropriate XSLT script from scratch.

That's what most people do, because the XSLT is designed for that.

But I could imagine that there is a tool which does such a job (=XSLT script/stylesheet writing)
for me. I want to use this generated XSLT stylesheet later as skeleton/base for possible refinements.

There are tools that map XML data to layout (which may be HTML). Such tools are Altova XML Spy (or Map or what's it called), StyleVision, I believe, complex tools like StreamServe and Doc1, I also believe BizTalk has a way of displaying its XML logic graphically (but not sure it will be HTML). And so on and so on. The best tools are probably currently MS Word and Open Office, both have recent versions that fully read/write XML (but, as with any of these, that's there "own" format of XML). Both Word and Open Office can create HTML from their sources.

As I first step I only want to avoid writing the dumb "main" stuff again and again.

That's why people create libraries and link them together. Luckily, with XSLT, you do not need so much of these "dumb main stuff", as most is already there before you even start. For ready made templates and the like for repetitive jobs, consider FXSL or that other framework (sorry, forgot the name), and the templates available in books like XSLT Cookbook.

Is there such a tool ?

See above.

Cheers & happy New Year,

-- Abel Braaksma

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