Re: [xsl] Content negotiation in XSLT

Subject: Re: [xsl] Content negotiation in XSLT
From: Richard Light <richard@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 15 Jul 2008 10:23:44 +0100
In message <40177577E6B94B85953BF378B6E8BA3F@Sealion>, Michael Kay <mike@xxxxxxxxxxxx> writes

The specification very carefully avoids saying anything about how the processor takes a URI and fetches a resource. It's completely processor-dependent. Many XSLT processors provide basic facilities within the product, and allow callbacks to user-provided hooks (URIResolver in JAXP) if you want to do anything more elaborate.

You're welcome to use query parameters on the URI if you want to pass extra
information about what's required.

That approach assumes that these parameters will be understood and acted upon by the server delivering the requested resource. In the use case which started me on this line of thought, a single "abstract" URL stands for a resource. See:

for background. In order to get at a "non-information" resource which is referenced in this way, you have to play the 303 See Other game to get the URL which references the RDF description of the resource. Therefore Andrew's suggestion of a proxy server to inject an Accept header into the request is the sort of thing you would have to do.

More generally, it occurred to me that it would make sense for XSLT processors to include "Accept: text/xml" in the header when fetching resources referenced by HTTP URLs, given that anything other than XML won't be much use, and this Accept instruction might just change what the server delivers for the better. From what you say above, deciding on such an approach would be very much in the hands of the individual XSLT processor.

Richard Light
XML/XSLT and Museum Information Consultancy

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