RE: [xsl] Generic stylesheet to flatten XML hierarchy

Subject: RE: [xsl] Generic stylesheet to flatten XML hierarchy
From: Sara Mitchell <samitchell6@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 7 Dec 2009 10:45:02 -0800 (PST)
Hm...well it was one idea I had considered but was hoping for a simpler
answer. Thanks for the idea, though. I will continue to struggle.

--- On Sat,
12/5/09, Michael Kay <mike@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> From: Michael Kay
> Subject: RE: [xsl] Generic stylesheet to flatten XML
> To: xsl-list@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Date: Saturday, December 5,
2009, 2:26 AM
> > 
> > But probably you know exactly what you're doing, there
> is a perfectly
> > reasonable algorithm for what you want, and I just
> > understood.
> > 
> I did once write a fairly generic stylesheet
for a client
> that was inspired
> by the behaviour of the IDEs that show an
XML document in
> "grid" layout. It
> ended up being an interesting set of
heuristics that worked
> quite well for a
> reasonable range of input
documents (and didn't fail on
> others). It's best
> seen as producing nested
tables representing successive
> levels of hierarchy,
> with each table being
formatted in one of a number of
> different styles based
> on pattern
matching: a "named colummns" style where a
> sequence of elements
> each has N
children with different names, a "list" style
> where elements have
> N
children with the same name, a "mixed content" style
> where elements are
displayed as text, and so on. The patterns have to be
> applied consistently
across the whole document, so for example every order-item
> element is
displayed in the same way regardless of its own individual
> structure. 
I can't remember why we decided to drive it from the actual
> data in instance
> documents rather than from the schema, but there was a good
> reason at the
> time.
> It was actually a meta-stylesheet, if I remember right:
> rather
than doing
> the transformation, it generated the stylesheet to do the
> The idea of that was that once you had the logic to display
> one purchase
> order (say), you would use the same logic to display other
purchase orders,
> so you got a consistent rendition for all of them; it also
> allowed
> hand-tweaking of the rules.
> Regards,
> Michael Kay
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