Re: A would-be user's first XSL experience (long)

Subject: Re: A would-be user's first XSL experience (long)
From: Paul Prescod <paul@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 31 May 1999 23:47:36 -0500
Todd Fahrner wrote:
> I set out to do something as simple as possible. James Tauber's "XSL
> Templates by Example" seemed to present simple enough examples:
> . I
> cut-and-pasted bits into InDelv's "Shakespeare" demo XSL files, but
> after a few hours of fiddling with various settings, reading specs,
> and editing madly away, I gave up.

Do you know whether Indelv's browser matches the latest specification?

Anyhow, I think that for someone learning the details of the XSL
specificaiton a batch, command-oriented process is really best. You are
doing an XML->XML transform first and an XML->display format second. You
should learn and understand one before moving on to the other. Converting
to HTML and viewing the HTML *in a text editor* is the best way to get

I can't believe that this is really so hard with Code Warrior. On a PC you
open up your text editor and there is usually a menu item called "run
command line" You type in a command line and it just works. I mean you've
got to be willing to go halfway with us. The most uptodate XSL
implementation happens to be a command line app because implementing a GUI
app is more difficult and invariably takes longer.

> Somebody slap an HTML form UI on XP/XT and whatever else is necessary
> to make XSL work. 

I'm sorry but encouraging users -- especially knowledgable users like
yourself -- to use cut and paste into an HTML form as a UI for XSL is a
little perverse. I mean there's no way to save your work except to paste
it out again! And I doubt it would work across browsers. I mean it makes
sense for the first hour or so but after that you should figure out a
better way!

I hate to invoke stereotypes of Mac users but you seem to be begging for
it. It seems you'd rather waste an hour a day cutting and pasting instead
of a single hour figuring out how to use the tools at your disposal.
Consider it an investment -- there's a lot of other interesting
command-line driven Java software out there. Once you figure out how to
use one, you know how to use them all.

> At a minimum, let users provide the URLs of XML
> documents linked to XSL stylesheets (or provide the PI manually), and
> return the result, whether XHTML, FOs, or some other flavor of XML.

Who runs this service?

If you want to run it off of your website and allow me to point to it from
the next edition of the XML Handbook then I'll help develop it and point
to it -- perverse though it is. It's easy as either a servlet or CGI

We could also take a stab at an applet version. I can easily write the
Java portion if you can figure out how to make the JavaScript part pass
parameters into Java applets from both major browsers (this might be
easy...I've done it befoe but I don't remember if it worked with both).
Writing the whole app in Java wouldn't be very difficult but its more work
than I have time for.

 Paul Prescod  - ISOGEN Consulting Engineer speaking for only himself

"Silence," wrote Melville, "is the only Voice of God." The assertion,
like its subject, cuts both ways, negating and affirming, implying both
absence and presence, offering us a choice; it's a line that the Society
of American Atheists could put on its letterhead and the Society of
Friends could silently endorse while waiting to be moved by the spirit
to speak. - Listening for Silence by Mark Slouka, Apr. 1999, Harper's

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