Re: Dynamic conversion from XML to HTML & WML

Subject: Re: Dynamic conversion from XML to HTML & WML
From: Daniel Hinz <daniel.hinz@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 29 Jun 2000 17:59:38 +0200
> > >  I have written stylesheets for creating WML & HTML files statically from XML using XT. WML files
> > >  can be directly displayed by microbrowser (Nokia Wap Toolkit) and HTML files can be
> > >  displayed by any browser. Now, I am working on dynamic conversion of HTML and WML from
> > >  XML depending upon the browser. I need to host only one XML page on server and it can be
> > >  browsed by any browser or microbrowser.
> > >
> > >  I would like to know how you are doing and welcome your suggestions in this regard.
> >
> > Evaluate the Browsername in the HTTP Request. Use the appropriate
> > Stylesheet for the given Browser and you're fine.
> >
> > Note, that in this way you can also optimize content presentation for
> > all the different WAP phones out there by using different Stylesheets
> > for different phones.
> >
> > The usal way to go is one Stylesheet per phone. It's even worse than one
> > Stylesheet for Netscape and Internet Explorer when using XHTML.
> Ugh - we had a brief talk about this at XMLDevCon2k in the
> discussion forum. Getting into the "one stylesheet per phone" is a
> horrible world of pain, there are already about 25 (probably lots more
> now) WAP browsers out there. We need to force the W3C to take WAP into
> consideration for standardisation, or the cost of WAP development is going
> to be astronomical, and we're not learning from mistakes of the past.
> And don't use one stylesheet for netscape, and one for IE, please. Its
> really not necessary. It takes a little longer to get things right, and it
> does require some compromise on features (although in reality, very little
> compromise), but its a definite win to only develop one stylesheet. Even
> JS can be done using a cross browser JS library.

I agree on the horrible world of pain. Unfortunately, due to the nature
of the problem, no other solution is possible. You see, each mobile
device has its very own philosphy of design and thats what prompted the
wapforum not to force vendors to implement the presentation layer in a
specific way (like in html). For instance, ie. select tags may be
rendered inline, but vendors do not need to to this, they could also pop
up, when you press a button.

Thus, you don't really need to have a different stylesheet for every
device. But if you want to make it look nice and easy to use, there is
no way around this. The vendors do offer help in the form of Design
Guidelines for their phones, which do help a lot.

Plus its not like you'd need to develop 25 different stylesheets. You
can use the import mechanism to override ie. the rendering of select
tags. It usually only boils down to Ericsson vs. Nokia Stylesheets (The
WAP Wars). But frankly i propably don't have the whole picture, i only
know the phones from Ericsson, Nokia and the new Siemens. 


Daniel Hinz

ps: Until WAP came out, i never had to reboot a telephone.

Daniel Hinz - XML Evangelist and Software Developer
Higher-Order AG
Burchardstrasse 19, D-20095 Hamburg, Germany
fon: 040 / 325587 - 0  fax: 040 / 325587 - 99

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