Re: [xsl] A general question

Subject: Re: [xsl] A general question
From: Peter Davis <pdavis152@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 18 Feb 2002 14:26:08 -0800
On Monday 18 February 2002 11:38, TP wrote:
> > It would make it browser independent, but I'm not sure it would make it
> > faster (more work being done on the server, so unless you have a very
> > small number of people using your web site or a very beefy server it would
> > actually make it slower).
> So, is it not a good idea to parse on the back end if by doing so, we lose
> performance. What do developers generally do? Do they use front-end parsing
> or back-end parsing? I know that there are a few book authors on this list.
> What would you recommend?

It all depends on your requirements.  If you don't need browser independence, 
then you should stick with MSXML and IE on the client side (unless you are 
also worried about the other drawbacks Michael Kay outlined).

If you need browser independence, then there is no way to do it except for 
server-side transformation.  If you are worried about speed, then you should 
still try it, run some benchmarks, and try to optimize your stylesheet 
(compile it with XSLTC or experiment with different processors, don't use 
'//' axis, or any number of tricks outlined in several threads from 
xsl-list).  Also experiment with caching the result of the transformation 
(ie., only transform on the server once).

If you still have problems with speed, then one trick that has been done 
before is to look at the User-Agent header that is sent by the browser.  If 
it is IE with MSXML, or if your stylesheet can work with Mozilla, then you 
can send the XML directly to the client.  If it is another browser that 
doesn't do client-side transformations, then you can do the transformation on 
the server and send the result.  Since the majority of browsers are in fact 
capable of doing the transformation, this would reduce the load on your 
server a lot, while still supporting the older browsers.  Exactly how this is 
done of course depends on your server-side language and architecture.

Peter Davis
Desist from enumerating your fowl prior to their emergence from the shell.

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