First experiences with XSL

Sean Russell ser at
Fri Jan 30 21:38:31 GMT 1998

Michael Kay wrote:

> I've now implemented the same thing without XSL: I wrote an MSXML
> application in Java that does a recursive walk down the document tree and
> calls a registered "handler" class to process each element type. I added a
> number of helper methods such as isFirstOfType() to allow the handlers to
> get information about their context more easily.
> Here is an example of one of the handlers (for the XML element tagged

I'm surprised that in a "developer" mailing list, no one has pointed out the
obvious: authoring a translator for every DTD is a one-to-one solution, with a
complexity of O(n*m).  This is fine if all you ever want to do is output to
HTML, and the only people who will want to change your layout are programmers
(rather than layout-designers).  What happens when you want to output to LaTeX,
or Postscript, or troff?  For every DTD you have to write a new translator.
What happens when the company graphic artists want to change the layout of the
web site?  They have to involve the software engineering department.

XSL (as pertains to the flow-layout characteristics thereof, and style sheet
solutions in general) are general solutions.  For every output format, you must
write only one translator.  For every DTD, you must write only one style sheet.
The complexity, therefore, is O(n+m), and you have the additional advantage that
your graphic designers can layout pages, rather than your programmers.

 |..      --------------------- Sean Russell ----------------------
<|>       ser at <->
/|\       ------- [           Software Engineer          ] --------
/|                [ PGP info available from my web site  ]

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