Comments Appreciated on Magazine Based on XML/XSL

Mark Birbeck Mark.Birbeck at
Sat Apr 10 01:11:39 BST 1999

Hi Didier,

> <question>
> Why do you convert the hierarchical database into XML? Is it 
> because the
> hierarchical database do not have a DOM interface?
> </Question>

Not quite sure what you mean. Do you mean, why did we go via XML before
we transformed with XSL? Or do you mean, why is there a separation
between the DOM and the database? I'll tell you what we're currently
doing and see if it helps.

The hierarchical database is just good old SQL Server at root, with a
few layers on top, so there is no tight integration between a DOM and
the database. In the version you're seeing we actually make the tags by
string concatenation! It was all written 8 months ago, so go easy on us.

In the newer (unreleased) version we read the data from the database and
use it to populate a DOM tree, and then either transform it with XSL and
export the result, or just pass it through.

So if your question is the first - why go out to XML before bringing it
back in again to transform with XSL - then it's just because it's old
code and the new code does go straight into a DOM.

On the other hand, if you're implying that we just treat the database as
one big DOM and transform the nodes we want out, then I have to ask, has
anyone done that? Are there actually any databases out there that hide
behind a DOM interface and present themselves as one big tree of nodes?
I've done just that at the level of treating a web server as a great big
node store and using XQL to dig out 'documents' - that's how the next
release of the magazine will work -  but it would be really interesting
if the DOM/DB integration has been developed further.



Mark Birbeck
Managing Director
Intra Extra Digital Ltd.
39 Whitfield Street
t: 0171 681 4135
e: Mark.Birbeck at

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