Fw: XML for dynamic content?

Oren Ben-Kiki oren at capella.co.il
Thu Jan 21 10:41:19 GMT 1999

Nigel Byrnes <byrnes at prl.research.philips.com> wrote:
>We all know the benefits of representing "static" documents in XML. But
>considering where [HTML, VRML, etc] content is to be generated on the
>fly, as is frequently done by CGI scripts, is XML suitable for encoding
>the output data in these types of applications?
>Considering a simple hangman game, the application could either:
>1.  receive user-input and generate XML as output, which then has to be
>2.  receive user-input and generate format markup language-content as
>3.  another possibility?

Attach JavaScript code to the document and have it manipulate the XML tree
dynamically through the DOM interface. That's what DHTML does (for an HTML
tree instead of an XML tree). It has the advantages of:

- Being client side if you want it to (no round trip delay, no server CPU
- Being server side if you want it (the JavaScript code may contact the
server if it wants).
- Reduces bandwidth (no need to send the whole XML document just to change
the color of a menu entry :-)
- Builds on existing standards (ECMAScript).
- Allows gateways to external computing resources (to Java at least, and
throuh it and JNI to anything else - though I'd love to see a JNI-equivalent
directly for JavaScript).
- Defining it is easy; no need to create new complex standard.

Share & Enjoy,

    Oren Ben-Kiki

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