XML Client detection

rev-bob at gotc.com rev-bob at gotc.com
Wed Nov 3 03:17:50 GMT 1999

> >The truth is that delivering XML to a client (other than careful XHTML) is
> >still a special case, and probably will be for at least another year.
> Sad but true.  I've been amazed by how incredibly slow (and/or broken)
> client-side development for XML has been.

It's PNG all over again.  When was that spec ratified, 1996?  And yet, IE5 still doesn't 
claim to handle it.  (See my earlier message concerning HTTP_ACCEPT.)  At least 
Netscape's on the wagon with that....
> For right now, I'm still telling people to use HTML for Web delivery.  The
> CLASS attribute and well-formed can be awfully handy for the conversion
> down the line (of both docs and style sheets), but XML on the client is a
> tantalizing fantasy for now.

Hey, that's why I'm starting my conversion work now.  There's this nifty little program 
called htp (html pre-processor, at http://www.crl.com/~jnelson/htp/) floating about that, 
if used imaginatively, can let you set up two sets of definitions which can be used on the 
same batch of data files to generate HTML on the one hand and XHTML (perhaps, 
eventually, XML) on the other.  That's what I've been doing, and so far it works very 
well.  I still have a way to go before I get to my destination, but by starting now, I don't 
have to rush.  As things currently stand, all my architecture is in place - I've got one set 
of common definitions, one set of HTML-only definitions, and one set of XML-only 
definitions.  HTML-only plus common yields HTML files; XML-only plus common 
yields XHTML.  So far, I've used this primarily for stripping out legacy support on the 
XML side and for converting the !DOCTYPE statements, but with some tinkering, it can 
go a lot further.

 Rev. Robert L. Hood  | http://rev-bob.gotc.com/
  Get Off The Cross!  | http://www.gotc.com/

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