[kwlug-disc] XML / XSL / XSD/ XSLT 'development' 'environment' / 'gui'?

Darcy Casselman dscassel at gmail.com
Thu Dec 5 16:21:12 EST 2013

I did a bit of XSLT in the late 90s when XML was the hot new thing and XSLT
looked like it could be a promising way to allow me to build a website that
truly separated content from presentation in the days when convincing
someone to set up a database for you was actually kind of hard.  Browsers
started to support it natively so I maybe didn't even need to run any code
on the server, which was also a tough sell back then.

And I'm with Richard.  Man, it's a pain.  XSLT is pretty much impossible to
debug.  And it's a very tricky thing to get your head around.

I haven't looked into nice tools or anything, of course.  It's not outside
the realm of possibility that there's something out there that's easy and
works well.

Good luck?


On Thu, Dec 5, 2013 at 4:13 PM, Richard Weait <richard at weait.com> wrote:

> On Thu, Dec 5, 2013 at 3:56 PM, unsolicited <unsolicited at swiz.ca> wrote:
> ...
> > Asking there too. No solutions / long term problem for that community,
> too.
> > Not being a Linux community, asked here. Bit of chicken and egg here -
> > learning curve. If I knew what I was looking for, I could try to
> leverage to
> > the other platform.
> Oddly, I've been there.  There was an OpenStreetMap rendering program
> that used xsl style sheets.  OpenStreetMap data is XML.  xslt did the
> rendering.  Even oddly-er, the program allowed distributed rendering
> so that many devices could combine to render an area faster. The end
> solution for the OpenStreetMap community was 1) find that XML is bad
> enough without needlessly subjecting oneself to xsl and xslt.  2)
> Maintainer gives up on the code.  3) it falls from use.
> You haven't decided to follow that path.
> Yet.
> So, I'll present two alternatives that I've used.
> 1) regexes to hack the XML.  This is the stupidest idea in the world.
> Regexes are not suited to XML and vice-versa.  Don't do this.  But it
> works, sometimes, FVSO "works".
> 2) hack the HTML.  use the existing / working xsl and then
> post-process by hacking the resulting HTML by changing the CSS.  html
> and css editing tools are fairly mature and not too user-hostile.
> And obviously, try changing the xsl to get the style you want rather
> than the style they gave you.  Try something other than the default
> fancy style if you are finding it a bit opaque to improve or otherwise
> end to your will. It may be that a simpler / earlier style will be
> simpler to grok.  But I'm sure you've done that already.
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