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

Steve Izma sizma at golden.net
Fri Dec 6 12:54:04 EST 2013

On Thu, Dec 05, 2013 at 04:13:48PM -0500, Richard Weait wrote:
> Subject: Re: [kwlug-disc] XML / XSL / XSD/ XSLT 'development' 'environment'
>  / 'gui'?
> 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".

I think you overstate your case, a bit. If you're using a
programming language like python, of course you're going to use
regexes -- but it's impossible (as far as I can tell) to handle
the kind of nesting in XML with regexes. You need a stack for
that (or a list). But with numerous parsers available to do that
kind of work for you in a lightning-fast manner, you rarely need
to even think about that.

If the XML is well-formed and the data is highly structured (more
like a table than a tree), then converting the tags to requests
for some sort of formatting language using a simple scripting
language like sed or awk is not a big deal.
> 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.

I agree, there's a definite advantage to getting the data into
something as simple and structured as HTML, especially if the end
result is going to be a paged document. But CSS does not have
much in the way of page-breaking algorithms, so CSS-based tools
might not be adequate.

Steve Izma
Home: 35 Locust St., Kitchener N2H 1W6    p:519-745-1313
Work: Wilfrid Laurier University Press    p:519-884-0710 ext. 6125
E-mail: sizma at golden.net or steve at press.wlu.ca

A: Because it messes up the order in which people normally read text.
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