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From Stefano Mazzocchi <>
Subject Re: Real-world recommendations for dynamic XML production?
Date Sun, 30 Jan 2000 14:27:23 GMT
Donald Ball wrote:
> So, after reading how happy Stefano is to be wrong, I'm still left with
> the question. I want to create dynamic XML in the middle of document
> transformation. I have been writing processors to accomplish this, but
> that's an undesirable long-term strategy for many reasons. I've been
> trying to port one of my processors to be an XSP taglib instead (with not
> much success, argh, I feel stupid), but now I'm unsure whether I should
> continue down that road or if I should write an extension library for
> Xalan. What shall I do?

I'd suggest: continue as nothing changed on the XSP track. The hard part
of taglib programming is coming up with logicsheets... I admit I too
consider it a black art and it will probably be very hard to do unless
you understand all details.

I still don't... :( Ricard is the only one around.... and Donald is
having problems.... So I don't picture many dealing with creating
taglibs on their own... unless the process is somewhat simplified but I
don't know what this means.

Guys, please understand: we're developing a completely new
infrastructure for something that is _never_ been addressed before by
anybody else in the world. The Cocoon project is the only project taking
care of dynamic XML Generation with such great involvement and new
ideas. It takes time to settle down to something useful and solid

But, still, at this point, implementation details.

So, real-world reccomendations:

1) mix your xsp tags with your content and tell your content writers not
to touch them. Breaks context separation but it works like a breeze for
small programming needs.

2) if your programming needs are pretty thick and the above doesn't
work, write placeholder tags such as <database-query/> and write a
simple stylesheet that applies the xsp tags over. Complete separation is
performed, but those placeholders could be also external entities and

4) use the available taglibs instead of placeholders and write your
placeholders in case you're missing something.

5) write your taglib

I suggest to stay away from 5 until Ricardo write a nice howto about
that. I admit I'm afraid to touch that part myself (see the taglib
example on Cocoon disto that is not exactly equal to the other two

Please consider this: XSP defines a semantic on including logic in your
page. It does not define a way to separate logic from content. Ricardo
used namespace-driven taglibs to provide a solid way to do that, but you
won't find them defined in the spec...

Why? separation of contexts. One thing is defining how a page
incorporates programmatic logic, another is how to incorporate that
logic into the page.

So XSP gives you the tool... XSLT the transformation... use the two as
you normally do with any other context separation (content/style)
(structure/markup) (data/content).

In a word: use your fantasy :)


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