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From Stefano Mazzocchi <>
Subject Re: [RT] do me a favor, don't call them taglibs
Date Sun, 05 Dec 2004 04:52:29 GMT
Glen Ezkovich wrote:
> On Dec 3, 2004, at 3:33 PM, Ralph Goers wrote:
>> Glen Ezkovich said:
>>> On Dec 3, 2004, at 2:50 PM, Stefano Mazzocchi wrote:
>>>> All I ask from a template language:
>>>>  1) something that HTML designers can edit with Dreamweaver
>>> Why? I really don't want HTML designers touching my templates. I want
>>> them to work withe the data received from my generator and transform
>>> that into something renderable by a browser.
>> Wow. I guess we really have a different point of view.  I see 
>> templates as
>> an alternative to XSLT to generate the HTML.  Of course I would want an
>> HTML designer to be able to do that.
> I did too. Just wound up with the same old problem, mixed concerns. Each 
> template had to be maintained as the site's visual style evolved. As 
> much as we tried to use CSS, we still had to modify the HTML. Divs here, 
> tables there, the ice was all around.  :-)

> While I can see using a template to directly generate the HTML it makes 
> each page layout a separate maintenance issue. That is, some changes to 
> a sites design might require each template to be modified. Using XSLT, 
> it might be possible to change just a single XSL  template. Think of 
> something as simple as changing the image used as a bullet in a bullet 
> list, or placing adds between paragraphs instead of all in the left column.
> As usual, what you choose to do depends on what you anticipate the needs 
> of your site to be. If I needed to nothing more then take a result set 
> and display it in a table, I probably would just generate the table in 
> the template. The more complex the page becomes the less likely I am to 
> use HTML in the template.
> What I've tried to do is define common entities that are rendered the 
> same across various layouts and to define general page layout components 
> that can be reused. By entities I  mean things like products, product 
> lines, features, feature, article, paragraph, etc.. These are generally 
> given an XML representation using JXTG and are in turn rendered by XSLT. 
> By general page layout components I mean rows, columns, grids, bullet 
> lists, images, etc.. These are defined in a style sheet.  A product can 
> be laid out the same wether it is on a page by it's self or part of a 
> catalog page. The difference might only be in the styles applied and/or 
> the layout component that contains it. HTML element wise, the two 
> renderings are identical, but visually maybe very different. Sometimes 
> we do have to have use modes to render entities differently, but I 
> generally consider these cases a failure of imagination. What is nice 
> about this, is that the same template that generates XML data for a 
> product on one site can be used with no or slight modification on 
> another. The XSL defined layout components can be reused as well. The 
> only things that need changing are the CSSs and some of the XSL 
> templates for the entities.
> The aim is to be able to have a data/content driven model of a website 
> as well as a page driven model.  I'm not quite where I want to be yet. 
> But I'm working on it. I still need to flesh out the concept a bit more 
> and I need more sites to experiment on. Shhhhhh... Don't tell my 
> clients. ;-) (this a private secure list... right?)


I don't think we are talking about very different things.

I *completely* agree with you that the power of pipelines and SoC is 
exactly that: change one file and make all the others adjust. Damn, 
there wouldn't be a cocoon if that wasn't the case ;-)

What I want is to create a 'bridge' for those who don't get it.

CSS is already a tremendous bridge that allows people to cleanup their 
pages and they understand the power of SoC, since changing a stylesheet 
allows them to change all the pages.

Still, CSS is not enough because is not able to change the layout of 
things and, even worse, sometimes the style dictates the markup 
(example: if you want to use stuff like rounded boxes).

*but* what is possible is to have something like

<div class="header">Header</div>

be transformed into a massive, highly graphical, header.

In short, it is possible to give *some* visual but style free 
placeholding material for the layout designers to work with, then 
transform these with some XSLT.

What you need is not WYSIWYG, web designers care about that, but 
usability managers really don't. They care about colors and fonts and 
spaces and positioning and error messages and visibility of things (all 
things that CSS can do for them), so it's entirely possible to have 
placeholders for things they don't care about, they just want to care 
about the content, but also about the layout of the page.


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