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From Mariusz Nowostawski <mari...@marni.otago.ac.nz>
Subject User defined presentation template
Date Tue, 13 Jun 2000 07:38:57 GMT
The very big nature of XML-based publishing is its clear separation of
presentation model from the content (or "document" from its "views"). It
is very easy using custom xslt templates to present a document in many
different ways (as HTML pages optimized for different browsers, as PDF
etc. we all know that)

It is also very easy to build a service, or a whole site, which is
customized by viewer's own (user-) defined xslt. The idea is to prepare
(possibly dynamically) a document, and as a final stage of processing
apply remote viewer's own xslt, to "present" the document for this
particular user for his/her own particular needs.  To be able to do it:

2.  user needs to pass a url to her/his custom xslt resource (which is
    easy and can be done via request parameter or whatever)
1.  the site admin has to "publish" the XML Schema (or DTD) for the
    service so people can write their own xslt for it

for 1. it would be cool to use some "standards" so those custom xslt can
be reused for different sites - for example if we would imagine that some
"news" sites are using some standard DTD for their news, I could define my
own presentation style (for example which formats news for me as PDF
document) and "view" all of those sites in my own, custom and uniform way.


Question: is sombody doing it? Is somewhere a site which make use of
it? Is there some "standards" for some web site themes? (news, weather,
stock, exchange rates, movie reviews, cinema programs, and so on...) ? 
If there _are_ (I know there are) standards is somebody using it? ;o)



At the moment I am preparing a small system for bibliographical
information, where all bibliographies are stored as XML entries, thus
one can easily search it and I can present it to the user as HTML, BibTeX
and PDF and so on. The problem is, no matter how hard I would try to
provide everything, there always may be a user out there, who needs a
different format of the bibliography, for example some custom plain text,
or XML format. So, to solve it, I can publish my bibliography DTD, and
everybody can write his/her own xslt and after doing search on my data, I
will apply this custom xsl to the results and send the formatted data
back.  Of course, this would work, but this also makes little sense, as I
do not expect people to write custom xslt per case basis, just for my 
in-house bibliography DTD. Unfortunately all XML-based bibliographical
formats I looked at where really too big - I just need sort of XML which
wraps bibtex-like data, plus some web extensions, like email, local urls,
web urls etc.  Has anybody work on that?

Any thoughts? Comments?

-- 
Mariusz


ps1. 
Thanks all for this "count" stuff, I missed that one in the xslt spec, and
btw I think pure count() is the nicest way of counting nodes ;o)

ps2.
I (also) found the lack of the option to turn off the Cocoon comment on
each generated page not-that-nice.  At least for output type text/plain it
should be skipped by default - yeah, I can always patch cocoon all over
again as the versions are showing up, but..

ps3. 
Just to make sure, there is no way from pure xsl/xpath to turn a string to
its lower/upper case equivalent, is it?


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