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From Bertrand Delacretaz <>
Subject Templating: experiments with Conal's html-to-xslt transform
Date Fri, 10 Dec 2004 10:27:43 GMT
(ccing users@ as I'm sure many subscribers there could contribute to 
this experiment as well, please discuss on dev@)

I've been playing [1] with Conal Tuohy's transform [2], to generate 
XSLT transforms based on simple attribute-based templates (HTML in this 
case, could be whatever) and I like it very much.

Converting attribute-based templates to XSLT instead of processing them 
directly is fairly easy to implement, easy to use for the template 
writer yet powerful by giving access, when needed, to all XSLT 
constructs. And the syntax of attributes like for-each or 
apply-templates *is* XSLT, so Bob can ask Alice for help when needed 

There's more info, including source code, on the wiki [1]. Feel free to 
use this page as a poor man's source code control system for improving 
this, if people like it we might want to include this our distribution?

Compared to Conal's version, the current version allows "element 
templates" to be defined in the HTML template, they are similar to XSLT 
templates but much easier to write. I think this adds a lot of power 
while allowing the template to remain concise and modular, and "fairly" 
editable in visual tools. There has to be a compromise somewhere I 
think, converting XML data to HTML or another format *is* programming 
at some stage, the "100% visual" paradigm does not work for this in 
today's world IMHO.

Comments/opinions/enhancements/flames are welcome (well, maybe not 
flames but if you think this sucks I'm all ears ;-)



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