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From "Schultz, Gary - COMM" <GSchu...@commerce.state.wi.us>
Subject URL extensions versus URL parameters for passing values to XSLT
Date Mon, 27 Dec 2004 15:15:19 GMT
We are going to implement a web site feature that allows users to change
text sizes by clicking a one of three buttons (small, medium/default or
large) or changing to a "print friendly view" or default view by clicking a
link in a breadcrumb. Each of these options passes values to the sitemap map
which in turn uses the values to access the proper xslt and css resources. 

I can do this one of two ways. I can use the pattern matching which is the
easiest, or parameters, which appears to be the conventional way to go. 

For pattern matching, here how I have things setup. For the default view,
default text size will use the extension .html, the small text size can use
the URL extension .htmlst and the large text size can use the extension
.htmllt.  So, webpage.html is default view default text size, webpage.htmlst
is default view small text size and webpage.htmllt is default view large
text size. For the print friendly view, default text size will use the
extension .htmlpv, the small text size can use the URL extension .htmlstpv
and the large text size can use the extension .htmlltpv. 

The following sitemap snippet shows how easy it is to use pattern matching
with the extensions to provide information to the xslt processor:

<map:match pattern="*-*.*">
	<map:generate src="/content/xxx-{2}.html"/>

	<map:transform src="/xslt/page2html.xsl">
		<map:parameter name="cssFileTemp" value="output-{3}.css"/>
		<map:parameter name="siteTypeTemp" value="{3}"/>
	</map:transform>

	<map:serialize type="html"/>

</map:match>

where cssFileType is passed to an xslt html template to build a link to a
css file and siteTypeTemp is used in the xslt for a number of purposes. The
css files all build off the default css file, that which is used for the
.html extension. 

For parameter matching, here how I have things setup. The parameter is vp,
for view parameter. For the default view, default text size will use the
extension .html, the small text size can use the URL extension .html?vp=st
and the large text size can use the extension .html?vp=ltpv.  So,
webpage.html is default view default text size, webpage.html?vp=st is
default view small text size and webpage.html?vp=lt is default view large
text size. For the print friendly view, default text size will use the
extension .html?vp=pv, the small text size can use the URL extension
.html?vp=stpv and the large text size can use the extension .html?vp=ltpv. 
  
I'm not providing the sitemap snippet here, since it is a more complicated
and contains more code. In this case there are a number of parameter tests
that need to be run to get the correct text size and view values to pass to
the xslt.

So, what I'm trying to gather, is there a best practice for this in Cocoon.
The extension method demonstrates the ease and capabilities of the Cocoon
sitemap, but the parameter method is convention. What would others
recommend?

Gary T. Schultz
Web Technical Administrator / GIS Coordinator
Wisconsin Department of Commerce
6th Floor
P.O. Box 7970
Madison, WI 
1-608-266-1283


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