forrest-dev mailing list archives

Site index · List index
Message view « Date » · « Thread »
Top « Date » · « Thread »
From Jeff Turner <>
Subject Re: site.xml -> was -> RE: [RT] Entities in XML docs
Date Sat, 28 Dec 2002 15:40:19 GMT
On Sat, Dec 28, 2002 at 05:36:32AM -0800, Robert Koberg wrote:
> > > <page id="dreams"/>
> >
> > Less typing :)  And trying to treat all URL-addressable parts of the site
> > in the same way.  It shouldn't matter if a node is a directory, file or
> > #anchor.  In a linkmap, they're all just "things to link to".
> >
> > > To me, this allows for 'grouping' of IDs at the element level.
> >
> > How do you mean, grouping?
> [assuming?? that there will be metadata in the site.xml page and folder elements
> and so you can't simply test for children, but even still, it is an extra test
> in the transform]

Oh I see.  Yes, I did need to use the 'has children == folder' rule to
generate book.xml, which will indeed break with metadata.

> I mean I want to know explicitly if something is a page or a folder. For example
> in the lsb site's nav we have folder icons before folder labels and page icons
> before page labels. If I know it is a page I can just:
> <xsl:template match="page">

Though, it would be just as easy to make the node type an attribute, and
match on that:

<xsl:template match="*[dc:format='Page']">

>   <xsl:variable name="href">
> <!-- travels up and down the tree to find ../'s and path -->
>     <xsl:call-template name="page_path_builder"/>
>   </xsl:variable>
>   <a href="{href}">
>     <img src="{$relative_path}images/page_icon.gif"/>
>     <xsl:value-of select="@label"/>
>   </a>
> </xsl:template>
> In building the href at generation time, I know that since it is a page I will
> use (depending on site prefs) either the page ID or page label (replacing things
> like spaces, :, ', etc) and then concatenate the file extension.

Well if you stick to generic attributes, instead of *page* Id and
label, then you can just glue the href's together and see what you end
up with :) Eg, with:

  <primer label="Forrest Primer" href="primer.html">
    <cvs href="#cvs"/>

Then <link href="site:cvs"> gets translated to <a href="primer.html#cvs">

The original idea with site.xml was that it is a totally abstract
representation of the site's information content.  Eg, it should be
possible to replace the filesystem with a Xindice database, and have only
the source URIs in site.xml change.  Say we have a FAQ entry:

    <how_can_I_help />
    <build_problems />
    <useless_docs />

One day, each entry might be mapped to an XML node:

  <faq src="faq.xml">
    <how_can_I_help src="#xpointer(/faqs/question[@id='how_can_I_help'])"/>
    <build_problems src="#xpointer(/faqs/question[@id='build_problems'])"/>
    <useless_docs src="#xpointer(/faqs/question[@id='useless_docs'])"/>

Then, by only changing @src attributes, we could map to Xindice:

<site href="xmldb:xindice://localhost:4080/db/website">
  <faq src="faq">
    <how_can_I_help src="#/faqs/question[@id='how_can_I_help']"/>
    <build_problems src="#/faqs/question[@id='build_problems']"/>
    <useless_docs src="#/faqs/question[@id='useless_docs']"/>

So that's all very nice, but it's turning out to be not very
practical.  Even to generate book.xml, I had to add these horrible
non-addressable 'category' elements for grouping nodes:

<getting-involved label="Getting Involved">
  <contrib label="Contributing" href="contrib.html"/>
  <CVS label="CVS"
  <mail-lists label="Mail lists" href="mail-lists.html"/>
  <mail-archives label="Mail Archives"
  <bugs label="Bugs and Issues"

> If it is a folder, I will just append index.{html | jsp | php} and be done.  I
> have a property in a folder_conf element that tells me the index_page - this is
> copied at generation time to index.html.

Oh yes.  index_page is another thing we really need a way to indicate.
At the very least, it can be present in menus of subdirectories as a
'../' link.

> - Or perhaps I want to create a pager (<< 1 2 3 4 >>) to have each 'page'
in a
> directory show up in the horizontal list, but I don't want child folders.
> - Or I want to create a site map/index page that shows the site structure with
> meaningful icons/colors
> - Or I might want to offer a folder with individual page views or the option to
> see all the pages (not folders) aggregated into one page view.
> - Or I might want to create an folder index page from a folder's pages using
> dc:titles and dc:descriptions

mm :)  Good ideas..

> I don't see how to do the above without extra xsl:choose's or xsl:if's

Or *[@dc:format='whatever'] I assume.

> > > On book.xml - why is this needed anymore? Cannot the site.xml be
> > > used in its place?
> >
> > Yes, book.xml isn't necessary anymore (in the linkmap CVS branch).
> > It's still kept around as an intermediate format (see
> > site2book.xsl) so that if necessary, users can specify it directly
> > rather than generate from site.xml.  There are various cases where
> > the desired menu is not the same as that generated from site.xml.
> > In Forrest's own site, we could not generate these menus from
> > site.xml:
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Whether these pages show good menu design is another question :)
> That is why you should always storyboard out the site/project before
> setting the contracts in stone :)

Our customer pays very poorly ;P

> > > On the metadata front, I have been adopting a mix of Dublin Core
> > > and mixing in the stuff my tool requires. For example, at the
> > > bottom is a snippet of what I am currently using in the site.xml
> > > [1].
> >
> > Nice!  RDF, Dublin Core.. I see an opportunity for more shameless
> > LSB-copying ;)
> I would love it! I am trying to bend toward forrest so I can
> eventually publish a forrest site. But I need the metadata for a
> flexible storyboarding process.
> >
> > I'm not sure I understand it fully though..
> >
> > > <lsb:folder name="en-us">
> > >     <lsb:folder_conf>
> > >       <rdf:Description about="folder.dcxml">
> > ...
> > >       </rdf:Description>
> > >     </lsb:folder_conf>
> > >     <lsb:page_conf>
> > >       <rdf:Description about="preamble">
> > ...
> > >       </rdf:Description>
> > >     </lsb:page_conf>
> >
> > I gather this is describing a directory 'en-us', and a file
> > en-us/preamble?  What is 'folder.dcxml'?
> I started out creating a metadata file (*.dcxml) for each resource
> on the site and at app startup I would crawl the metadata and
> aggregate those into one site.xml. I found that to be a CVS
> nightmare given the fact that I allow pages and folders to be moved
> around. So I went back to just having the static site.xml and at
> generation time I either include the metadata inline (page level) or
> write it to a file (folder, binary, ??).

I like the idea of storing a RDF file in each directory, providing
metadata for those files (and overall directory metadata).  What was
the CVS nightmare?  .dcxml files needing to be updated on every file

> The lsb:folder tells me the location of the *.dcxml (perhaps I
> should use *.rdf...) and the rdf:Description tells me the file name.

In that case, <rdf:Description about="folder.dcxml"> means "here's
some metadata about a file containing metadata about the folder",
which doesn't sound right?

> > I don't really understand how a
> > directory could be considered to have a title, subject etc.  Is that just
> > indicating what the directory should contain?
> It is a test site.xml that is using things I 'might' want to play with. But as a
> solid case, like I mentioned above, you might want to have a folder offer
> individual pages or one inclusive, aggregated view. In the latter case the
> folder is actually a page.

I see, makes sense.

> But you could create your schema to include anything you want and
> perhaps setting hardcoded values for some items.
> >
> > If there is a lsb:folder, shouldn't there be a lsb:page too?
> My thinking (which could easily change) was that lsb:folder's are a virtual
> representation of the folder-file system as it should be after generation. The
> lsb:folder_conf holds meta info about a folder (including navigation - lsb:nav -
> items). The lsb:page_conf, among other things, describes one or more possible
> page views (don't know if I am using dc:format correctly...):
> <rng:optional>
>   <rng:element name="format" xmlns:dc="">
>     <rng:value type="token">text/html</rng:value>
>   </rng:element>
> </rng:optional>
> <rng:optional>
>   <rng:element name="format" xmlns:dc="">
>     <rng:value type="token">text/plain</rng:value>
>   </rng:element>
> </rng:optional>
> <rng:optional>
>   <rng:element name="format" xmlns:dc="">
>     <rng:value type="token">application/pdf</rng:value>
>   </rng:element>
> </rng:optional>
> I represent these in a form and let the user 'check' which views to generate.
> Still working on this...

I don't know how this 'configure the site generation' part would fit
in with Cocoon.  Perhaps when Cocoon blocks arrive, we could have a
'add PDF block' checkbox which adds the *.pdf rules.

> > Is it necessary to have the intermediate *_conf elements?  Why not just
> > have <lsb:folder> and <rdf:Description> directly inside it?
> I want to know what the thing's group is to ease template matching :)

I don't understand.  What XPath expression is possible with:

<lsb:folder name="en-us">
      <rdf:Description about="folder.dcxml">

But not with:

<lsb:folder name="en-us">
      <rdf:Description about="folder.dcxml">

If rdf:Description is the only child of lsb:folder, you could just do

> > Anyway, great stuff.. at the very least, Forrest needs a version
> > attribute for site.xml so we can evolve the file to these heights.
> Thanks for the kind words. I hope others will come to the table soon. It is
> really popwerful/flexible. I really like the direction your branch is taking. I
> have not had time to play with it yet, what with Xmas and I am leaving tomorrw
> to go down to Austin TX for a Robert Earl Keen New Years eve show :) (see him if
> you ever get a chance - awesome live!), so I probably won't have time till early
> Jan. Hopefully there will be some kind of metadata impl by then :) just joking,
> you have been doing an amazing amount of work!

:) Thanks.. reinventing the site.xml wheel is fun.


> best,
> -Rob
> >
> >
> > --Jeff

View raw message