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From Ferdinand Soethe <>
Subject Re[2]: Selective PDF: Generating Site.xml (and tabs.xml)
Date Mon, 15 Nov 2004 16:33:49 GMT

Ross Gardler wrote:
>> [RT] we should have a generator which produces a tab.xml based on each
>> directory (title according to dir name), and site.xml provided based on
>> exactly what files are in the directory (maybe limit to .xml files) and
>> pull the title from the document.
>> [/RT]

RG> does something like this, but
RG> it is an ANT script rather than a generator. An internal plugin that
RG> does this if no site.xml file is found is a great idea.

I'd like to suggest a different approach:

Provide an piece of software (preferably Java-based, even better an
Eclipse-plugin) that administrates site.xml as an outline and
generates site.xml and tabs.xml on saving.

Within this outline (tree) new files can be added (linked) and
existing entries can be moved between levels as well as up or down.
A user defined text for each node becomes the menu/tab-label,
additional attributes can be represented by a property editor.

The outline structure is translated into the site.xml,
independent of the directories in which files are placed, simply
reflecting the outline hierarchie.

Tabs can be represented by

a) using the top level element of the outline with
   each top level element becoming its own tab

b) supporting a tab-attribute of each tree-node

Solution b) would be much more flexible but it would take a lot more
programming work to visually administrate tabs, while a) is less
powerful but covers 95% of applications because tabs are almost always
the topmost branches of a website.

In fact, I'm convinced that one should actively encourage users to
build tabs as the topmost level, as any other structure (menu and tabs
having no direct relation) is highly counter-intuitive.

An import method could import a selected directory as a branch.

Hope I'm making myself clear enough?

Ferdinand Soethe

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