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From Ross Gardler <>
Subject Re: [Proposal] extension plugin : placeholders/conditional blocks/...
Date Fri, 02 May 2008 20:03:38 GMT
Jef Verelst wrote:
> Hello to you all,


> I've set up a small site to store the proposal :

With respect to you placeholder extension. There are a few alternative 
approaches that are already implemented:

a) use jx:templates or xi:includes
b) use xml entities

The jx:template approach is probably overkill for this use case. The 
xi:includes approah is almost identical to your proposal but does not 
require a custom file extension. The XML entities approach is probably 
the most efficient, but you'd probably have to jump the a few hoops.

xi:include allows full XPath expressions so you can easily extract the 
value you want from the XML placeholders file or you can use some cocoon 
magic to generate the placeholder data on the fly. So, I'd use the 
xi:include method. Search the user archives for discussion on how to use 

I'd use the same approach for your conditional sections. That is use an 
xi:include and have the sitemap decide on whether to insert content or 
not. The method you propose for this makes sense.

With respect to you JasvaHelp proposal, that sounds really useful. The 
only comment I would make is that you should not use an attribute on the 
root element to indicate inclusion or exclusion. This would require a 
change of the DTD which is overkill. I recommend using either a separate 
manifest file to describe all files that should be included/excluded or 
use the existing <meta...> element in the XDoc specification.

Your proposal doc mentions slides. You might want to take a look at the 
OOo plugin. This is woefully out of date (uses OOo V1), but it had 
partial support for OOo slides as an input format. There are also a s5 
and slidy plugins on sourceforge (due to licence incompatabilities) see

Finally, (also on sourceforge site above) there is an MSOffice plugin 
that uses OOo running as a headless server and the OOo plugin to convert 
from MS Office formats to Forrest formats.

However, with all these plugins you should be aware that they were built 
for a specific use, where they were useful, but they have not been 
developed further for use in the wider world. In other words, they are 
likely to give you a head start, but they are unlikely to work as is.



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