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From Luke Studley <>
Subject RE: Dynamic XML/XSLT with Tomcat 4.0
Date Sat, 19 Jan 2002 11:31:40 GMT
I've been round this route myself recently. These observations might be

1. Originally I was using XML/XSLT to generate HTML/WML on the fly using
Servlet 2.3 filters and the TraX API. This worked fine - but I found the
resultant site relatively hard to maintain.

2. Took a trip through Cocoon2 world to see how it could fit in. I got very
excited for a while and started re-writing my site - but then I realized
that what I was effectively doing was creating "custom tags" in the XML data
that were implemented using XSLT. Sound familiar?

3. Ended up in Struts/JSP/Taglib world. This is much better for the site
(although I'd still prefer to be doing XML/XSLT personally ;). The taglibs
you need are already written, JSP programmers are easier to get hold of than
XSLT - plus as Craig noted there is the excellent Xtags library which allows
me to embed XSLT directives in my JSP page to access my original dynamic XML

One other point - about using dynamic XPath. If you are using the
(excellent) SAXON XSLT processor you can create and evaluate xpath
expressions on the fly using the saxon:evaluate() function. (Not sure - but
I think there is something similar for Xalan).

However, for ultimate flexibility, if you are using the XTags taglib you can
use a dynamic input stream (such as another JSP page) for both your XML and
XSL. The only thing I regret about the XTags library is that it uses the
DOM4J library underneath and I can't use the more advanced SAXON functions -
but it is fine for small scale data extraction from XML sources.


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