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XML Site Template?

 3:52 pm on Mar 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

First, let me confess that I am the kind of programmer (or pseudo-programmer!) that can hack one thing into something else with moderate facility. Working mostly on client-created sites, you have to be able to mess around in ASP one day, PHP the next, etc. A non-expert might almost think I knew what I was doing. ;) Give me a blank sheet of paper (or a blank editing screen), though, and I'll flop around while trying to get traction. I may get where I need to go eventually, but it usually isn't pretty to watch.

I'm currently thinking about redoing a site using XML to structure the content. I'd do this not because it makes a lot of sense (the site is a typical small company site, with pages devoted to products/services, contact info, background, etc.), but just to get started down the XML learning curve. Doing this might let me play with different display options, e.g., an alternate page for printing, wireless devices, etc.

I've got MS Visual Studio, which seems like a reasonable tool for this purpose. What I'm looking for is a site template or similar that provides a basic data structure and means of displaying it, i.e., something that I could upload and see functioning immediately (with the wrong content, design, etc.). I'm confident that starting with something like this, I can change and expand it into what I really need. What I'm really trying to avoid is the "blank screen" starting point and the inevitable false starts.

Does this idea even make sense? If so, does anyone have a suggested starting point?



 5:32 pm on Mar 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hello rogerd,
You should find plenty of filler to start from by following one of the links you'll find here [xml.com].


 5:39 pm on Mar 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

If I'm reading this right, you're really looking for XHTML not XML, right? XML is usually data and XHTML is for formatting and structure. I could be misreading your question, though...



 5:43 pm on Mar 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hi, I've read your question and may have a couple of answers for you. Typically if you have an XML file, you will have all of your site's content in it. you can then you data islands within HTML for display of the content. Secondly you can link to an xsl stylesheet from your XML file and whenever the file is requested the XSL will transform the XML into HTML on the client side. I don't recommend doing that though, as I have tried it before here at work and at least half of the computers I tested on wouldn't or couldn't handle the transformations. Thirdly, (boy, i'm a little long winded. sorry about that...) you can use a server side transformation of your data and send the HTML dynamically to the client.
Questions, comments, ideas anyone?


 2:25 pm on Mar 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

My research is still in its infancy, but I think my plan agrees with your findings, macrost. I'm assuming that I'll need to use a script to handle the XML for now, though at some point it should all be possible to do with stylesheets.

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