learning XML? (was RE: [thelist] Marking up chapter.verse (or chapter.section))

Steve Lewis nepolon at worlddomination.net
Mon Dec 15 14:52:01 CST 2003

Joel D Canfield wrote:

>I have MS's 'Developing XML Solutions' which seems clear enough. The
>concept that took me a while was that the XML itself is more of a data
>repository, kinda like a database. You don't use XML to display the
>data, for that you use XSLT (see http://www.w3.org/Style/XSL/)
Actually you use XSLT to translate source XML into another form of 
data.  The data in that other form may be read by another application 
that reads that language, but it doesn't have to be.  This is subtle, 
but perhaps there is some value in this distinction. 

The trick to this is really that the XSLT translates from one language 
to another.  The two languages do not need to resemble each other, and 
the output format does not need to be even losely based on XML.  You 
could translate from XML to CSV (comma delimited text file, frequently 
used for import into Excell for instance) or XML to SQL even, for insert 
into a relational database.  You can even translate from XML to XML, to 
add "default values" to missing attributes in the source XML or change 
the document structure.  There is nothing about XSLT that requires you 
to be headed toward presentation.  The most common use may be to 
transform from XML to either HTML / XHTML but don't let this hold you back.


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