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XML-L  March 2001

XML-L March 2001

Subject:

Re: XML as config files

From:

"John E. Simpson" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Thu, 22 Mar 2001 08:55:35 -0500

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text/plain (31 lines)

Sprinna wrote:

> I want to use XML as config files. Since I have little idea on it, can
> anyone kindly tell me what else should I do?
> .... May I use exist parser or API? Or should I write the code completely
> myself to access the config file?

This is one of my favorite demonstrations of XML+XSLT. As Peter just
said, you need to consider the tradeoffs of reinventing the wheel; and
as he also pointed out, you may want to use a DTD/Schema while the
config file is being developed, to ensure that it doesn't contain any
surprises.

One of my favorite uses of these kinds of config files is as a
substitute for passing an XSLT stylesheet a dozen or more global
parameters. The general idea is to leverage the XSLT document()
function, which returns a "tree" of nodes from a document other than the
source document which the stylesheet is processing. You use document()
in this case to load the config tree :) into a variable, and then just
navigate around in the variable to get whatever datum you need to help
drive the transformation.

I've got a worked example of this in my upcoming "Just XSL," which won't
be out until summer sometime. If I get a chance I'll post it on my Web
site later today or tonight. (At the day job now; I need to attend to
matters I'm actually getting paid to attend to. :)

================================================================
John E. Simpson          | "I had a friend who was a clown. When
http://www.flixml.org    | he died, all his friends went to the
XML Q&A: www.xml.com     | funeral in one car." (Steven Wright)

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