I hope the following question falls within the scope of this list. I
also hope it's comprehensible.
I have developed a couple of my own sites using PHP 3, learned in a
somewhat "ad hoc" manner (I'm not a professional programmer).
I'm trying to work out where to go from here, given that I feel a
strong commitment to what XML is all about, but still have only a
somewhat hazy idea about how it can work in practice.
My basic site-building technique has been to use data tables -
indexed PHP arrays - and text file includes to build my pages.
My latest implementations use CSS, and attempt to conform to the
basic XHTML spec, particularly in my http://www.presse-en-ligne.com/
I have a very basic browser detection script which classifies users
running IE 5+ or Netscape 6 as "css" and all the rest as "non-css".
I'm also starting to build PHP functions to implement hyperlinks,
placing the data for each link in a PHP array which is associated
with the document the link occurs in, but in such a way that the link
can also be invoked in any other document.
I'd like to make this whole system evolve towards XML, but in a
reasonably incremental way.
The reason for that is that I also want to devote a lot of time to
creating content, and don't want to have to stop all that for three
months while I build a whole new system.
I would also like, partly for the fun of it, and partly because I
think it could be important, to evolve towards a "subscription"
format, something like RSS. As I have two sites, I could fix things
so that they subscribe to each other.
My question is this:
Is the best path for me to go on evolving my PHP system, and using
the scripts to generate XML formats on the fly, as well as simpler
HTML formats for user agents that don't support XML?
Or should I be *writing* all my content directly in fully fledged
XML, and then having PHP parse it and transform it into whatever
source code a user needs?
I'm intuitively attracted to the former path, but mainly because it's
a continuation of what I've been doing to date. I can easily see how
I can write a script that will generate XML formats and publish them
on demand on my sites.
However I don't want to start doing that, only to find that I should
have been using a different method.
My basic problem is, I only have a very hazy idea of what the second
option would imply, whereas the first seems pretty easy.
Any advice appreciated.
David Sharp, journalist(e), France <mailto:[log in to unmask]>
Site personnel / Personal home page http://www.sharp-words.com/
Site et forum / Press site & mailing list: http://www.presse-en-ligne.com/