Search This Blog

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

XmlTransform: A General-Purpose XSLT Pre-Processor

The general-purpose XML transformer and/or validator discussed in this
article, named "XmlTransform" operates on an arbitrarily deep
directory tree containing files you want to transform. As output it
optionally generates multi-level indices and can even add navigational
linkages. XmlTransform's validation capability is reasonably
straightforward; it lets you ensure that the set of XML files used for
a transformation are valid according to specified XML schema. You may
elect to validate input files, output files (after transformation), or
both. The program's transformation capability is more interesting. One
common application of a transformation engine is as a pre-processor, a
very handy thing indeed when designing web pages. Overall, because of
the number of options and their effects on the output, XmlTransform does
have a fairly steep learning curve, but if you have a problem to tackle
that it can handle, it can be quite a time saver. In the real world,
XmlTransform originally served to generate static pages on my open source
web site. Rather than write in HTML, I can write pages in a shorthand
custom XML dialect and let XmlTransform automatically take care of the
fancy headers, footers, page linkages, copyright date, and so forth. But
XmlTransform is useful in other situations as well. For example, it can
act as a SQL documentation generator akin to Ndoc (for C#) or JavaDoc
(for Java).

No comments: