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   a practical xml application, HTML form processing, how to do it?

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  • From: Nicolas Monnet <nico@echange.fr>
  • To: xml-dev@ic.ac.uk
  • Date: Wed, 14 Oct 1998 12:50:12 +0200

Hi there,

First let me introduce the issue I'm trying to address.

XML seems to solved a lot of issues I've encoutered before. 

Among those, is the 'template' thing: id est, in a complex & dynamic web
site, it's always a problem to make the presentation part and the
computing part interoperate.

Typically, there are two solutions:

* ASP/JSP/PHP, where the code and the layout/output are mixed

	Leads to maintenance nightmares. 

	As soon as the code is gettig complex enough, it' getting unreadable.

* Template-based mechanisms

	Often not flexible enough. When you want to add flexibility, you end up
designing your own little language to handle conditional stuff. E.g., in
a db table output, you may want to have a label only if there is a
non-NULL value.

Here comes XML, and here's the idea I have.

I want to be able specify an HTML formular or list of formular (think
'wizard', with 'Next >>' buttons) as an XML file.

Now I haven't ever used XML, just read a lot of specs and APIs docs, and
what I'm asking here is the following: could someone write a short
example of a (part of a) XML document that could specify this, or give
me hints? Then I'll implement it and release it.

For example, I'm thinking about something along those lines:

		<XXTITLE>User information</XXTITLE>
		<H1>Please provide user information</H1>
		<ENTRY TYPE=text NAME=name CONTENT=text
		 CONSTRAINT=filled><P>Your name: <XXINPUT/>
		<ENTRY TYPE=text NAME=age CONTENT=int>Your age: 
		<XXINPUT/> (optional)</ENTRY>
		<ENTRY TYPE=textarea NAME=comments CONTENT=text>Enter
		comments here: <XXINPUT/> (optional) </ENTRY>


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