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   Re: I'm on the edge and I need a push...

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  • From: "Steve Muench" <SMUENCH@us.oracle.com>
  • To: binesh@hex21.com
  • Date: 16 Aug 1999 09:35:17 -0700

Have a look at the Oracle XSQL Servlet at  
It lets you build an XML "datapage", comprising 
arbitrary tag structure mixed-in with any number 
of database queries, then handles the XSLT transformation 
of that multi-query "datapage" into XML or HTML for 
delivery. The transformation can be done in the server 
or in the client, depending on the browser you're using 
and your desire as the programmer. 
Have fun. 
Steve Muench, Consulting Product Manager & XML Evangelist 
Business Components for Java Dev't Team 
BC4J: http://technet.oracle.com/product/tools/appjava/info/techwp20/wp.html 
 XML: http://www.oracle.com/xml

  • From: Binesh Bannerjee <binesh@hex21.com>
  • To: XML-DEV <xml-dev@ic.ac.uk>
  • Date: 16 Aug 1999 09:01:27
Hi guys...
	OK, I'm close to recommending we stop building a home grown
sort of templating scheme (that I'm building), and instead use
XML/XSL to build websites for a client... Here are the few things
that are holding me back right now...

	Most of the books I've read on XML/XSL use examples as
follows: They take output from a database (converted to XML, of course)
and then pretty up the output using XSL... This is great, however,
a real site would need a little bit more, and would likely
involve not just one XML doc per output page, but likely more than
	For example, if you go to Yahoo's home page: I see a lot of
static info, to be sure, which would fit in
			< (blah blah blah) >
			< (blah blah blah) >

But, some stuff, wouldn't fit so clearly: the ad for instance at the
top under the Yahoo logo, the latest bids section and the latest news.

To my way of thinking, these would each involve multiple database queries,
and multiple database queries to me at least spells multiple XML docs.
(I know, not necessarily, but, if you wanted to put arbitrary pieces of
database _stuff_ on a page, you'd want to separate all the different
data onto different "modules" and then just plug them into the page)

How does one do this in XML/XSL?

This is what I was thinking, but, again I'm still not sure how to go about
doing it...

Upon request the CGI/Servlet/API whatever generates an XML doc to
encapsulate the request info, Something like
			<VARIABLE NAME="Blah1" VALUE="Blah Blah"/>
			<VARIABLE NAME="Blah2" VALUE="Blah Blah"/>
			<VARIABLE NAME="Blah3" VALUE="Blah Blah"/>
			<VARIABLE NAME="Blah4" VALUE="Blah Blah"/>
			<HEADER NAME="User-Agent" VALUE="Mozilla"/>
			<HEADER NAME="Blah7" VALUE="Blah Blah"/>

from here is where I'm sort of stuck... The closest I think of is
having an XSL page which will be something like:
				[ Blah blah blah ]
				[ Blah blah blah ]
				[ Blah blah blah ]
				[ Blah blah blah ]
				[ Blah blah blah ]

But, then, relatdlinks needs to take two XML docs, the CGI XML doc and
_based_ on the CGI XML doc _generate_ another XML doc, which will then get
converted to HTML, right? How is this being handled? Same for recentnews
and mostrecent_bids, although, here, we likely wouldn't need the CGI XML

Also, what if the output is to have a framed page? Like, you submit to
the CGI, and the output is to be a frame which needs to relay info about
the CGI request?

I guess another good eg is if you do a search on AltaVista, it generates
the search results that you want, but it also generates "related searches"
which are pretty clearly another database hit separate from the original
search... (And on Yahoo, the ad banner at the top seem pretty clearly
related to what you search for... For instance a search for wedding
brings me back an ad for the weddingchannel.com at the top, and there are
all these flower links on the right side of the page...

I pretty much know how I'd do all these things if I were to go all out
servlet /CGI/API whatever again, but, am not quite sure how to handle it
with XML/XSL, without resorting somehow to an "impure" solution, involving
Java/C/C++, in which case, I wonder about not being purely standards
based, in which case, you know, what's the point?

(I mean, like, if I were to write my own web server, that was 99 44/100 %
pure HTTP, but, the extensions were only understood by the BineshBrowser
what would be the point? The users would now be locked in to the Binesh
Web Server/BineshBrowser combination, and wouldn't be able to take
advantage of other tools to help them maintain/modify the site...)
Ditto for extra HTML tags, as we all know from reading our XML books...
The whole point of a standard (to me) is flexibility in choosing tools
because everyone will code to those standards, right?

Like I said, I'd rather build something built on standards than something
homegrown, but from what I've read I haven't _yet_ seen a full eg. of
something like this... and, I'd need to solve them before going that

Binesh Bannerjee

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