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Re: advocating XML
- From: "Thomas B. Passin" <email@example.com>
- To: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Date: Wed, 14 Mar 2001 01:30:43 -0500
Paul T wrote -
> Now if you map the A.xml into *regex*line*oriented* file, I bet
> you be surprised how *trivial* the overall task becomes if doing
> it in python or perl or any other scripting language that inherits
> from UNIX.
When I started working with xml files, I used scripts with REs, and I tried
to keep my files line-oriented as well. Of course, I used functions and
methods to produce the output, usually html. I tried to avoid stylesheets and
parsers. I thought I didn't need them and they were too complicated.
After awhile, I noticed that it was getting harder and harder as my xml tasks
became more complex. I had to keep track of a lot of context, and the REs
were harder to get working right. I also noticed that that it was getting
really hard to change the html output and make sure it was right.
Then I tried writing simple little parsers, both with REs and without. I knew
they wouldn't work for general xml files, but I said to myself that I would
mostly work with my own files anyway, and I could make sure I didn't use the
more complicated features, especially DTD-related stuff.
That was OK for a little while, then I realized that 1) this wasn't all that
fast, and 2) I was using other people's xml more, and 3) I started wanting to
use more of those features I had disdained before. (Len Bullard must be
loving this, it's like a recapitulation of 10 years of markup history!)
That's when I started using "real" parsers. I also started using
At each step of the way, I got more reliable results that were easier to
develop and change and extend, and I could handle a larger range of documents
and problems. Any, yes, there are still times where the three lines of REs
are really good.
Now, I haven't tried to use xslt to maintain large and complex web site for
long periods of time, so I can't say how they scale for those purposes. But
I'm quite sure that trying to maintain such a site with (the old classic) perl
scripts, for example, can be a real bear.
I have a few Cold Fusion sites, too - it's very good, especially for
displaying data from databases. So I don't say xml/xslt is the one answer for