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RE: advocating XML

On the one hand you've got the job-specific approach, and it sounds like the
flat file & unix toolbox (regex, perl) method offers a quick way of
achieving this. On the other hand, the XML/XSLT approach sounds like more
hard work (and possibly less robust) but is potentially more open to
extension. Each has it's pros & cons. More :
A rather convincing argument against the unix approach could be - my server
isn't running unix.
An argument against both approaches that I personally would use is that I
don't know enough about regex or XSLT.

However, I do have an seriously versatile toolbox in the form of Java and I
don't need another skill set for this application or virtually any other you
care to mention. It might take longer than 10 minutes (but not very much
longer) as I can reuse components I have on the shelf for the processing
(SAX etc, and I have a little CSV-XML-CSV converter that might even be
useful ;-), and the comms/form handling parts are already there in the form
of servlets/JSP. It will run on my unix/ms/netware/whatever box, if I use
XML it's easy to pass the data on to third parties, and the guy that
inherits my job (after the unix-centric boss sacks me) will be able to
maintain and extend the app with minimal effort. Horses for courses.

Danny Ayers