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Re: advocating XML

On Wed, 14 Mar 2001, Thomas B. Passin wrote:

> 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.

While I mostly disagree with Paul's general sentiment, it's far too easy
here to say that XML+XSLT is the only system that supports template based
output generation. Perl has some excellent template tools such as
HTML::Template and Text::Template and the Template Toolkit which are
perfect for this kind of job.

Oh, plus if you're using CSV, you don't need regexps at all (Text::CSV in
Perl handles this just fine). But it's sure nice to have the capabilities
of a general purpose language at your disposal before doing any output.


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