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   RE: [xml-dev] xml web uses

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Scott DeMers <demerss1@msu.edu> asks:
> Greetings --
> I run some websites for a university, and I am curious about 
> using XML for some of my projects. I would like some opinions 
> on the following (I'm somewhat new to XML, so feel free to 
> correct any errors):
> 1. Content management - Storing data in XML files using a DTD 
> like Website. Currently, data is stored in a database, which 
> works fine, but I'm curous about the advantages of XML storage.

The debate is ongoing.  My 2 cents?  No advantage as far as storage
itself goes, the real value add is in what you can do with XML.  As
such, getting XML out of a database is a consideration, whether the
database supports that directly or you end up adding a middle layer
between the database and everything else.  To that end, I'll note one
possibility you're sort of skirting around which is Web site
management/development itself.  

I use XML driven content and XSLT to separate the content of web sites
from the presentation.  All XHTML is coded in a single XSLT, all data is
stored in one single XML location (be it a database or a file).  Thus,
if I make a change to a presentation element I make the change only
once, if I make a change to a common data element I make it only once,
and all changes shows up on every page that the presentation or data is
referenced on automagically.  

> 2. XUL - Many of our dynamic sites are maintained by students 
> via an HTML interface. I've played with XUL, and it seems to 
> have potential for internal pages like this, although HTML 
> currently serves this purpose well.
> 3. RSS - One I'm quite certain we'll be using for calendar 
> events and news headlines.
> Please chime in on any of the above topics, or suggest some I 
> haven't considered that would make a web site easier to 
> maintain and more useful for users.
> Thanks a bunch,


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