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Re: Conversion of existing web pages from HTML

  • From: THOMAS PASSIN <tpassin@i...>
  • To: "XML-Dev List" <xml-dev@x...>
  • Date: Thu, 27 Apr 2000 08:58:55 -0400

floss conversion
Kiat Soh asks-
> I am wondering if there's anyone who tries converting
> the existing HTML pages to XML and XSL.
> In an enterprise that has made considerably investment
> in producing HTML pages, would there be tremendous
> benefit to change to XML.
> Also for a typical web page, its hard to decide on the
> schema of the pages. Can anyone give me some advice.

I have done a little of this (on a small scale, not tons of pages).  It
seems to be worthwhile if
1) you often create pages that are similar to other pages, or
2) You frequently change a particular page.

I think that the translation task is a creative effort, and so it would be
hard to automate (except maybe for sets of pages that are very similar).
"Deciding on the schema", the creative part, depends on these factors, at
1) Make it easy for a person to author or change the page,
2) Make it easy to generate the page automatically,
3) Can the page easily be extended in the future, and what kind of
extensions are likely?

You can think of the schema as a template that you populate, or you can
think of it as giving you building blocks that you put on the page.  Either
view can be useful.

All the pages I have done so far have been static - they don't change too
often.  I edit each one by hand, then I run a batch file that transforms it
using xslt, and then puts the resulting html file into the right directory.
This is perfect for me - all the nit-picking details are done automatically
(so I don't have to remember them), and I can focus on changing content with
minimal distractions.

Microsoft used to have set of pages that described how it changed over to
xml for many of its pages, and problems it had to solve.  I don't have a
link to it anymore, but try looking for it.  That's an example of a huge
site that changed over from html to xml.

A positive byproduct might be that you would end up with more consistent
page design between pages, because you would try to reuse templates and
design elements more often.  That would probably be a good thing.

Tom Passin

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