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RE: Help: Reasons to use XML/XSL ?

Subject: RE: Help: Reasons to use XML/XSL ?
From: "Michael Kay" <mhk@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 19 May 2004 15:31:07 +0100
reasons to use xml
XML was not designed to be used as a format for transient data that is en
route from the database to the browser. People are using it for that task,
and once you're sold on XML you will probably want to use it for that task,
but that's not the job it was designed for.

XML is capable of holding information that is far richer in structure than
the rows and columns of a relational database. If you don't feel that
rows-and-columns are constraining you then either you don't really need XML
at all, or you've become locked into a way of thinking that because tables
are the only thing you can store, tables must be what users want.

Situations that need this richness include:

- storing documents, including highly-structured documents such as job
application forms

- exchanging messages between heterogeneous applications

- modelling data that is intrinsically complex such as geographic

Michael Kay

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jarrell Dunson [mailto:Jarrell_Dunson@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] 
> Sent: 19 May 2004 13:16
> To: xsl-list@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Subject:  Help: Reasons to use XML/XSL ?
> Hey, 
> Thanks ahead of time to each of you for reading this. 
> I'm an XSD, XML, XSLT Newbie....and am trying to learn the process.
> However, I really need some input - not from a programming 
> perspective,
> but from a philosophy and usage perspective. 
> For instance, I'm a current user and programmer of 
> Perl...using SQL, CGI,
> and Perl DBI for pulling information from an Informix 
> Relational Database.
>  I'm able to pull data out of a database quite easily...via Perl
> DBI/SQL...and format it with Perl into quality HTML pages. ..and the
> process is rather efficient.  
> For HTML, I can build the pages via wriing the code myself, 
> or using Perl
> script, etc,  I can also, at times, use a text editor (or text editor
> assistant / html formatter) to build basic html and modify it 
> as needed. 
> [Instead of coding a table by hand, for example, I'll use an editor
> assistant (such as Dreamweaver, or Notetab) to create all the 
> code for a
> 3x4 table...and then modify and/or populate the HTML as needed]. 
> So for this process, I'm going from database ...via Perl 
> script...to HTML.
> In learning XSD, XML, XSLT, however, I just don't see the 
> advantage of it?
>  What more does XSD, XML, XSLT give me as a programmer? 
> For me to do the same steps....to go from a database to web 
> page, it seems
> to me that I have to take three [or four] more major steps...each
> involving a more complicated process. From my beginner 
> perspective, I have
> to build a XSD...and then a matching XML - based upon the XSD 
> (validating,
> etc.).  For output, I have build the output leg, XSLT 
> (transforming the
> XML, etc)....to get the same results.  I just don't see the advantage.
> In my current programming, I'm using one scripting process
> 	DATABASE -->  [1] Perl/DBI (using SQL) --> To HTML/Web Page
> In using XML, I need  three (or four) processes: 
> 	[1] Build XSD first.  Then:  DATABASE --> [2] Perl/DBI 
> (using SQL) --> To
> XML.  Then, 
> 	[3] Build an XSLT --> [4] Transform the XML via XSLT 
> --> HTML/Web page
> Isn't this far more complicated? 
> Granted, I could see advantages if I were outputting my data 
> in different
> ways...say, one of my outputs was for the Internet, another for a PDA,
> another for an RSS feed....etc.
> OR, I could possibly see  advantages [per the claims I've 
> heard from big
> corporations] if I were a great business enterprise...and all my data
> needed to be standard...and I needed to use my own mark-up language -
> though I'm not fully convinced of this. 
> But for simple processes....from database to web, I just 
> don't get it  It
> seems far more complicated, and [other than buiiding my resume skills]
> raises the question if it's worth...  
> So, for an uneducated newbie, can you help?  I've learned XSD...and
> XML...and am working on the XSLT, but I haven't seen enough 
> to "buy into
> it".  What's the real benefit of learning and using XSD, XML, 
> AND XSLT?  -
> especially over a simple process like Perl/DBI....and why ? 
> THANK YOU ahead of time, 
> Jarrell
> Jarrell R. Dunson, III
> Asbury Theological Seminary
> Administrative Computing Coordinator
> Jarrell_Dunson@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> (859) 858-2379 (direct)
> (859) 858-2330 (fax)

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