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Re: how to understand a complex stylesheet

Subject: Re: how to understand a complex stylesheet
From: Michael Norman <michael.norman@xxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 14 Dec 2004 18:27:05 +0100
Hello Georg.

Thanks for you reply.

George James wrote:
The discussion at that site mentions PXSL which is a non-XML way of
expressing XSL templates.

I find this idea very attractive and helps to visually differentiate the
XSLT components from the XML literal result elements.

I'm aware of PXSL, NiceXSL and XSLSscript.  All are trying to do similar
things, but to me each one has its own strengths and weaknesses.  There is
also XQuery which uses non-XML syntax to process XML data (although this is
really a different animal).

PXSL and related languages are indeed interesting approaches to "clean" up the source code of XSLT stylesheets. But the problem remains: you take one look at it, and you still don't understand that much. You still have to roam through the source code to get answers to: which template calls which template; are templates located in other files; etc. This are questions which aren't answered immediately. Although I am aware that probably no visualization or any other method can make a complex stylesheets understandable at once, just making the code more readable won't solve the problem. BUT it is one step to it, that is true indeed!

Some kind of visual modeling/design tool that generated XSL would be a very
interesting idea.

Right now I am more looking for tools to visualize existing stylesheets, not tools to create stylesheets. But having one approach will most certainly lead to the other, so if there are applications to visually create XSL, please let me, too!

Thanks for your help,



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