Xatapult's XML Blog


XSLT types against typos

Filed under: How-to,Tips and trics,Uncategorized — xatapult @ 07:13
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Some tiny typing mistakes in your XSLT stylesheet can cause major headaches. Why? Because they go undetected by the standard static and dynamic error checking mechanisms. Something as simple as writing /Filename where it should be /FileName will only show up if your own test/debug efforts find it and will not be trapped by the XSLT engine. Unless… (more…)



XML Coding Standards

Filed under: General,Opinion,Standards and guidelines — xatapult @ 10:03
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Looking at the XML that is around, everybody seems to use different standards for element and attribute names. Some people write their elements in all uppercase, like <USERNAME>, some use UpperCamelCase, like <UserName>, or lowerCamelCase, like <userName>. Some standards, like XSLT, use all lowercase, like <xsl:value-of>. There is no uniformity, in contrast to, for instance, Java, where everybody more or less adheres to the same writing and coding rules.

So should we have a standard and what should it look like? Let’s explore. (more…)


Interpreting XML – Dont do it yourself!

Filed under: General — xatapult @ 09:07

In an XML document you can express the same semantics in syntactically very different ways. Which is a difficult way of saying: Watch out, XML documents may look different but can nonetheless mean the same! If you use the right tools to parse and interpret the XML that is not a problem. However, be aware for developers that do not…

This article explores the areas that cause most of the confusion in interpreting XML. (more…)


Schema references

Filed under: How-to — xatapult @ 12:43
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How do you associate a schema with an XML document? It’s easy but the details also easily forgotten. A summary and a how-to. (more…)


Schemas from DTDs: The root (element) of evil?

Filed under: Opinion — xatapult @ 13:32
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Once upon a time XML was born from SGML. And along with its birth came DTDs to define the document structure. Life was good. Everybody used to writing DTDs for SGML could keep doing so. And so they did…

But what happened? Newer and shinier methods for describing XML structures came along. W3C Schemas, Relax NG and others saw the light. Suddenly things that were impossible to do with DTDs became feasible: data typing, design modularization and many, many more. Wow! Suddenly you could really be strict about your document structure.

And so what happened in the ivory towers from which the gods send us their XML standards for us mere mortals to use? Where the standards accompanied by schemas in addition to the traditional DTDs? Yes, they were! Hurrah, a step forward. Now we can really and truly verify our documents.

But look closely. Are this schemas? Technically… yes. However they look an awful lot like DTDs. If I am not mistaken most of the DTDs are simply converted into schemas.

All right, so what? (more…)

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