[XML-SIG] Hello

Vladimir Marangozov Vladimir.Marangozov@inrialpes.fr
Fri, 29 Oct 1999 11:45:32 +0100 (NFT)

Hi all,

I'm relatively new to the XML world (which is not the case for Python)
as well as the W3C standardization efforts in this area, but as a
benevolent INRIA webmaster I have to jump in, so I joined this sig.
(finally! :-) and I plan to stay for a while... ;-)

I have some comments and a couple of questions that I hope you'll be
able to answer. I realize that the information exists somewhere, or
I can analyse the code to see what's done or doable and what's not,
but I'd better refer to you as more experienced in this area and save
some precious time.

I'm building a medium-sized website (approx. 150 pages) and I already
have some content and a relatively complex layout, all written in valid
HTML 4 almost by hand <ouch!>. Continuing this way, as you know, is a
dead end.

I have been told (and more precisely, the W3C people working here) that
I have to put my content in XML, then use XSLT to transform my content
and generate the HTML layout. This way, if I want to make radical changes
to the layout or the output documents, the only thing I'll have to modify
is the transormation rules. I guess that this is not the only solution
for my task, but I'd better follow their advice in the long run.

So, as a Python addict, I made a quick tour on the Web to see what Python
tools exist for the job. The good news is that the XML-SIG has already
packaged the low-level machinery of XML -- a very nice piece of work!

Another good news is that the FourThought guys have released recently
parts of their 4Suite, including the XSLT and XPath packages. I haven't
tried them yet, so I'm not in a position to comment whether the
implemented subset of the W3C recommendation (PR-xslt-19991008) will
suffice for my task. (I can only regret that James Clark's XT was written
in Java, and not in Python. I'll tell Vincent Quint to convert him ;-)

A third good thing is Zope. I won't comment too much on it because you
already know better than me what Zope is and does. What bothers me a
little bit in Zope is that I'm not convinced that I can clearly separate
content from style. Zope relies on templates, not on transformation rules.

So, I wonder whether I really have today the Python basic bricks to perform
the following:

0) Define my DTD and deduce the user-friendly forms for 1).
1) Fill my content via user-friendly forms (a la Zope)
2) This content is wrapped and stored in XML.
3) The XML files are processed according to my stylesheets and the XSLT
4) The formatted result (currently in valid HTML 4.0) shines on my screen
   (when I click on Zope's preview, for example)

Basically, I'd like to "plug" the XML/XSLT part in the Zope site-building
process. Fundamentally, Zope's DTML resembles XSLT, but as an INRIA
employee, I tend to prefer XSLT and the standards my colleages are
working on ;-).

In the end, is this doable? Are there any missing parts or tools in this

I wish that the people at DC consider a strategical move for Zope, 
so that this excellent product incorporates (or is interfaced with)
the W3C standards. Damn, even the examples in Zope are not in valid HTML!
DTML is good (it was developped before the current standards), but a shift
or a bidirectional converter DTML<->XSL/T would be a major win.  Whether
this is doable is another story. I don't know too much of the details yet,
but I plan to get at full speed shortly :-)

       Vladimir MARANGOZOV          | Vladimir.Marangozov@inrialpes.fr
http://sirac.inrialpes.fr/~marangoz | tel:(+33-4)76615277 fax:76615252