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RE: XSL file / "standalone" stylesheets - why not?

From: John E. Simpson <simpson@polaris.net>
Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2000 09:25:21 -0500
Message-Id: <4.2.0.58.20000114090516.00af3310@nexus.polaris.net>
To: xsl-list@mulberrytech.com, "'xsl-list@mulberrytech.com'" <xsl-list@mulberrytech.com>
Cc: "'xsl-editors@w3.org'" <xsl-editors@w3.org>
At 03:41 PM 01/13/2000 -0700, Mike Brown wrote:
>[I wrote, earlier:]
> > Okay, I'll bite: If there's a root node but no "data source
> > from which the source tree was constructed," then what is
> > the thing being transformed?
>
>Data from documents referred to via document(), or nothing.
>
>Transformation is not really what's happening, anyway. It's
>creation of a new tree based on the root node of the "main"
>source tree, and *possibly* other nodes in that source tree
>or other source trees obtained via document().

Okay, I understand about using document() (at least with one argument, as 
somebody -- Mike Kay? -- just said :).  But then doesn't that document 
constitute a source tree, even if it consists of just a single root element?

>...I "transform" tons of data from various source trees.
>I just don't always need to have anything in the primary
>source tree except for a root node that allows the processor
>to begin processing. Examples:
>
><xsl:stylesheet ...>
>   <xsl:template match="/">
>     <p>Hello World</p>
>   </xsl:template>
></xsl:stylesheet>

This is kind of what I meant by the term "generating data." I know you were 
simplifying for the sake of example; without wanting to flog the issue too 
much, and without necessarily asking for copious examples, could you 
describe a situation in which it makes sense to have XSLT do this? It seems 
like swatting flies with a hammer. Do you have some process hooked up at 
the back end which must take all its input from an XSLT processor?

><xsl:stylesheet ...>
>   <xsl:template match="/">
>     <xsl:apply-templates select="document('foo.xml')" mode="bar"/>
>   </xsl:template>
>   <xsl:template match="/" mode="bar">
>     <p>There are <xsl:value-of select="count(//node())"/> nodes in
>foo.xml</p>
>   </xsl:template>
></xsl:stylesheet>

Yes, I can see this. Maybe I'm reading the spec too casually, but using the 
document() function to provide your sole source of "input" doesn't 
radically change the notion of having a source tree, does it? (Actually, 
even the word "radically" seems superfluous.)

Somewhat less fuddled but still scratching my head... thanks if you can 
clarify further.

===================================================================
John E. Simpson            |  Last night I stayed up late playing
simpson@polaris.net        |  poker with Tarot cards. I got a full
http://www.flixml.org      |  house and four people died.
                            |  (Stephen Wright)
Received on Friday, 14 January 2000 09:24:37 GMT

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