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LinuxJournal.com: XSLT Powers a New Wave of Web Applications

Feb 14, 2002, 23:21 (3 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Cameron Laird)
"The first XSLT essential is its Extensible Markup Language (XML) base (also see the ``Glossary of XSLT Terms'' Sidebar). XML is the universal data format designed to encode everything: algorithmic data, programs and documents from purchase orders to biblical translations, in any human language, on any kind of computer and operating system. XML looks like HTML except it's a bit more complicated. In fact, one of XML's design goals is to generalize HTML in a way that preserves the comfort of HTML adepts. There's even a flavor of XML called XHTML that permits direct interpretation as HTML. Linux Journal frequently publishes articles on different aspects of XML.

A fully XML-ized world is a simpler one, in many ways. To analyze the operation of an accounts payable department, for example, you don't need to know who reports to whom, who is due for a three-week vacation and all those other messy human details. If you can draw a diagram that shows invoices coming in and payments going out, perhaps with authorization records spawned along the way, then you have abstracted what ought to be the essential information.

This is an intoxicating insight. It promises that a system that can transform one XML document (invoice) into one or more other XML documents (payment check, authorization records) and at least organizes, and possibly solves, all meaningful organization automations. That's why XSLT seems so important now."

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