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Steve Hoenisch

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Top Stories by Steve Hoenisch

Introductions to XML all too often ignore the power of the attribute. It gets neglected in favor of the element's ability to capture the structure of a document or the meaning of content. But in developing flexible, reusable document models and in capturing metainformation about structure or content, the attribute's overlooked utility quickly comes into focus. Overlooked, too, have been entities, with few introductions to XML freeing them from their shroud of mystery. They are, however, a powerful method for reusing content or code, both in documents and, as we'll see, in DTDs. To help you tap the potential of attributes and entities and use them in your XML documents, I'll explain how to specify them in a document type definition. In discussing attributes and entities, this article forms the second installment in a two-column primer on creating DTDs. After a quick ... (more)

An Introduction to XSLT

You've probably heard the propaganda by now: XML blesses you with a way to separate content from presentation. Separation in turn yields productive gains over HTML and other data formats used to manage content. In a process sometimes called single sourcing, the content of an XML document can be formatted for display in a Web browser, reformatted for delivery to such devices as mobile phones and handheld computers, and converted into a PDF file suitable for printing. A news story, for example, that has been marked up in XML can be transformed into HTML for publication on a Web sit... (more)

Switching Document Views

Complex technical documentation presented on the Internet calls for user interfaces or navigational options that empower readers to quickly gain access to the information that suits their needs. If your readers are viewing documents in an Internet Explorer-only environment, you can let them select the level of detail that will be displayed by combining XML, XSLT, script, and methods of the Document Object Model. The transformNode() method of the DOM, in particular, enables you to dynamically apply different XSL stylesheets to the same XML source document, producing different vie... (more)

DTD Development Driving You Delirious?

No, the abbreviation DTD is not etymologically related to a similar abbreviation from medical science, namely, DTs (or delirium tremens), a violent delirium with tremors, which is induced by the prolonged use of alcohol. Though in absorbing the intricacies of DTDs and trying to develop your first one, you may begin to wonder whether the two terms are somehow connected. Even if you've mastered the basic syntax of XML, writing your first document type definition can be brow-ruffling, not in the least because DTD syntax is different from XML. This tutorial aims to ease you into DTD... (more)

Transforming XML Documents into HTML

The power and elegance of XSLT - the Extensible Stylesheet Language for Transformations - stems from its ability to transform XML documents into other output formats like HTML, fulfilling one of the original promises of XML: separating content from presentation. XSLT is particularly powerful because a single stylesheet can format all the XML documents conforming to a DTD into HTML for publication on a Web site. The stylesheet can also be used to automatically generate such features as a hyperlinked table of contents, the building of which requires substantial manual work without... (more)