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Easier Creation of XSL Stylesheets

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000015544D
Original Publication Date: 2002-Jul-14
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-20
Document File: 2 page(s) / 41K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Disclosed is a method which simplifies the creation of stylesheets by allowing them to be generated "by example" from an HTML page. Much data is produced in the form of XML documents. XML has become the main standard for exchange of data on the Internet. The data from an XML document often needs to be displayed in a browser. For example an XML document containing a list of a user’s recent banking transactions can be rendered as an HTML document in a browser or as a WML document on a Wireless Access Protocol (WAP) phone. The typical way to convert an XML document to a displayable format (e.g. to HTML, VoiceXML, WML, XHTML) is to use an XSL Stylesheet. The following description will for simplicity assume that the target is an HTML document but it could be any renderable markup. The Stylesheet contains the required target markup (HTML) plus a set of XSL "commands" which define how the data is to be taken from the XML document and placed into the target HTML page. XSL stylesheet development is difficult and requires a high degree of programming skill. Tools are being developed to make Stylesheet development easier. A typical tool would have a three -panel display. One panel shows the XML document, a second shows the XSL stylesheet and the third panel shows the HTML page resulting from application of the stylesheet to the XML page. The user edits the stylesheet in the second panel and can immediately see the results in the HTML panel. However, the focus of these tools is the XSL stylesheet. The user is still required to go through the difficult process of creating and editing XSL.

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Easier Creation of XSL Stylesheets

Disclosed is a method which simplifies the creation of stylesheets by allowing them to be generated "by example" from an HTML page.

    Much data is produced in the form of XML documents. XML has become the main standard for exchange of data on the Internet. The data from an XML document often needs to be displayed in a browser. For example an XML document containing a list of a user's recent banking transactions can be rendered as an HTML document in a browser or as a WML document on a Wireless Access Protocol (WAP) phone.

    The typical way to convert an XML document to a displayable format (e.g. to HTML, VoiceXML, WML, XHTML) is to use an XSL Stylesheet. The following description will for simplicity assume that the target is an HTML document but it could be any renderable markup. The Stylesheet contains the required target markup (HTML) plus a set of XSL "commands" which define how the data is to be taken from the XML document and placed into the target HTML page.

    XSL stylesheet development is difficult and requires a high degree of programming skill. Tools are being developed to make Stylesheet development easier. A typical tool would have a three -panel display. One panel shows the XML document, a second shows the XSL stylesheet and the third panel shows the HTML page resulting from application of the stylesheet to the XML page. The user edits the stylesheet in the second panel and can immediately see the results in the HTML panel. However, the focus of these tools is the XSL stylesheet. The user is still required to go through the difficult process of creating and editing XSL.

    The disclosed program changes the focus from the XML Stylesheet to the HTML target document. Instead of working on a difficult-to-understand stylesheet, the user works on the easy-to-understand HTML document.

    The user starts by developing an HTML document which is an example of how the page should finally appear after it has been rendered via a stylesheet. For example, it might be an HTML page showing an end-user's recent transactions on his/her bank acco...