New website (inspired by the "Website layout" thread)

Amar Takhar verm at
Fri Feb 6 11:41:53 PST 2004

Sofar, i've gotten 3 responses saying that XML/XSLT are better.  I'd like to ask
a few questions as to why.

* using xml means you'll have to spend time creating stylesheets, which can
  sometimes be as much work as creating the source (not content) of the xml
  files themselves.
* is a horrible xml parsing web server, it's not ready for major
  production use by any stretch, so which webserver will be used for
* people submitting back to the project will first have to understand the
  stylesheets before they'll know how to submit content back.
* anytime a new layout needs to be created, you have to create a new stylesheet.
* eventually you end up with so many extensions, upgrading, or changing over to
  anything else in nearly impossible.

These points are from practical experiance, they are not guesses.  From work
experiance to what i've seen in other opensource projects.

I'd love to hear about atleast one, popular sucess story with XML/XSLT.

Now, for SGML, i'd like to clarify the following, as i'm not sure many people
understand what "SGML" means with regards to what I did.

The site is in 100% PURE HTML. (no sugar added)

The DSSSL style sheet system is used for include systems, and creating external
entities.  There is _zero_ SGML involved whatsoever.  It just "happens" to be
the same system, but with an HTML vs SGML DTD.  This allows for superior offline
HTML checking, sort of like compiling a C program, if there is an error, it'll
bork, if not, it works fine.  You don't get this with XML, if the template
compiles correctly, it's fine, the resulting HTML is not checked.  Yes, you can
us tidy to check for errors, however, you've left to finding out where
specificially, in what xml file or stylesheet the error is being created.

* As mentioned above with the offline style checking.
* It's extremely easy to follow, entities / includes are kept in a single file.
* Pure HTML, no unknown tags.
* Can be edited very easily in a WYSIWYG editor.
* Static pages.

There is a reason FreeBSD handles 1,000,000 hits per day on on
such a small machine, the site is almost entirely static content.

Yes, you can do this with XML/XSLT to create static pages offline, however, why
on earth would you use it for that?

The whole point is to load your XSL's into the webserver and parse the XML files
live.  This is a pretty heavy load -- i'm not sure how much experiance anyone
has seen with what this creates, but it's a huge mess.

I'd strongly advise against using XML/XSLT and stick with static HTML pages,
unless you have a few grand kicking around for the superhuman webserver you're
going to need once you pass a few hundred thousand hits a day.

I'm not saying use SGML, i'm saying use HTML using the DSSSL HTML DTD to check.

People assume *.sgml and thinkg "oh my god he's using docbook, or sgml or..."

Remember, SGML == Standard Generalized Markup Language.  It's just a method for
handling documents.


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