RE: Semantic markup for NUANCED tabular data

Subject: RE: Semantic markup for NUANCED tabular data
From: Mailing List <mlist -at- ca -dot- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 21 May 2004 15:15:48 -0400

Bill Lawrence
> Suppose I want to render some of the table objects in another
> way, such
> as the answer components in a Q&A structure within a FAQ. I can write
> an XSLT script to find my table in an XML document (or "instance" as
> it's often called). I can find the table either by it's
> parent/child/sibling relationship to something else (which I can
> manipulate via XPATH), or through metadata (such as an ID attribute)
> within the table. Once I find the table, I can again use XPATH or
> metadata to locate the data I'm looking for and assemble an
> entirely new
> XML structure using that same data. The new structure, because it's
> dynamically generated from the old, updates automatically
> when I update
> the data in the table. So if I change the table, the next
> time I run my
> transformation script the table is updated.

> Now let's turn it around. Suppose I want to build a table from other
> things, such as data contained in other objects within other XML
> instances. It's really just the reverse of the same sort of script.
> Because the documentation is really an XML database, I can find and
> reuse data in any way I choose.

> Does this answer your question?

If I knew, in advance, that certain data was *likely* to be
needed for output in tabular format, in addition to other
outputs that you suggested, would/should that influence how
I create/input/markup in the first place? Or would it be
more the case that I'd rely on CSS or XSLT or whatever to
do what I desired later on?

In other words, how true is it that the person creating the
data doesn't need to know or care how the person displaying
the data will want to do it? Or, is it a general rule to
lean more toward building the smarts into the data/metadata,
or to wait for the output stage?



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