Re: Semantic markup for tabular data

Subject: Re: Semantic markup for tabular data
From: Dick Margulis <margulisd -at- comcast -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 24 May 2004 13:17:31 -0400

Sean Hower wrote:

Hi. Chiming in late on this thread.

Given all of this talk about XML, and the difficulty in explaining exactly how you can go about using XML to present data, I've decided to put together a quick little demonstration. You can go to the URL below to view it.

When the page opens, you'll get a prompt. Enter your choice and the file will load. You have to enter "one" "two" or "three" exactly. If you enter something else the JavaScript won't work. Why? Becuase this is a quick and dirty example and I didn't bother with error handling. Also, because this is a quick-and-dirty example, I wrote it just for IE 6+. The code to get this to work in Netscape is much longer, and Opera can't handle XML.

One again, this is a quick and dirty example. normally, I'd work on the look of it a bit more, but I'm not going to spend that kind of time on this. This example doesn't use css. It uses data from a single xml file (movies.xml). The prompt is used to pick the template you want to use to format the xml file (one.xsl, two.xsl, three.xsl).

Anyway, take a look at the templates, take a look at the xml file. If you have questions, let me know. If you have critisms about font size or colors, or some other aspect of format, I think you're missing the point. :-)


I think even people as dense as I am understand what you demonstrated here and understood before that it is possible to do this.

What the original poster in this subthread (sorry, I've deleted it and don't recall who it was) was talking about was more complex tables in which there is a semantic relationship between the data in one row and the data in another row _that determines the structure of the table_ [my emphasis]. Suppose, in your example, that you had listed, in addition to the data already there, some other George Lucas movies (Star
Wars sequels and others) and some other movies with Mark Hamill (not directed by Lucas). Now you want a table with vertical straddle cells so that Lucas's name occurs just once and Hamill's name occurs just once. (Never mind that you can come up with extensions of this idea that are logically impossible. Let's just stay with this dataset and assume it is possible.)

I think the questions are:

1. Does XML have enough horsepower to tackle that level of recursion and interdependency between data and table structure)?

2. If so, is the level of effort required to execute something like that justified? Or would traditional manual methods be cheaper and easier short of a requirement for immense, rapidly changing datasets and instant dynamic output builds?

Note: I am not asking you to demonstrate this, only to take a SWAG at answering the questions.




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RE: Semantic markup for tabular data: From: Sean Hower

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