SPUG: Re: Perl and HTML

Aaron Salo aaron at activox.com
Fri Oct 27 14:56:40 CDT 2000

At 11:23 AM 10/27/00 -0700, you wrote:
>I'd like to be able to do exactly what you've specified, but not with
bloody XSL.

my $full_agreement = ($_ * 100);

>It should be
>possible to format XML into whatever you want in perl instead of using XSL
>some nifity and handy perl modules.  These modules could be layed out in an
>OO fashion allowing one to use inheritance and overriding methods to
change the

This is entirely compatible with the spirit of XML, makes complete sense.

>With a good inital architecture, you probably could see alot of
>modules for formatting XML down the road...

Well said. There is certainly room on CPAN for a comprehensive module of
the scope of CGI.pm to handle this kind of stuff. Maybe Lincoln Stein has
some free time on his hands...XSLT sucks IMHO, yes, before anyone rushes to
the defense I know it's an immature spec and everyone has to start
somewhere. I am also still gunshy from my Bad Experience as an wannabe
early adopter back when Java was going to save the world and between 1.0
and 1.1 half of the spec got deprecated. I don't want to invest any time
doing rework in the aftermath of DOM vs. SAX vs. [foo].

In the interim, for file driven stuff like content management applications
and the like I am writing data files as valid XML and writing middleware
scripts in Perl to parse them to a template and get what I want to STDOUT.
Ugly (very) but effective. In my mind this is a good investment because
those datafiles should migrate to [whatever] when something sane is

I see big value in XML and having the data be independent from the
presentation. I have tried very hard to like it. But the hoops you have to
jump thru and the very limited functionality in XSLT has made me abandon it
every time. Have messed with Cocoon but they still have a long way to go -
and I would REALLY prefer NOT to use JServ/Tomcat/[insert java servlet
handler of the month here] in favor of a natural 100% Perl solution. 

Anyone have any better luck with this than I have? Or is this just crazy

Aaron Salo    actiVox new media   http://www.activox.com
       internet leverage, new media development, 
       and whatever acronym you need implemented
        +1.360.434.8547 -- aaron(at)activox.com

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