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Java and XSLT by Eric M. Burke

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Prototyping the XML

Once the requirements and screen flow are well understood, it is possible to move on to a more rigorous design process. Web sites based on XSLT are highly modular, facilitating a design and implementation process that can be farmed out to several members of a development team. Each piece can be developed and tested independently before finally bringing everything together into the completed web application.

XHTML Prototypes

Creating user interface prototypes is an early task that can be handed off to less experienced programmers or perhaps to a dedicated web page designer. At this stage in the game, an overly complex and graphical web interface is not required. The bells and whistles can be added later by merely updating XSLT stylesheets. In fact, too much effort at this early stage can make it more difficult to figure out what the XML and XSLT should look like.

Since the front end will be created using XHTML Strict , a separate cascading style sheet (CSS) will be required to make the pages look presentable.[24] The strict variant of XHTML does not allow most of the HTML 4.0 formatting tags, but instead encourages the use of CSS. Example 7-1 contains the complete CSS file used by the discussion forum.

Example 7-1. forum.css

body { font-family : Verdana, Geneva, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; } .box1 { border: 3px solid Navy; text-align: center; padding: 4px; margin : 2px; background-color: #c0c0c0; } .box2 { border: 1px solid Navy; padding: 4px; margin: 2px; ...

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