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XML Publishing with AxKit by Kip Hampton

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A Step Further: Syndicating Content

You have reached your initial goal of publishing your XML documents for consumption by HTML browsers on the Web using AxKit. Even if that were all you ever wanted to do, you still made a clear division between the content you will maintain and the way in which it is presented. Among other benefits, you can now redesign the look and feel of pages sent to the client without touching content documents. Don’t worry about clobbering or obscuring essential information just to change the way it renders in a browser. Similarly, using a custom XML grammar for your content means that the documents themselves can unambiguously define the intended roles of the data they contain, rather than the way that data may be represented on the visual medium of an HTML browser. This makes reusing the data for other purposes a lot easier.

To understand the practical benefits of separating content from presentation, suppose that your list of cryptid sightings becomes wildly popular on the Web. People start asking for a way to put links to the newly reported sighting on their own cryptozoology sites. You could tell them to screen-scrape the HTML list. Instead, you decide to be a good information-sharing citizen and make the list available as an RSS syndication feed. To achieve this, the first thing you need is a stylesheet that transforms the list of cryptid sightings to RSS, in addition to the one you already have that transforms the data into HTML.

For those who may not ...

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