April 12th, 2006

Ivy, my daughter who is now 21 months, received a number of “Baby Einstein” videos when she was born. At one year, we shared a few with her, and she labeled them “eema” for reasons we don’t understand (though it is possibly due to the “ima” in “animal”). She enjoys watching them and we have heard the classical music that accompanies the images of puppets, animals, toys, and babies many times. Last night, we attended a concert of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra that included two of the pieces. I could not help but replay the associated animal video in my mind during the performance. For those pieces I expect I will be thus distracted for a very long time. As Ivy would should with glee whenever I turn on the DVD player: EEMA!

Thanks Dom!

March 1st, 2006

Many thanks to Dominique Hazael-Massieux, who helped me set up this blog!

XSLT/XPath 2.0 success story

March 1st, 2006

Dan Connolly suggested that I report my “XSLT 2.0” success story. We recently (re-)implemented a W3C publication validation tool (a.k.a. the pubrules checker) and XSLT 2.0 and XPath 2.0 helped solve some interesting problems. In particular, we want to check whether the copyright text (markup and all) in a document matches a boilerplate copyright paragraph with one “variable” in the middle: the actual date or date range that is specific to the document. XPath regular expressions and the replace() function helped solve our problems.

Another xpath 2.0 feature that helped was “*@ except title”. I used the title attribute to mark up parts of an html document to help with filtering. In the filtered results, I wanted to remove the title attribute but copy all other attributes and their values in the output. Hence the utility of the above construct.

Lastly, when I learned of these features (which have inspired me to plunge into this generation of xsl specs in much more detail), I was told that all I had to do to make my xslt 1.0 document conform to xslt 2.0 was to change the version attribute value to “2.0”. And indeed, it just worked. Thanks XSLT WG!