On Friday, March 29, 2002, at 12:52  PM, Dennis Moore wrote:

> I am in the process of updating many of my applications to include
> XML/XLST/ and/or WDDX technologies.   Many of my applications read a
> static configuration file which assigns values to variables and arrays.
> If we need to change something we manually edit the configuration files.
> In some instances, we have written web interfaces to manage these
> configuration files.
> I am in a dilemma right now between "If it ain't broke, don't fix it"
> and "Looking over my shoulder".  I am trying to determine whether it
> makes more sense to use XML for maintaining configuration files.
> As far as content management, we use static include files or MySQL
> databases to store site content.   I am not sure where the advantage of
> using XML/XLST for this functionality.

In my experience, you're going to get a lot of anti-XML responses about 
this.  My limited experience of dealing with XML is that it is very 
complicated and difficult to actually do, regardless of the promises of 
simplicity that are usually made when discussing XML.  HOWEVER -- once 
your application is all set up, I imagine that it will actually be 
somewhat easier to maintain.  It's learning how to do all of this, plus 
the fact that the XML tech is so young right now.  For instance, check 
out the man page on xslt_set_sax_handler() or xslt_set_sax_handlers() -- 
not very informative.  And while xslt_process() has a man page that 
actually explains how to use it, it really helps to have a more 
fundamental understanding of XSLT, since it is not explained in the man 
page why you use the argument syntax that is used.

I just discovered this last one last night... so you might have seen the 
thread.  I think it's interesting, and I'm trying to incorporate it into 
my app even though it DEFINITELY doesn't need this kind of 
functionality, because I want to learn more about it.  In fact, if 
performance or high volume are issues to you, then you should probably 
hold off for now, as most of these functions require quite a bit of 
processing -- XML was never intended to be lean or mean.

Probably the hardest thing is finding resources on this -- there are 
quite a few tutorials on DevShed or SitePoint or PHPBuilder that do a 
good job of introducing a topic, and there are some books on XML itself, 
and its related technologies, but I haven't found much that goes 
in-depth into using PHP with XML.  There is far more about Java and XML 
than PHP.  I finally found a mailing list devoted to PHP/XML issues, but 
it's on Yahoo! Groups and I'm having a bitch of a time getting 
subscribed (who ever thought that a web-based interface for mailing list 
management was a good idea?)

Anyway, best of luck to you -- let me know if you find a community 
dedicated to this very topic, since I'd like to focus on it a bit more.



Erik Price
Web Developer Temp
Media Lab, H.H. Brown

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