A few ideas:
1. I have been setting up a system to do almost exactly what you are
doing (database --> xml --> xslt-->html via a custom class) and have not
noticed any significant performance hit, but this is not in production
so your mileage may vary, but my gut feeling is the performance hit is
very small (real scientific - not).
2. Does all this data from your database have to be converted on the
fly? In other words does it have to be completely dynamic? If some of
the content is updated fairly infrequently then you could have a
cron-job type process convert from database to xml files at a given
interval (hourly, weekly, montly etc..). Or even think about whether
your data needs to live in a database. Can it just live in an xml file?
3. Modern browsers can convert using xslt themselves so you could check
the user agent and have the browser transform the xml if it is capable
(IE5-6, Netscape 6-7, mozilla etc...)
I am going to do all the transformation on the server and live with the
slight performance hit.
I think the benefits are worth it. Making and maintaining a site become
so easy once you have this set up. The code on each page is compact and
almost exactly the same, the only variance is the sql statement and the
name of the xsl file.
Go ahead and email me off list if you want to discuss this off list
Chris Boget wrote:
>Let me preface this by saying that I know the benefits of using
>XML with regards to portability and extensibility.
>Here is the issue I face. I have all of my data stored in a MySQL
>database. I'm considering reworking my website so that it uses
>XML (after being converted from resultant records in my DB) to
>transmit & XSLT to transform and display the data to my end user.
>There are a few benifits I can see in sending XML messages as
>part of the back end processing. However, that seems to be out-
>weighed by the amount of processing that's going to need to take
>place in actually serving the data to the user.
>First I have to query and pull the records from the database. Then,
>I need to send those records to a function (or functions) to convert
>it to XML. Then, I need to take that XML data and have PHP use
>an XSL stylesheet to transform it to HTML before it, finally, gets
>sent on to the browser. So that's basically 2 conversions that take
>place on the back end.
>How much experience have any of you had with doing that? Does
>it take significantly longer to serve the pages; is there a noticible
>performance hit? Do you realize more benifit for the back end
>processes when using XML that makes any additional time it takes
>to display a page to the user worth it?
>I'd love to hear about people's experience with this kind of thing so I
>can better make a decision wrt whether or not I should even go down
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