Wednesday, May 25, 2005

XSLT for Public Radio Feeds and New Project

Tod Maffin maintains Public Radio Feeds and was looking for a way to easily convert his OPML file into HTML. So I wrote for him an XSLT file.

I really like how a simple XSLT file can produce a good HTML page. My XSLT file is less that page of code yet it produces many more lines of HTML for most OPML files.

I offered to do this for Tod for a bunch of reasons. First Dave Winner posted Tod's request. Second, XSLT sounded like the perfect solution and this gave me an opportunity to learn XSLT for OPML. I'm in the processing of learning more and more about OPML. Third, I'm working on a generic XSLT testing page. So Tod's project was a great way to test this project.

So all of this leads me to consider expanding the scope of my XSLT tester. RSS and OPML are two of the most common XML files available on the web. So I was thinking of building an XSLT wizard using JavaScript. You would pick a series of what amount to an HTML building block for each element (node) of a feed. This would build an XSLT file which would be run against any publicly accessible RSS or OPML file. When you like the result the wizard would email the XSLT file to you.

I've got so many other projects that I'm working on, I don't know when and if I'll get to this one. But I really like the idea because creating XSLT is now mostly hand coding with very little debugging help.

If you have an idea on how this project might work for you, let me know.

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