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[xsl] xslt-events and questions

Subject: [xsl] xslt-events and questions
From: Hermann Stamm-Wilbrandt <STAMMW@xxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 10 Apr 2012 18:27:19 +0200


I know of Michael's talk on "XSLT in the browser (XMLPrague 2011)":

Saxon CE provides some features allowing to do XSLT processing based on
events and even allows running XSLT 2.0 on mobile devices.

I just want to do XSLT processing in the browser with events (like "onLoad"
or just '<a href="...">...</a>') and can live with a solution working fine
the big5 browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera, Safari).

I need a solution providing the XML to be transformed dynamically.
Why do I need that and cannot live with xml-stylesheet PI in stored XML

For example I do want to do a game of (Peg) solitair in the browser by

Generating initial position from an XML configuration file is not difficult
(see http://stamm-wilbrandt.de/en/xsl-list/solitair0/img0.gif).

Now selecting a piece to move would mark that piece in a different color,
eg. http://stamm-wilbrandt.de/en/xsl-list/solitair0/img1.gif .

Then clicking on an empty field to complete the move would result in
http://stamm-wilbrandt.de/en/xsl-list/solitair0/img2.gif .

A standard XML file approach with xml-stylesheet runs into this problem:
Even not taking the marking color into account we have 33 fields, and each
of those can have a peg on it or not resulting in 2^33 or more than 8
possible configurations.
I do not have that much webspace on my private web server ... ;-)

So my idea is to have a link associated with a click for each possible
The stylesheet will
* take the XML configuration to display
* generate HTML page in the browser
* display the board as defined by the configuration XML
* provide hyperlinks for each field
* those hyperlinks generate dynamic XML based on the associated field
* when clicking on a field, the dynamic XML will be transformed for new

First I thought on a form-post or XMLHttpRequest approach.
But for those solutions a "backend service" is needed to just return the
hidden in the sent data which seems to be ugly.

Because the standard xml-stylesheet approach was not possible by argument
above I remembered the Javascript snippets I used in
"[xsl] support of stylesheet embedding for ALL browsers" posting:

Basically these were:
//  "DOMParser.parseFromString() in Explorer"
//  http://www.van-steenbeek.net/?q=explorer_domparser_parsefromstring

//  "Transforming XML to XHTML in the Browser"
//  http://www.w3schools.com/xsl/xsl_client.asp
function loadXMLDoc(dname)

//  "Transforming XML to XHTML in the Browser" (modified)
//  http://www.w3schools.com/xsl/xsl_client.asp
function displayResult(xslURL, xmlStr)

So just for demoing the (new?) approach (xslt-events) I use simple
"squares.ext.xsl" to generate a list of square values for the input values:

Input "<ns> <n>2</n> <n>3</n> </ns>" will be transformed to
output "2<sup>2</sup>=4<br>3<sup>2</sup>=9<br>".

You can find the demo here:

Clicking on "doit1" link will execute squares.ext.xsl for 6 and 5, clicking
on "doit2" will do the same for 2, 3 and 4.

I tested this approach successfully with all big5 browsers.
I know that I have to rely on the Javascript XSLT engines, not the

I have some questions wrt the xslt-events.* files and links below:

1) Can you think of another approach without the need of a "backend

2) Is there something which can be done to avoid the need to generate
   in doit2 sample below (because " and ' are already used by the
   function call in the href)?

3) In DataPower XSLT Processor we have a proprietary extension element
   dp:url-open which allows tho post XML data like this:

   <dp:url-open target="someURL" response="someType">
     <!-- XML data here will be posted to "someURL" -->

   How close can we come to this with xslt-events Javascript approach of
   <a href="javascript:displayResult(xslURL, xmlString)">...</a> ?

This is http://stamm-wilbrandt.de/en/xsl-list/solitair0/xslt-events.html:
  xslt-events.html (4/10/2012)
<script src="xslt-events.js" type="text/javascript"></script>
<li/><a href="javascript:displayResult('squares.ext.xsl','
<li/><a href="javascript:displayResult('squares.ext.xsl','
<ns test=&quot;abc&quot;><n>2</n><n>3</n><n>4&lt;/n></ns>

This is http://stamm-wilbrandt.de/en/xsl-list/solitair0/xslt-events.js:
// xslt-events.js (4/10/2012)

//  "DOMParser.parseFromString() in Explorer"
//  http://www.van-steenbeek.net/?q=explorer_domparser_parsefromstring
if(typeof(DOMParser) == 'undefined') {
  DOMParser = function() {}
  DOMParser.prototype.parseFromString = function(str, contentType) {
    if(typeof(ActiveXObject) != 'undefined') {
      var xmldata = new ActiveXObject('MSXML.DomDocument');
      xmldata.async = false;
      return xmldata;
    } else if(typeof(XMLHttpRequest) != 'undefined') {
      var xmldata = new XMLHttpRequest;
      if(!contentType) {
        contentType = 'application/xml';
      xmldata.open('GET', 'data:' + contentType + ';charset=utf-8,' +
encodeURIComponent(str), false);
      if(xmldata.overrideMimeType) {
      return xmldata.responseXML;

//  "Transforming XML to XHTML in the Browser"
//  http://www.w3schools.com/xsl/xsl_client.asp
function loadXMLDoc(dname)
  if (window.XMLHttpRequest)
    xhttp=new XMLHttpRequest();
    xhttp=new ActiveXObject("Microsoft.XMLHTTP");
  return xhttp.responseXML;

//  "Transforming XML to XHTML in the Browser" (modified)
//  http://www.w3schools.com/xsl/xsl_client.asp
function displayResult(xslURL, xmlStr)
  // get parser
  var parser = new DOMParser();

  xml = parser.parseFromString(xmlStr, "text/xml");
  xsl = loadXMLDoc(xslURL);

  with (document) {open(); write("<div id='example'/>"); close(); }

  // code for IE
  if (window.ActiveXObject)

    // display result
  // code for Mozilla, Firefox, Opera, etc.
  else if (document.implementation)
    xsltproc = new XSLTProcessor();
    result = xsltproc.transformToFragment(xml, document);


Mit besten Gruessen / Best wishes,

Hermann Stamm-Wilbrandt
Level 3 support for XML Compiler team and Fixpack team lead
WebSphere DataPower SOA Appliances
IBM Deutschland Research & Development GmbH
Vorsitzende des Aufsichtsrats: Martina Koederitz
Geschaeftsfuehrung: Dirk Wittkopp
Sitz der Gesellschaft: Boeblingen
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