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Re: [xsl] Stylesheet optimisation


Subject: Re: [xsl] Stylesheet optimisation
From: Jim Fuller <jim.fuller@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2005 12:19:00 -0500

generic types;

- always deliver any text based type thing from a server with gzip-encoding; apache has a module for doing this and instructions on how to define which mime-types/ext to deliver thusly...u will be amazed with the results.

- if u must do client side transforms refactor your browser specific javascripts to manage transformations instead of loading stylesheets with an XML PI calling a stylesheet: there are more mechanisms in javascript for pre-loading or caching stylesheets (ex. http://www.perfectxml.com/articles/xml/XSLTInMSXML.asp?pg=2)...this of course complicates matters.

- if you are interested in server side xslt performance, both in pre-publishing and dynamic server side xslt processing you can investigate compiled stylesheets...most of these technologies just convert your stylesheet into a java object (translets I think they were called...XSLTC being built into xalan)

- pre publish as much as possible on the server to its final format....if things need to change, determine if the change is really dynamic or lets say you could schedule publishing every 15 minutes?

- there are hardware appliances with XSLT processing built in mind these days, for all but the most serious situations I would imagine

- like it or not, XSLT may not be the right tool for every publishing job....investigate refactoring using other techniques like SAX or perhaps your XML could be refactored to generate a more appropriate structure from source, designing out xslt transform steps.

- make use of the nice timing mechanisms in SAXON to measure what parts of your stylesheet are slowing things down also depending on your xml size you can choose which tree model SAXON uses...which can have significant effects on speed.

a few perf related tips at the XSL FAQ;
http://www.dpawson.co.uk/xsl/sect4/N9883.html

a recent perf article for .NET...very informative if this is your env
http://www.fawcette.com/vsm/2005_02/magazine/features/tthangarathinam/

if you live in a java app serv env I found this article somewhat useful
http://www.sys-con.com/websphere/articleprint.cfm?id=412

there is lots you can do to simplify your XSLT...though with no examples it hard to suggest anything.

gl, Jim Fuller

ps: add RAM/ more Processors/ get faster hard drives and use any other filesystem other then that provided by microsoft


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