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RE: [xsl] Unravelling Imports

Subject: RE: [xsl] Unravelling Imports
From: Scott Trenda <Scott.Trenda@xxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 11 Apr 2012 14:55:56 -0500


As much as it sounds like a bad idea on the surface, I can understand where you could be coming from. For example, if you have an intricate client-side XSLT architecture with highly modularized stylesheets, then the overhead cost of HTTP requests to download/cache-verify the individual stylesheets could start to add up to a non-negligible overhead, especially on a bad/slow connection.

I thought I was in a similar situation a few years ago, and at the time, I actually mapped out what the transformation would look like and how it would work. I never got around to implementing it due to the potential risks, but if you have a very compelling reason for it, I do know it's possible, at least with XSLT 1.0. It involves a lot of mapping out the exact priorities, applying and copying, sorted by the computed priorities (for <xsl:import>s), and copying only the topmost elements in the priority list to avoid duplicate definitions. If you're only using <xsl:include>s, it should be easier, because your XSLT processor would throw stylesheet errors if there were any duplicate definitions, due to the single-level nature of includes.

There are some specific functionalities that may not be available in a monolithic model (<xsl:apply-imports/>, for one), and others for which I'm honestly not certain of the behavior of XSLT 1.0 processors (e.g. the scope of document('') in an imported or included stylesheet). But I do know it's possible and feasible within a limited scope.

~ Scott

-----Original Message-----
From: ihe onwuka [mailto:ihe.onwuka@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx] 
Sent: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 2:36 PM
To: xsl-list
Subject: [xsl] Unravelling Imports

There is a supposed requirement that we deliver monolithic XSLT with includes unravelled (there are no imports).

I don't need to be convinced it's a bad and misguided idea but I won't close off anyone who wants to comment as they may think of stuff that I haven't.

The purpose of my post though is this.

Suppose we did go ahead and code with imports, would it be possible to define a transform that mechanically transformed everything into monolithic XML.

I'm thinking it would involve alot of use of priorities at the very least.


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