472,374 Members | 1,551 Online
Bytes | Software Development & Data Engineering Community
Post Job

Home Posts Topics Members FAQ

Join Bytes to post your question to a community of 472,374 software developers and data experts.

Please critique my solution: rendering HTML table using sparse data

Background: I'm collecting usability statistics for a group of
applications. Each count has the following attributes: date,
application, major heading, minor heading, count. My intent is
to pull this back as XML and render it in to an HTML table.

I have all this working and all the files are below. I would
value any feedback.

A simple example of the data looks like this:

<counts date="2004-10-07">
<application name="App A">
<major name="Major A">
<minor name="Minor A">1</minor>
<minor name="Minor C">7</minor>
<counts date="2004-10-08">
<application name="App A">
<major name="Major A">
<minor name="Minor A">1</minor>
<minor name="Minor B">3</minor>
<major name="Major B">
<minor name="Minor A">15</minor>

The output I am looking for is something like:

| | App A |
| +---------------------------------------+
| | Major A | Major B |
| +---------+---------+---------+---------+
| | Minor A | Minor B | Minor C | Minor A |
| 2004-10-07 | 1 | | | |
| 2004-10-07 | 1 | 3 | 7 | 15 |
| Totals | 2 | 3 | 7 | 15 |

Now I looked around for solutions that would let me tabularize
truely sparese data but didn't have any luck and no elegant
solutions came to mind.

The only solution I could come up with was to somehow massage the
data beforehand. The two choices I explored were

1) Turning it in to a non-sparse data set
2) Put a "domain" entry in front listing the union of all

I went with #2 (mainly because for real world data #1 would
inflate the size of the file significantly). So the final file
looks like:
<application name="App A">
<major name="Major A">
<minor name="Minor A"/>
<minor name="Minor B"/>
<minor name="Minor C"/>
<major name="Major B>
<minor name="Minor A"/>
<counts date="2004-10-07">
<application name="App A">
<major name="Major A">
<minor name="Minor A">1</minor>
<minor name="Minor C">7</minor>
<counts date="2004-10-08">
<application name="App A">
<major name="Major A">
<minor name="Minor A">1</minor>
<minor name="Minor B">3</minor>
<major name="Major B">
<minor name="Minor A">15</minor>

The XSLT I am using is at the end of this message. This is my
first non-trivial XSLT experiment so I would appreciate any
comments. A couple of specific questions:

1) I wanted to put &nbsp; in blank cells instead of "-". I
couldn't get the parsers to accept the &nbsp; (verbatim) in
the xslt file (line 60)

2) I used two templates for minor and non-minor table headers
because the colpan value was comming out to zero when (@line
27 & 34... referenced at 11, 12, and 13).

3) I access the actual data for each row by constructing a
path expression using each "minor" entry found in the
domain (line 55).

I would also value any stylistic comments.

Thanks in advance for any help

1: <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
2: <xsl:stylesheet version="1.0"
3: <xsl:output method="html" version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"
4: <xsl:template match="/counts-report">
5: <html>
6: <head>
7: <title>My Table</title>
8: </head>
9: <body>
10: <table border="1" cellpadding="5">
11: <tr> <th rowspan="3">Date</th> <xsl:apply-templates
mode="header" select="domain/application"/> </tr>
12: <tr> <xsl:apply-templates mode="header"
select="domain/application/major"/> </tr>
13: <tr> <xsl:apply-templates mode="header"
select="domain/application/major/minor"/> </tr>
15: <xsl:apply-templates mode="data" select="counts"/>
17: <tr>
18: <th> Totals </th>
19: <xsl:apply-templates mode="totals"
20: </tr>
22: </table>
23: </body>
24: </html>
25: </xsl:template>
27: <xsl:template mode="header" match="*">
28: <xsl:element name="th">
29: <xsl:attribute name="colspan"><xsl:value-of
30: <xsl:value-of select="@name"/>
31: </xsl:element>
32: </xsl:template>
34: <xsl:template mode="header" match="minor">
35: <xsl:element name="th">
36: <xsl:value-of select="@name"/>
37: </xsl:element>
38: </xsl:template>
40: <xsl:template mode="data" match="counts">
41: <xsl:variable name="rownum" select="position()"/>
43: <xsl:element name="tr">
44: <xsl:if test="$rownum mod 2 = 0">
45: <xsl:attribute name="style">background-color: rgb(0, 204,
46: </xsl:if>
48: <th> <xsl:value-of select="@date"/> </th>
50: <xsl:for-each
51: <xsl:variable name="app" select="../../@name"/>
52: <xsl:variable name="major" select="../@name"/>
53: <xsl:variable name="minor" select="@name"/>
55: <xsl:variable name="value"
57: <td>
58: <xsl:choose>
59: <xsl:when test="$value"> <xsl:value-of
select="$value"/> </xsl:when>
60: <xsl:otherwise> - </xsl:otherwise>
61: </xsl:choose>
62: </td>
64: </xsl:for-each>
66: </xsl:element>
68: </xsl:template>
70: <xsl:template mode="totals" match="minor">
71: <xsl:param name="app" select="../../@name"/>
72: <xsl:param name="major" select="../@name"/>
73: <xsl:param name="minor" select="@name"/>
75: <td>
76: <xsl:value-of
77: </td>
78: </xsl:template>
80: </xsl:stylesheet>
Jul 20 '05 #1
3 2343

1) I wanted to put &nbsp; in blank cells instead of "-". I
couldn't get the parsers to accept the &nbsp; (verbatim) in
the xslt file (line 60)

This is the most FFF FAQ on xsl-list (which maintains a faq at

XML only predefines 5 entities (amp quot apos lt gt) so if you want to
use any other you need to redefine them in a DD and reference that DTD
in a doc type. In this case you don't need an entity at all you just
want to but a no break space into the result tree which is character 160
& # 1 6 0 ;
(without the spaces) if outputting html this will probably come out as
the entity nbsp but it may come out as character data (depending on your
processor) either way it will work in a browser.
You don't need to use xsl:element unless you are generating element
names dynamically so

<xsl:element name="th">
36: <xsl:value-of select="@name"/>
37: </xsl:element>

could more easily be written

36: <xsl:value-of select="@name"/>
37: </th>

almost certainly makes no difference to the processing speed or anything
else though, just easier to read.

Jul 20 '05 #2
cf******@yahoo.com (Sandros) wrote in
news:9c**************************@posting.google.c om:

1) I wanted to put &nbsp; in blank cells instead of "-". I
couldn't get the parsers to accept the &nbsp; (verbatim) in
the xslt file (line 60)

Replace &nbsp; with  

There are a couple of other solutions I prefer to use:

Create a transparent.gif image that is 1 pixel wide and 1 pixel high.

Whenever you need white space use it in an img tag with scaled height width

<img src="transparent.gif" width="10" height="5" alt=" " border="0" />

Alternatively, use can use css styles:

<td style="background-image: url(transparent.gif); background-repeat:repeat-
x;" width="20"></td>

Jul 20 '05 #3
Regarding style.

It's my opinion that xhtml should look as much as possible as html
and that the number of templates should be kept to a minimum.

Some of what you do as a template I'd recommend doing "in line".

That way if you can turn the project over to an html person.

It reads easier too. (Lines 11-14 look messy.)
Jul 20 '05 #4

This thread has been closed and replies have been disabled. Please start a new discussion.

Similar topics

by: Darryll Petrancuri | last post by:
Greetings! I could really use some suggestions on how to improve on the following, it at all possible: Table 'Customer' --------------------- ID GUID PK ....
by: g pavlov | last post by:
W3C recommendations notwithstanding (see http://w3.org/TR/html401/appendix/notes.html#notes-tables) I can't seem to persuade either of the leading browsers to do true incremental table loading....
by: TC | last post by:
Are there any good sites or forums for a web critique? I went to alt.html.critique and it's pretty dead.
by: bowsayge | last post by:
Inspired by fb, Bowsayge decided to write a decimal integer to binary string converter. Perhaps some of the experienced C programmers here can critique it. It allocates probably way too much...
by: christopher diggins | last post by:
I have posted a C# critique at http://www.heron-language.com/c-sharp-critique.html. To summarize I bring up the following issues : - unsafe code - attributes - garbage collection -...
by: Hazz | last post by:
I have been asked what I thought would be a good database design, data delivery mechanism and rendering method for an org chart with as many as 100,000 people. No other design specifications. 1....
by: David Van D | last post by:
Hi there, A few weeks until I begin my journey towards a degree in Computer Science at Canterbury University in New Zealand, Anyway the course tutors are going to be teaching us JAVA wth bluej...
by: Daniel T. | last post by:
The function below does exactly what I want it to (there is a main to test it as well.) However, I'm curious about ideas of making it better. Anyone interested in critiquing it? void formatText(...
by: Nik Coughlin | last post by:
I am halfway through writing a tutorial on image slicing for fluid CSS layouts, I would love some feedback on what I've done up until this point: http://nrkn.com/index.html I am still writing...
by: Kemmylinns12 | last post by:
Blockchain technology has emerged as a transformative force in the business world, offering unprecedented opportunities for innovation and efficiency. While initially associated with cryptocurrencies...
by: WisdomUfot | last post by:
It's an interesting question you've got about how Gmail hides the HTTP referrer when a link in an email is clicked. While I don't have the specific technical details, Gmail likely implements measures...
by: Matthew3360 | last post by:
Hi, I have been trying to connect to a local host using php curl. But I am finding it hard to do this. I am doing the curl get request from my web server and have made sure to enable curl. I get a...
by: Oralloy | last post by:
Hello Folks, I am trying to hook up a CPU which I designed using SystemC to I/O pins on an FPGA. My problem (spelled failure) is with the synthesis of my design into a bitstream, not the C++...
by: Carina712 | last post by:
Setting background colors for Excel documents can help to improve the visual appeal of the document and make it easier to read and understand. Background colors can be used to highlight important...
by: Rahul1995seven | last post by:
Introduction: In the realm of programming languages, Python has emerged as a powerhouse. With its simplicity, versatility, and robustness, Python has gained popularity among beginners and experts...
by: Johno34 | last post by:
I have this click event on my form. It speaks to a Datasheet Subform Private Sub Command260_Click() Dim r As DAO.Recordset Set r = Form_frmABCD.Form.RecordsetClone r.MoveFirst Do If...
by: ezappsrUS | last post by:
Hi, I wonder if someone knows where I am going wrong below. I have a continuous form and two labels where only one would be visible depending on the checkbox being checked or not. Below is the...
by: DizelArs | last post by:
Hi all) Faced with a problem, element.click() event doesn't work in Safari browser. Tried various tricks like emulating touch event through a function: let clickEvent = new Event('click', {...

By using Bytes.com and it's services, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

To disable or enable advertisements and analytics tracking please visit the manage ads & tracking page.