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Merging Data into HTML


I want to define a class structure with associated data in one document, then define the html in another with suitable links into the first, and have it all parsed when the html is loaded into the browser. An example follows:

1st doc.

<Class definition : Person>
<Name> John Smith
<Age> 34
<Name> Sally Johnson
<Age> 29

2nd doc


It seems such an obvious problem, but I can't find the solution anywhere.
1 Solution
It's not done with HTML. It's done either with XML, or a database.
ahmad_zamanAuthor Commented:
Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgggggggggghhhhhhh !!!!!
ahmad_zamanAuthor Commented:

I don't want to burden my users with an XSL parser (since it will be an open environment) and I don't know the server side specification, so I don't know if I can use PHP/ASP or something else - The ISP may not use a  webserver with a suitable language processor.
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You may not need to use php/asp to get this working.  I would suggest to visit the link http://www.w3schools.com/xsl/ and specfically review the XSL <xsl:template> and XSL <xsl:for-each> documentation.  Please note that if you do decide to take the route of xsl you will probably find that it is only compatible with IE.

You can also do this in javascript but it would not be a good idea to use xml in that case.
> .. I don't know the server side specification,

could you then please post the specifications you know, and will accept.
Based on what I know so far it may be possible to use XML data islands (IE only).  Whether the data pages are static or dynamically generated, the data can be put into islands and the islands linked to the table content with textboxes.  Because it is IE only the textboxes can be styled to look like the data is in a table if that look is essential.  Depending on the nature and use of the data you could also go to css styled and possition divs and spans.  

You can also go to table cells directly, but that is the most complex to program and difficult to get working right.

It takes scripting on the client to manage the page, but the only thing that has to be done server side is to correctly format the data islands.

Because the data is separate pages, they need to be loaded through either a hidden frame or a 1x1 iframe. the hidden frame may be the better option as xml hidden in a 1x1 iframe may trigger a virus alert for clients running active scanning.


you need either XML/XSL as has been mentioned, or do a search on "data binding" which might also be close, but might be an IE only solution.

No problem to do that with JS , will work on every browser version :

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN">
<TITLE> Dyanmic Table from Data </TITLE>
<META NAME="Author" CONTENT="(C)Avner Cohen">
var oMeta=["Class","Name","Age"];
var data0=["Person","Animal","Car"]
var data1=["Ahmed","Tiger","Volvo"];
var data2=["33","12","2"];
var oData=[data0,data1,data2];

function dataToTable(meta,data)
var s="";
       s+="<TABLE BORDER='1'>";
          for (var i=0;i<meta.length;i++)
               s+="<TH> "+meta[i]+"</TH>"
          for (var i=0;i<data.length;i++)
                    for (var t=0;t<data[i].length;t++)
                         s+="<TD> "+data[i][t]+"</TD>";

return s;

A variation on what avner has written could allow for your "1st doc" to be a JavaScript array.  It wouldn't take on the exact format you have.  But if it did then it would be XML right!
This question has been abandoned. I will make a recommendation to the
moderators on its resolution in a week or two. I appreciate any comments
that would help me to make a recommendation.
   In the absence of responses, I may recommend DELETE unless it is clear
   to me that it has value as a PAQ.  Silence = you don't care

It is time to clean this abandoned question up.  

I am putting it on a clean up list for CS.

points to avner


If anyone participating in the Q disagrees with the recommendation,
please leave a comment for the mods.

Per recommendation, force-accepted.

CS Moderator
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