22 April 2006

XML is lovely stuff

I was just looking at my screen desktop and noticing that I'm using raw XML more and more these days for simple day-to-day lists. From keeping a note of the weight I'm (not) losing from exercising, to drawing up a list of party invites.

They are beginning to stand out because the numerous XSLT stylesheet files attached to them also litter the desktop. That, of course is the great strength - the same data sorted, filtered and presented in different ways.

I'm running an ongoing marketing campaign at the moment sending emails to people who send me press releases, newsletters and other promotional information. For the last month or so I've been keeping a list
(an XML document) of them so I don't send them an email more than once. A quick change to the stylesheet means I can sort them by company, name, date, email address, whatever.

I'm also moving house right now and trying to sort out what furniture will fit in the new place and where. A few days ago I opened notepad and started another XML doc to record dimensions of furniture, current location, future location, notes etc. One XSLT stylesheet sorts it all by current location. I just created another to produce a comma-separated text file to export into Excel so I can calculate scaled down sizes for a scale drawing of the rooms (could have made those calculations within the stylesheet itself but I'm not quick enough yet). And when it comes to the move, I can produce other variations telling the removal men room by room where to find it and where to put it.

Nice simple elegant stuff, XML!

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