Hi Russ --
Right now, our process is to generate two static HTML files from the EAD: 1) a fully-functional HTML page (with a nice linked table of contents, use of color, etc.) as well as 2) a stripped-down black and white "printer-friendly" version that has no links, no color, and is laid out slightly differently (for one thing, it prints with a cover page). We do this using saxon and two different XSL style sheets.
You can see examples by going to our finding aids page here: http://library.syr.edu/digital/guides/ead/alpha_list_from_db.htm Click on any of the linked finding aids to see the fully-functional HTML; at top right of the finding aid you'll see the "Printer-friendly version" link.
The EAD files are indexed and used for searching to take advantage of EAD tags -- see http://library.syr.edu/find/scrc/collections/manuscript/browse.php for examples of our search -- while the two HTML versions are what we display to the end user.
We chose to do static HTML when we started out several years ago because not all browsers were fully XML-capable (some still aren't -- Chrome for example; I'm not sure about Opera or Safari), and because we didn't want to burden the client's machine with having to process our larger finding aids. We'll probably revisit this in the not-too-distant future, since using the XML directly is as you point out a lot.
From: Encoded Archival Description List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Franks, Russell
Sent: Wednesday, December 09, 2009 4:25 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: use of <otherfindaid> tag
Thank you Jane and Michele for the clarifications and thoughts.
Basically what I'm trying to do is get away from creating static html pages to store on our server and just present the view and print options through xml and xsl.
Thanks - Russ