I Think Chatham has a good notion in suggesting an online course that
focuses on particular transformations used in the Cookbook. It might be
augmented, perhaps, with a little general background on the functionality
and structure of XSLT as it relates in particular to creating output
instances of EAD finding aids.  I would certainly be interested in such a
tool, which would *always* be available, in contrast to a one-time course
whose content can soon slip away without continued reinforcement.

Dennis Meissner

-----Original Message-----
From: Chatham Ewing [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Wednesday, September 12, 2001 10:06 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: style sheets


Maybe I'm a self-taught XSL person.

XSLT, what little I know of it, was hard to learn. I had to struggle with
various handbooks and manuals (Wrox seemed useful). The comments built
into the stylesheets within the cookbook were very helpful, too.

James Clark's executable version of XT was a big help.

A web-course on XSLT that built upon particular transformations frequently
used in the cookbook may be a good idea.

I think I once heard you mention the idea of a more modular stylesheet (I
don't remember where). Combined with an online web-course modular
stylesheets seem like a good compromise idea - different choices in
presentation might be made by choosing different "modules",

I have my doubts as to how much time and money archivists may want to put
into becoming XSLT virtuosos; nevertheless, it could be
very useful for those who want to pursue it to have an
online course that served as an introduction to the particular problems
addressed by the stylesheets, and how they were solved. This kind of
introduction, connected with a strong emphasis on the interconnection
between standards for tagging in XML/SGML as they limit/influence
could be very helpful.


On Mon, 10 Sep 2001, Fox, Michael wrote:


>     With respect to instruction on XSLT, there have been a number of
> discussions about advanced EAD training in this area.  I know that the SAA
> education office would welcome any suggestions.
>     The issues and options revolve around a series of questions- does this
> training require hands-on, interactive instruction, if so, would it have
> be in-person or would one of the new technologies for distance learning be
> employed, if that is possible, what would the logistics be, what would the
> prerequisites be for such a course, who would develop the learning
> materials, could one create something that would be just a mini-course-
> enough to modify something in the EAD Cookbook stylesheets, is that even
> possible or does one really need a more fundamental understanding of XSLT
> even to do a little tinkering.   And there are others.
>     It would be interesting to hear from some of the self-taught
> archivists out there.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Amy McCrory [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
> Sent: Monday, September 10, 2001 2:44 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: style sheets
> A basic question about the role of style sheets in the presentation of
> finding aids:
> In a finding aid where a regularly occuring element will always be
> presented a certain way, what is the best approach?  For instance, if I
> want the <unittitle> in a <c02> to always appear in bold, should I
> designate this in the template or with a stylesheet?
> Also, I am interested in reading some guidelines for modifying style
> sheets.  The information I have located so far is quite sophisticated,
> geared toward people who already understand XSL and the like.  Is there
> anything available that goes beyond the basic guidelines in the EAD
> Cookbook--but not too far beyond?
> Amy McCrory
> Project Archivist
> Cartoon Research Library
> Ohio State University
> Columbus, OH 43212 USA
> (614) 292-0538