Variable are a very useful programming tool that can make a programming
tool like a stylesheet (I hesitate to call a stylesheet a program though it
has many of the characteristics of one) extensible and more compact.  The
first version of these stylesheets was written in a verbose manner as to
make the code more explicit- the next one will be more compact, using more
variables and decomposition into multiple, smaller files.

   The Cookbook stylesheet use the value of the <eadid> element, declared as
the variable "file", as the basis of its file naming convention in two ways.
It is used to create the path statements in the resulting HTML for internal
hyperlinks.  It is also used to name and cross-link the multiple files that
are used in an HTML frames presentation (eadcbs3.xsl) where what you see on
the browser screen is actually the merging of four separate physical files.

        More experienced programmers than I will no doubt describe the
utility of variables in other circumstances.


Michael J. Fox
Assistant Director for Library and Archives
Minnesota Historical Society
345 Kellogg Blvd West
St. Paul, MN 55102-2409
651-296-2150  (phone)
651-296-9961  (fax)
[log in to unmask]

-----Original Message-----
From: Marsha Maguire [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Thursday, September 13, 2001 11:25 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: style sheets

May I ask a specific question about the Cookbook stylesheets (in this case,
eadcbs1.xsl)? Near the top of the stylesheet, in the section that sets up
the body of the finding aid in HTML, a variable is established called
"file." What does this do? How does it help to set up variables in a
stylesheet? (I'm obviously a non-programmer!) If this is inappropriate to
ask here, or if you all feel it would open a floodgate of questions better
addressed elsewhere, my question can be deferred until a tutorial, a
workshop, or whatever, might be available.

Many thanks.

Marsha Maguire
Manuscripts and Special Collections Cataloging Librarian
University of Washington Libraries
P.O. Box 352900
Seattle, WA 98195-2900
(206) 543-1879; fax (206) 543-1931
email: [log in to unmask]

----- Original Message -----
From: "Kelcy Shepherd" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, September 13, 2001 6:27 AM
Subject: Re: style sheets

> I've been able to make some simple modifications of the Cookbook's
> stylesheets, and I've got no programming background. It took curiosity, a
> basic sense of logic, and the willingness to learn by screwing up. But,
> me emphasize that these were very basic changes and in order to get the
> display I really want, I expect to have to learn a lot more about XSL.
> I do like the idea of an online tutorial that would be more widely
> and that you could continue to reference, but I'm not sure that a web
> tutorial alone is enough. At the EAD Roundtable, Daniel Pitti mentioned
> the University of Virginia was considering offering training in a variety
> aspects of EAD publishing, and I think that a workshop that went beyond
> stylesheets would be very helpful.
> Kelcy Shepherd
> __________________________________________________
> Kelcy Shepherd
> Project Director
> Five College On-Line Finding Aids Access Project
> Special Collections & Archives
> W. E. B. Du Bois Library
> University of Massachusetts Amherst
> Amherst, MA 01003-9275
> Phone:  413.545.6844