Designing maintainable XML transformations

  • Karus S
  • Dumas M
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Modern applications often rely on XML to represent data internally and to interact with other applications and with end users. XSL transformations are commonly employed to transform between the internal representations of XML documents manipulated by an application and representations used for interaction with end-users and with other applications. These XSL transformations need to be updated whenever the underlying XML formats evolve. To address this maintenance problem, we formulate a number of guidelines for designing XSL transformations that are resilient to changes in the schema of the input XML documents. These guidelines are evaluated experimentally on the basis of three case studies. The evaluation shows that the use of these guidelines leads to more concise XSL transformations and to significant reductions in the amount of changes required to adapt existing XSL transformations in response to changes in the input schema.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Forward compatibility
  • Software maintenance
  • XML
  • XSL transformations

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