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Creating a server-side XSL transformation

From: Dreamweaver CS3 Beyond the Basics

Video: Creating a server-side XSL transformation

To have our style RSS feed display on our site, we need to perform a server-side transformation. For this exercise, you will need access to a testing server running either PHP, ASP or ColdFusion. Regardless of the server model you choose, the steps will be exactly the same. Dreamweaver handles the creation of all the server side code for you. In this example, I will be using a PHP server. If you've never configured a server to work with Dreamweaver before, be sure to check out our chapter on dynamic content. I am back in Dreamweaver in my exercise files, and we have the file news.php opened up. Now if you are not using PHP as a server technology, just do a Save As and save that as either .ASP or .CFM whichever server model you are using because again the steps will be exactly the same.

Creating a server-side XSL transformation

To have our style RSS feed display on our site, we need to perform a server-side transformation. For this exercise, you will need access to a testing server running either PHP, ASP or ColdFusion. Regardless of the server model you choose, the steps will be exactly the same. Dreamweaver handles the creation of all the server side code for you. In this example, I will be using a PHP server. If you've never configured a server to work with Dreamweaver before, be sure to check out our chapter on dynamic content. I am back in Dreamweaver in my exercise files, and we have the file news.php opened up. Now if you are not using PHP as a server technology, just do a Save As and save that as either .ASP or .CFM whichever server model you are using because again the steps will be exactly the same.

We need to remove our dummy information from below because this is where our server-side transformation is going to take place. So I am going to go ahead and highlight all of this content, our Fake posting date and all that and we'll go ahead and get rid of it. Now very important that we also remove any container tags. So you will notice that after I hit Delete down on my Tag Selector, I can see that the H1 headline tag is still there. I don't want this content to transform inside of this tag. So I am going to right-click or Ctrl+ Click this tag and choose Remove Tag from my Tag Selector and that will just go ahead and get it out of the way without having to go into Code view, which is perfect.

To do any type of server-side technology, we use the application panel grouping. So if your application group isn't opened, go ahead and open it up and we're looking specifically for the Sever Behaviors panel. So if you don't see your Server Behaviors panel, you can go up to Window and choose Server Behaviors. It's a little before halfway down. Now, I am seeing a couple of check marks here and if you don't see these check marks, if you see an X, that means that this step hasn't been performed yet. So notice, in order to do this exercise, I had to create a site, choose the document type and set up a testing server. So those are things that are already accomplished.

So I am going to choose the plus symbol for my Server Behaviors. So this works a lot like the Behaviors panel if you've ever worked with those and down towards the bottom, I find XSL transformation. So I am going to go ahead and select that. Dreamweaver is requesting two things to perform an XSL transformation, where is the XSLT file and where is the XML file that the transformation is going to be applied to. So I am going to browse for my XSLT file and the file that we created in the previous exercise was artnews.xsl. So we'll go ahead and choose that.

Now, your XML URL should go ahead and populate and it's populating based on a link found in the XSL file. If it doesn't populate, that's a sign that your XSL transformation probably isn't going to work and you might want to go in and verify that it's formatted properly. You can always enter this link in manually but if it doesn't self propagate, that means that there is something going on in the XSL file itself. Now, just below that, we see a dialog box for XSLT parameters and you maybe wondering what that is. If you've ever used template parameters or template expressions to actually pass conditional regions into a template page, it works pretty much the same way. We can actually write XSL expressions and pass parameters in to cause items to show up or not show up, repeat or not repeat based on those parameters.

After we complete our server-side transformation, we'll explore XSLT parameters more in our next exercise. So go ahead and click OK. We can see items of the page or dynamic data. There is the title, publication date, description and link and it's bringing in those formatting attributes from the XSL file itself. So this is a fragment, we wouldn't be able to do this to an entire page. If we have done this to an entire page, Dreamweaver would ask us, hey, would you want me to do with the rest of the content that's already on this page? So I am going to go ahead and save my file and I will test this in my browser and now when I test this in my browser, Dreamweaver is going to prompt me and say do you want me to update this copy on a testing server? So we actually have to test this from our testing server because the transformation is being done on the server. So I will say Yes and then I am going to upload any dependent files necessary.

Now, it's very important that we do that at least the first time that we test this and I will show you why in just a moment. So we'll click OK, it should upload these files and now my news page populates with the RSS feed. As I scroll down, I can see all of those articles. As a matter of fact, as I continue scroll down, that's a lot of content. That's probably more content than I actually want to display. So it's great if they have this many articles but I think my users probably won't want to read through all that. So in our next exercise, we're going to see how we can limit the number of articles that displays on the page. Before we do that however, let's close Firefox, come back into Dreamweaver because there is something I want to point out about what happens when you do a server-side transformation.

I am going to look in my Files panel and in my files panel, I see a new folder that I didn't have before, it's called includes. If I open that up, it has another folder in it called mmxsltransform and when I open that up, it has the class objects that PHP needs in order to perform the transformation. So the mmxsltransform is an Adobe specific class of objects. So we need to pass that information onto PHP, so that it understands how to perform the transformation. So when you upload your files to the server at least for the first time, you want to make sure those includes files or uploaded as well. If you move those around, you are going to need to go into the code and make sure that the relative path still matches those. Okay, so we're ready to go onto our final exercise in our XSL chapter. That will be to pass XSL parameters and expressions into our transformation to affect the final rendering.

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This video is part of

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Dreamweaver CS3 Beyond the Basics

102 video lessons · 38723 viewers

James Williamson
Author

 
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  1. 2m 3s
    1. Welcome
      1m 17s
    2. Using the exercise files
      46s
  2. 1h 23m
    1. Reviewing the Coding toolbar
      8m 42s
    2. Customizing the Coding toolbar
      9m 52s
    3. Taking advantage of Code Hinting
      7m 20s
    4. Using snippets and shortcuts
      11m 10s
    5. Using the Quick Tag Editor
      5m 18s
    6. Using Find and Replace
      9m 50s
    7. Regular expressions
      5m 39s
    8. Using Bridge with Dreamweaver CS3
      8m 28s
    9. Round-trip editing with Photoshop CS3
      3m 40s
    10. Leveraging image variables in Photoshop CS3
      7m 32s
    11. Integrating external variables into your workflow
      6m 16s
  3. 37m 26s
    1. Understanding the CSS Styles panel
      7m 59s
    2. Understanding the Cascade
      5m 50s
    3. Understanding Inheritance
      5m 8s
    4. Understanding Specificity
      7m 5s
    5. Managing CSS styles
      5m 4s
    6. Using Design-Time style sheets
      6m 20s
  4. 2h 19m
    1. Using the new CSS template pages
      5m 59s
    2. Understanding DIV tag structure and layout
      12m 0s
    3. Understanding the CSS box model
      10m 0s
    4. Using absolute and relative positioning
      8m 35s
    5. Understanding floating elements
      7m 9s
    6. Clearing floats
      7m 19s
    7. Using floats to control page layout
      3m 45s
    8. Building structure and assigning IDs
      10m 19s
    9. Applying basic styling to structured content
      11m 14s
    10. Positioning container elements
      11m 4s
    11. Enhancing layouts with background graphics
      11m 48s
    12. Creating faux columns with background graphics
      8m 55s
    13. Creating rounded corners with background graphics
      9m 17s
    14. Building navigation with CSS
      16m 57s
    15. Using Dreamweaver's Browser Check feature
      5m 31s
  5. 53m 22s
    1. Creating properly structured forms
      6m 30s
    2. Creating accessible forms
      6m 41s
    3. Using CSS to lay out form structure
      7m 40s
    4. Creating vertical columns for form elements
      7m 48s
    5. Adding user feedback
      5m 52s
    6. Applying advanced styling to forms
      8m 11s
    7. Client-side form validation
      4m 17s
    8. Validating forms with the Spry Validation tools
      6m 23s
  6. 1h 20m
    1. Understanding the Spry framework
      3m 43s
    2. Defining a data source for use in Spry
      3m 56s
    3. Creating a Spry table
      8m 8s
    4. Using the Spry widgets
      8m 11s
    5. Connecting various data sets
      4m 50s
    6. Understanding Spry widget structures
      7m 1s
    7. Applying custom styles to Spry widgets
      6m 24s
    8. Applying additional custom styles to Spry widgets
      8m 46s
    9. Controlling Spry widget behaviors with JavaScript
      6m 0s
    10. Controlling Spry widget animations with JavaScript
      9m 31s
    11. Creating effects with Spry behaviors
      4m 42s
    12. Hand-coding Spry
      9m 11s
  7. 1h 11m
    1. Creating a base template
      8m 6s
    2. Creating editable attributes
      6m 26s
    3. Creating a new page from a template
      7m 42s
    4. Applying a template to an existing page
      4m 36s
    5. Creating nested templates
      5m 24s
    6. Using repeating regions
      6m 34s
    7. Creating editable and non-editable optional regions
      6m 0s
    8. Using template parameters
      7m 26s
    9. Using template expressions
      9m 59s
    10. Using conditional template expressions
      8m 54s
  8. 54m 40s
    1. Examining XML structure
      2m 44s
    2. Creating an XML document
      9m 9s
    3. Using the CDATA structure
      5m 7s
    4. Creating an XSLT file
      4m 33s
    5. Binding data from an XML to an XSLT document
      5m 6s
    6. Inserting repeating regions into an XSL document
      5m 16s
    7. Creating a client-side XSL transformation
      2m 52s
    8. Styling a remote RSS feed
      7m 29s
    9. Creating a server-side XSL transformation
      5m 31s
    10. Writing XSL expressions
      6m 53s
  9. 1h 2m
    1. Overview of building dynamic websites
      1m 35s
    2. Installing PHP, MySQL, and Apache on Mac
      3m 22s
    3. Installing PHP, MySQL, and Apache on Windows
      3m 54s
    4. Creating a MySQL database
      3m 16s
    5. Defining a testing server and database bindings
      6m 14s
    6. Creating a database recordset
      4m 35s
    7. Adding dynamic content to the page
      5m 14s
    8. Creating repeating regions of dynamic content
      7m 6s
    9. Filtering database records
      7m 39s
    10. Using the Live Preview
      10m 22s
    11. Passing URL parameters
      4m 23s
    12. Dynamically generating links
      5m 18s
  10. 57m 9s
    1. Understanding behaviors
      5m 16s
    2. Installing additional behaviors
      3m 39s
    3. Planning to create a custom behavior
      3m 42s
    4. Examining existing behaviors
      5m 32s
    5. Building a behavior function
      7m 23s
    6. Creating an Action file
      6m 48s
    7. Enabling behavior functions
      9m 1s
    8. Initializing the user interface for a behavior
      3m 9s
    9. Loading behaviors in Dreamweaver
      6m 47s
    10. Testing and debugging behaviors
      5m 52s
  11. 27m 12s
    1. Running reports
      7m 41s
    2. Checking and validating links
      3m 40s
    3. Using cloaking
      5m 42s
    4. Using Check In/Check Out
      4m 3s
    5. Using Design Notes
      6m 6s
  12. 20s
    1. Goodbye
      20s

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