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Separating the Content from its Presentation
The main idea behind the idea of separating the content from its presentation is to allow the web developers to be more efficient to create their website given their ability to change the website’s face whenever they like without having to redo the content. This article will explain the reasoning behind separating content from presentation.
Don’t get me wrong, there isn’t just one way to use this idea. Moreover, since the introduction of technologies such as CGI, ASP, and PHP that allow developers to create dynamic web pages, many companies have found ways to designed to build their website using this concept as their foundation.
Over the past few years, the internet community has been trying to develop a system to create websites. A new technology called CSS or Cascading Style Sheets was introduced. There is nothing new in the way CSS handles web presentation. CSS allows the developer to define a style for each html element. This is similar to the process developers (programmers) used in the old days when they attached a variable to each html or defined its style. The big difference is that the CSS style elements can be interpreted by most of the existing browsers while in the old way the dynamic web page does the interpretation.
The internet standards organization W3C has encouraged the use of CSS by improving its ability to control the web’s look and feel. New options have been added to CSS specifications that were not added to HTML annotations. There is no doubt that this is a movement. It is mandatory for web developers to use CSS to achieve a beautiful web page that also supports separate content elements. Unfortunately, CSS did not find its way into the mainstream internet easily due to compatibility issues with many web browsers. Today CSS is widely supported by most of the major web browsers, while CSS2, an improved version of CSS still has major problems.
Obviously, the separation of content from its presentation is not only with styling factors, but also with browser compatibility issues. Styling features are the first thing that should be done by web designers and web designers. As the complexity of information technology (IT) systems becomes more complex, the internet community is looking for solutions that will become a standard so that content can control is easy. One purpose for this model is to define a “language” in which IT systems can “talk” and exchange information. Large companies have historically used many different software in their networks to do business. Internet applications can provide a platform that can act as a mediator between all these differences and allow communication between them.
XML (Extensible Markup Language) has been adopted as a standard to express the content itself. OFX (Open Financial Exchange) is a close relative of XML that is widely used by financial institutions that use Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) systems to send orders and invoices across private markets. , intranets and the internet for many years.
The need to present the content in a standard that separates it from the design is so urgent that for the first time in software development history all three major players (SUN, IBM, and Microsoft) have agreed with each other and XML became a standard almost overnight and was adopted by many content and media organizations.
However, the idea did not come to fruition. CSS controls the styling while XML controls the content of the document. What about the webpage layout? New websites are posted daily by the thousands. Every day millions of new web pages are added to the internet’s global database. Webmasters have found that changing the page background or font color will not be enough to keep their website fresh and polished to compete with other new websites. However, changing the website layout can be a lot of effort because it involves updating the website’s source code. XSL was introduced to solve that problem. Consider the XSL framework that can describe a website’s layout. Combined with XML (and optionally with CSS) you will get a valid html file.
XSL is similar in its mechanics to other dynamic web engines. Next to the fact that XSL is platform independent, its biggest advantage is that it can be done on the client side. The web server sends user content using XML format and layout content using XSL format. By doing so, the load on the web server’s CPU is reduced so that it can perform other tasks faster. However, XSL is not accepted by all major web browsers. So unlike XML, XSL did not find its way into the market easily.
Before you go back to your desk and start rebuilding your website according to this beautiful model, you should know that this technology does not require a lot of time. In fact, using them without needing to cause performance problems. CSS generally won’t slow down your system. Just try to keep your CSS files as small as possible. Many web developers maintain large CSS files with many unused elements. Deciding to work with XML is a big decision. If your website generates dynamic web pages supported by databases such as MySQL, adding XML functionality will reduce your website’s performance. Sometimes you may have no choice and need to upgrade your hardware to maintain your website performance. There is no rule of thumb for this problem. The decision must be based on each system and its engineering requirements. My advice to you is to think two steps ahead. Try to predict what future services your website will provide. Plan your website correctly at the first stage and save yourself a lot of effort later.
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